Takfiri group operating in Syria and Iraq, ISIL, is is earning about $1 million (790,000 euros) a day just from black market oil sales, the US said, noting that it’s intensifying efforts to undermine the finances of the terrorist group.
David Cohen, US Treasury under-secretary for terrorism and financial intelligence, said ISIL is earning about $1 million (790,000 euros) a day just from black market oil sales. David Cohen, US Treasury under-secretary for terrorism and financial intelligence
Speaking at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, Cohen pointed out that Some of this oil is sold to the group’s enemies, including the Syrian government it has vowed to topple and to Iraqi Kurds.
He added that Washington will target for financial sanctions anyone who trades with the militants, in a bid to disrupt the market in oil derived from ISIL-controlled fields.
“The middlemen, traders, refiners, transport companies, and anyone else that handles ISIL’s oil should know that we are hard at work identifying them, and that we have tools at hand to stop them”, Cohen said.
“We not only can cut them off from the US financial system and freeze their assets, but we can also make it very difficult for them to find a bank anywhere that will touch their money or process their transactions”, he added.
ISIL also has taken in at least $20 million (15.8 million euros) in ransom payments this year from kidnappings and raises money – up to several million dollars per month – through a sophisticated extortion racket, Cohen said.
In Iraq and Syria, ISIL extracts payments from those who pass through, conduct business in, or simply seek to live in the territory where it operates.
“Make no mistake: This is not taxation in return for services or even for real protection. It is theft, pure and simple. The money ISIL pilfers is being exchanged not for a guarantee of safety but for the temporary absence of harm”, Cohen said.
Cohen says that except for state-sponsored terrorist groups, the ISIL group is probably the best-funded terrorist organization the Treasury Department has ever confronted.