Financial institutions should be mindful of any number of strategies that retreating Islamic State fighters may employ to move their funds into and through the formal banking system as the terrorist group continues yielding ground in Iraq and Syria, say analysts. At the height of its expansion in 2014, the self-proclaimed caliphate was funding itself from a wide variety of sources, reportedly collecting billions of dollars from robbing banks, pilfering and selling oil and ancient artifacts, taxing and extorting local populations, trafficking persons and conducting kidnappings for ransom. But the group's hold on Iraq since then has been reduced from...
Recent military setbacks have diminished the Islamic State's control over local populations, natural resources and cultural antiquities in Iraq and Syria, raising the possibility that the group may turn to drug trafficking and other criminal schemes to generate revenue, say sources.
Among the many challenges of identifying terrorist funds is the fact that they can be hidden in plain sight, according to Colin P. Clarke, an associate political scientist at the RAND Corporation who studies the subject.
Representatives of over 20 nations meeting in Paris endorsed a plan to choke off international funding of Islamic State militants and prevent the organization from financing its growing cadre of foreign affiliates.