Ericsson Confirms Employees in Iraq May Have Bribed ISIS

Employees paid for access across ISIS-held roads

Swedish telecom giant Ericsson has confirmed that in 2019, company employees in Iraq paid bribes to cross certain roads, violating company policy. Ericsson says they can’t rule out that ISIS got some of those bribes.

Company stock declined on the news. While it’s not unusual for companies to pay for access in terrorist-dominated countries, paying ISIS directly would be a big embarrassment for the company.

This took place when ISIS was still in possession of parts of northwestern Iraq, and when access to the area around Mosul would’ve been hard without paying for passage.

That’s no longer the case, as while ISIS is trying to rebound recently, they don’t hold broad territory in either Iraq or Syria. This was clearly a concern in the past though, and Ericsson may struggle to resolve the concern at this point.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is Senior Editor for He has 20 years of experience in foreign policy research and his work has appeared in The American Conservative, Responsible Statecraft, Forbes, Toronto Star, Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Providence Journal, Washington Times, and the Detroit Free Press.