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Financial Services Law Insights and Observations

Counter ISIS Finance Group continues efforts to isolate ISIS from international financial system

Financial Crimes Of Interest to Non-US Persons OFAC Sanctions OFAC Designations Department of Treasury ISIS

Financial Crimes

On May 17, the U.S. Treasury Department announced the release of a joint statement by members of the Counter ISIS Finance Group (CIFG) of the Global Coalition to Defeat ISIS, which coordinates efforts to isolate the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) from the international financial system and eliminate revenue sources. CIFG held its sixteenth meeting on May 9 to discuss ongoing efforts to combat ISIS financing worldwide. According to the statement, the Coalition is focusing “on disrupting international ISIS funds transfers and dismantling ISIS finance networks that support extremist activities, including terrorist attacks, militant recruitment, and promotion of violent ideology.”

During the meeting, participants discussed that, despite having access to at least 25 million U.S. dollars in reserves, ISIS Core in Syria and Iraq is struggling to meet its financial obligations, as its expenditures exceed its income. CIFG also noted that Africa has emerged as a center of gravity for ISIS, and “the branches and networks in Africa generally have precarious finances and typically rely on local fundraising schemes.” CIFG further stressed the importance to “remain vigilant” to “deepen our understanding of ISIS’s financial operations, emerging financial threats, and activities.”

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