Sunday, 8 November 2015

What We Know About Daesh’s Antiquities Department

Hayat Norimine, 'Here’s What We Know About Daesh’s Antiquities Department',  Al Bawaba, November 8th, 2015
 Daesh (ISIS) is issuing an official license to loot, and by doing so, creating a steady stream of income in areas under its control. Nearly two months ago, the US State Deparment released formerly classified documents that proved Daesh is systematically profiting off of looted antiquities. Documents showed the militant group — now controlling swaths of territory in Iraq and Syria — created an antiquities department to provide residents with looting licenses. In exchange, Daesh gets a nice chunk of the excavators' profits as "tax." The US says that's generally about a 30 percent cut to the militants, though another report says a man was charged as much as 60 percent. The antiquities department is a subdivision under the Diwan of Natural Resources, "diwan" meaning a central finance office in Islamic societies. Media reports say Daesh had an incentive to make more money off of looting after a crackdown on the group's black market oil dried up its finances. 
 The author provides pictures of a selection of the documents with translations.

Vignette: Lobbyist for no-que$tions-asked market.

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