Funding the ‘Islamic State’: looting antiquities and the international black market

Isakhan, B. and Gonzalez, A. 2015, Funding the ‘Islamic State’: looting antiquities and the international black market, Department of Defence, Canberra, A.C.T.

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Title Funding the ‘Islamic State’: looting antiquities and the international black market
Author(s) Isakhan, B.ORCID iD for Isakhan, B.
Gonzalez, A.
Publication date 2015-07-20
Total pages 4
Publisher Department of Defence
Place of publication Canberra, A.C.T
Keyword(s) Iraq
Islamic State
Summary A key revenue stream for various militant groups across the Middle East, including the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS), is the illicit looting and trafficking of antiquities which are sold on the international black market. Various heritage sites are being looted by ISIS and others with devastating efficiency and on an industrial scale. While exact figures are difficult to ascertain, the profits from these looting operations are estimated to be the second largest revenue stream for ISIS after the illegal sale of crude oil. The illicit trafficking of antiquities is therefore financing the devastating advance of ISIS and any effort, including that by the Australian Department of Defence, to defeat ISIS must address this significant issue. More research is urgently needed to understand the precise nature, scope and variety of antiquities looting across the Middle East, the extent to which it is funding groups like ISIS, and to consider Australia’s role in international strategies to stanch this ongoing problem.
Language eng
Field of Research 210202 Heritage and Cultural Conservation
160602 Citizenship
Socio Economic Objective 950307 Conserving the Historic Environment
HERDC Research category A6 Research report/technical paper
Copyright notice ©2016, Department of Defence
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