The Islamic State continues to raise money by conducting kidnappings for ransom. A recent hostage negotiation will likely net the group $27 million. The Islamic State kidnapped 30 Druze in late July. In order to secure their release, the Syrian government has agreed to release 60 Islamic State members and pay a $27 million ransom. […]

The Islamic State is far from bankrupt. The group may have lost the majority of its territory, but it likely anticipated this eventuality and prepared financially. The group is reported to have stashed millions across the region through investments in companies in Iraq, the purchase of gold in Turkey, and the transfer of millions to […]

The US Department of the Treasury has sanctioned two individuals involved in money transfers to ISIL members. Syria-based dual US-Trinidadian national Emraan Ali served as a financial facilitator for ISIL members. He received funds from Trinidad and distributed them to Trinidadian ISIL fighters. Some of those funds appear to have originated with Eddie Aleong, a Trinidad-based […]

Waleed Ahmed Zein has been designated by the US Treasury for his role in financial facilitation for ISIL. Zein developed an international financial network to facilitate funds transfers for ISIL. He used hawalas and intermediaries to conduct and obscure the transactions. His network had links into Europe, the Middle East, Americas, and East Africa. Between […]

Samantha Elhassani aka Samantha Sally was charged on 22 August 2018 with providing material support to the Islamic State. She is alleged to have provided material support to the Islamic State between fall 2014 and summer 2015 by acquiring tactical gear for the group and providing funds for two individuals who joined the Islamic State. […]

According to a recent report, terrorist groups including Al Qaeda and ISIL are increasingly turning to Bitcoin to finance their activities. The authors cite several examples, including: The tech talk section of Al-Haqiqa, a pro-Al Qaeda English-language magazine, released in February 2018, examined the permissibility of using Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies to fund their activities; […]

Effectively implementing sanctions against North Korea has been a difficult proposition. Despite sanctions, North Korea continues to raise foreign exchange to pay for imports from China. Part of the reason for this difficulty is that the country’s trade and finance networks operate unofficially, largely outside the detection capabilities of regulators, which in turn is partly due to […]

Belgian authorities have discovered than around €200,000 was transferred to Belgians fighting with the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria. No timeframe for the transfers was given, but the money is reported to have come primarily from friends and family of the foreign fighters. Funds were transferred  through money services businesses (Western Union was specifically named). […]

The cement giant LafargeHolcim is being investigated for terrorist financing. Lafarge’s subsidiary in Syria is suspected of paying roughly $5 million  in protection money to armed groups in Syria in order to keep the Jalabiya cement plant open, with an estimated $500,000 paid to the Islamic State. The company also bought raw materials from individuals connected to […]

The President of World Chess was accused of involvement in oil deals with traces to the Islamic State. While little information is available about the activities of Kirsan Ilyumzhinov, he was once part of President Putin’s inner circle, and has been on a US wanted list since November 2015. Reports indicate that he may have […]