Sources of terrorist financing begin to dry up
The voices calling for cutting the financial arteries feeding the cancer of terrorism that has spread in the Arab region and lurking in every innocent spirit, home, society and country are loud. The human and economic losses continue in light of the inability of the Arab countries to surround and contain the tails of terrorist groups that are always keen to find new methods in searching for sources to finance their attacks. For example, Al Qaeda depends on grants provided with the aim of sponsoring and facilitating terrorist activity and donations, while ISIS relies on activities that generate significant financial income such as kidnapping, extortion, smuggling of goods and antiquities, trade in gold, precious metals, precious stones, as well as drugs, and theft And selling oil, as the financial revenue of ISIS from these activities exceeded $ 2.4 billion in 2015, according to the report of the Financial Action Group, FATF, which is responsible for combating financial crimes in the Middle East region issued on June 21, 2019. Digital currencies such as Bitcoin, Ethereum, Ripple and others have also opened the door wide to provide the necessary financing for terrorist groups, as these currencies have become part of their cyber arsenal as they are the most effective way to hide the identity of their users and evade prosecution and central control, as a report by the Middle East Media Research Institute "MEMRI" Confiscated on August 21, 2019 by the widespread use of cryptocurrencies by terrorist organizations and their supporters to raise money to fund attacks, purchase equipment, and support fighters and their families, it has enabled Bitcoin, for example, to receive millions of dollars in donations to ISIS and al Qaeda over the past five years.
The danger for the Arab world lies in the small terrorist cells that require microfinance to carry out their inexpensive operations because they are not responsible for controlling vast lands or recruiting a large number of terrorists. All that these small groups or "individual wolves" need, as they are usually called, is Obtaining small sums of money that are sufficient to provide the small attack equipment that you plan to do tightly, and often depend on money transfers from abroad that do not raise suspicions due to their small size, especially in the absence of coordination for the exchange of financial information between countries, as well as the lack of cooperation between financial intelligence units And the police.
The Financial Action Task Force "FATF" issued a detailed report on the financing of the terrorist organization "ISIS" in February 2015 and indicated that this organization managed to tighten its grip on half a billion dollars through its control of state-owned bank branches located in a number of governorates of Iraq During the last half of 2014, in addition to its control over the branches of 20 operating banks in Syria.
The report also highlighted the great blackmail practiced by the organization by imposing a 5 per cent tax on all cash withdrawals to customers to ensure the continuity of its business and enhance its self-sufficiency. The FATF report also confirmed the organization's obtaining large sums from the sale of stolen oil to intermediaries in Iraq And Syria at the rate of 50,000 barrels per day against an unofficial price ranging between 20 and 35 dollars a barrel at a time when oil was sold on the world markets at prices ranging between 50 and 80 dollars a barrel. The terrorist organization "ISIS" also imposed fees on the movement of goods in the territories under its control, such as a road tax of $ 200 in northern Iraq and a customs tax of $ 800 on trucks entering Iraq along the Syrian and Jordanian borders.
In previous years, the organization also controlled more than 40 percent of the wheat cultivation lands in Iraq, and obtained significant returns from the sale of crops, in addition to the tens of millions of dollars that ISIS obtained from selling stolen antiquities as a result of its control a few years ago. Over 4,500 archaeological sites in Syria and Iraq.
The report also stated that the organization obtained between $ 20 and $ 45 million in kidnappings during the year 2014, and the report emphasized the impossibility of providing final and real figures for the amount of revenue achieved by ISIS due to the diversity of the aforementioned funding sources as well as obtaining its profits in cash, which is what makes it difficult Track it by any party, whether internal or external.
But the most important thing in this report is the small size of foreign donations received by ISIS from regional donors compared to other sources of revenue mentioned, on September 24, 2014, the US Treasury Department reported that ISIS obtained a donation of $ 2 million From the bay.
Consequently, what is wrong with the FATF is that it continues to accuse the public fingers of many Gulf countries for their indirect contribution to financing terrorist groups, but it turns a blind eye to Western countries and Israel, which is the first and last responsible for planting the seeds of terrorism in the Arab world in The framework of the eternal Western plan to destabilize it, if any Arab party has a hand in supporting terrorism, then the West has a thousand hands in planting, financing and embracing it and ensuring its continuity in the Arab world.
The bottom line is that terrorism in the Arab world is only one of the remnants of the diabolical alliance between the West and Israel, and it finds its fertile ground in the unstable environment that conflicts and conflicts ravage for reasons that often concern rulers who have grown up in their countries and have shown corruption in their countries of origin. . Therefore, the recommendations of the Financial Action Group and other international organizations to fight corruption are nothing more than sterile theses in light of the Arab paralysis facing the cycle of chaos and instability.
The success of measures aimed at depriving terrorism of its financial resources is fundamentally dependent on stabilizing the Arab region, besieging corruption and closing its outlets, because stability is the basic and fundamental building block for amputating the financial arms of terrorism, which is the necessary condition for reaping the fruits of the policies taken by Arab governments such as raising the effectiveness of unit activity The financial inquiries responsible for investigating terrorist financing and strengthening regional and international cooperation to exchange financial and security information related to the financing of terrorist groups.
May 25, 2020, published on al-araby