UN set to adopt resolution to disrupt IS funds
Dec 17, NY: Finance ministers from 15 nations on the U.N. Security Council will meet Thursday to adopt a resolution aimed at disrupting the outside revenue that the Islamic State extremist group gets from selling oil and antiquities, from ransom payments and other criminal activities, media reports said.
The Islamic State group is already subject to U.N. sanctions under resolutions dealing with al-Qaida. But the proposed resolution, sponsored by the United States and Russia, elevates IS to the same level as al-Qaida, reflecting its split from al-Qaida and the growing threat it poses especially in the Mideast and North Africa.
U.S. Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew, who will chair Thursday's meeting, said when the meeting was announced earlier this month that disrupting the Islamic State group's financing and cutting it off from the international financial system "are critical to effectively combating this violent terrorist group."
U.S. Ambassador Samantha Power said on Wednesday that the meeting is an unprecedented chance to bring together the people with the technical abilities to track and cut off funds to "starve" the Islamic State group of resources.
The Islamic State group, also known as ISIL and Daesh, controls a large swath of Syria and Iraq, including oil and gas fields, though bombing campaigns by the U.S.-led coalition and ground forces have enabled Iraq to regain some territory.
While the resolution is aimed at cutting off some of IS' outside revenue streams, a U.N. diplomat and U.S. official said the majority of funding for the extremist group comes from internal sources which are difficult to disrupt. Both spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak publicly.
The U.S. official said getting at IS' revenue is a serious challenge because much of it is internally generated from oil and gas sales which have the potential to generate hundreds of millions of dollars annually as well as from taxation and extortion. This is in contrast to al-Qaida, whose funding typically comes from outside donors, including charities and kidnapping for ransom, AP news report said.
The Oslo Times