The UN Security Council unanimously adopted a resolution Thursday aimed at disrupting revenue that the Islamic State extremist group gets from oil and antiquities sales, ransom payments and other criminal activities — a goal that finance ministers agree will be challenging.
The Islamic State (IS) group is already subject to UN sanctions under resolutions dealing with al-Qaeda. The resolution, sponsored by the United States and Russia, elevates IS to the same level as al-Qaeda, reflecting its growing threat and split from the terror network behind the 9/11 attacks.
It makes “association with IS” as well as al-Qaeda a criteria for sanctions including a financial freeze, travel ban and arms embargo.
US Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew, who chaired the meeting, called IS “a challenging financial target” because unlike other “terror groups” like al-Qaeda, it gets a relatively small share of its funding from donors abroad.
France’s Finance Minister Michel Sapin told the council that no country is safe from IS attacks.
“What sets Daesh (IS) apart and makes it so powerful is the fact that it has amassed a sizable war chest by a variety of means including smuggling, extortion and trafficking,” Sapin said. “There is no crime that Daesh will not commit to finance itself.” Read More