Rewards for Justice is offering a reward of up to $10 million for information leading to the disruption of the financial mechanisms of the terrorist group Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS). ISIS relies on financing and facilitation networks to sustain operations and launch attacks in Syria and the surrounding region.
ISIS networks have conducted financial transfers to support ISIS efforts in Syria-based displaced persons camps by collecting funds in Indonesia and Turkey, some of which were used to pay for smuggling children out of the camps and delivering them to ISIS foreign fighters as potential recruits.
ISIS sympathizers in over 40 countries have sent money to ISIS-linked individuals in these camps in support of ISIS’s future resurgence. In al-Hawl — with some 70,000 people, the largest of these displaced persons camps in northeast Syria — ISIS supporters have received up to $20,000 per month via hawala, an informal transfer mechanism; the majority of those financial transfers have originated outside Syria or passed through neighboring countries such as Turkey.
Illicit oil operations and trafficking in looted archaeological objects from Syria and Iraq also have been key sources of revenue that generate hard currency and enable ISIS to carry out its brutal tactics and oppress innocent civilians. ISIS’s damage to and looting of cultural and historical sites in Syria and Iraq have destroyed irreplaceable evidence of ancient life and society.
Ancient and historical coins, jewelry, carved gemstones, sculptures, plaques, and cuneiform tablets are among the types of cultural objects that ISIS has trafficked. With support from the U.S. Department of State, the International Council of Museums developed the Emergency Red Lists of Cultural Objects at Risk to present the categories of cultural objects looted and trafficked from Syria and Iraq. They can be viewed here and here.