Blocking ISIL’s ability to raise funds, pay its fighters and finance its operations is one of the keys to degrading, and eventually destroying, this terrorist organization.
ISIL, also known as DA’ESH, finances itself through extortion, public goods taxes, corporate forced profit-sharing, and by selling oil, stolen antiquities, and even slaves. That is why the United States Departments of State designates Foreign Terrorist Organization, or as Specially Designated Global Terrorists under Executive Order 13224.
By designating such groups, the United States freezes what funds they may have within the reach of U.S. authorities. Once terrorist groups are designated, they are effectively locked out of the international banking system, thus losing their ability to transfer money to vendors and to receive money from donors. As well, U.S. businesses, manufacturers and individuals are prohibited from dealing or trading with them.
Eighteen months ago, ISIL leader and State Department Specially Designated Global Terrorist Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, welcomed the three oaths of allegiance from fighters in Yemen, Saudi Arabia, and Libya, thereby creating ISIL “branches” in those countries.
In late May, the United States Department of State designated ISIL’s branches in Libya, Yemen and Saudi Arabia, as Specially Designated Global Terrorists. It also designated the Libya branch as a Foreign Terrorist Organization.
Since proclaiming their allegiance to ISIL, all three branches have carried out a number of deadly attacks.
Among other acts of terrorism, ISIL-Yemen claimed responsibility for a pair of March 2015 suicide bombings targeting two separate mosques in Yemen’s capital, Sana’a. As a result, over 120 people died and more than 300 were wounded.
ISIL-Saudi Arabia has carried out numerous attacks against Shia mosques in both Saudi Arabia and Kuwait, killing over 50 people.
ISIL-Libya kidnapped and murdered a group of 21 Egyptian Coptic Christians. They have also staged numerous attacks targeting both government and civilians, which resulted in dozens of deaths.
Through the use of terrorism designations, the United States exposes and isolates groups and individuals engaged in terrorism. A designation not only imposes serious sanctions on violent organizations: it allows all segments of the U.S. Government, in concert with our international partners, to take action to disrupt the terrorists’ nefarious activities.