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Counter ISIS Finance Group Leaders Issue Joint Statement

Global Coalition to Defeat ISIS Convenes Eighteenth Finance Working Group Meeting

On June 7, the United States, Italy, and Saudi Arabia held the 18th meeting of the Counter ISIS Finance Group (CIFG), a working group of the Global Coalition to Defeat ISIS.  The event was held in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, with over 40 member states and observers attending in person and virtually.

The following is a joint statement of the CIFG co-leads:

Advancing the CIFG mission remains integral to the success of the Global Coalition to Defeat ISIS.  Our members and observers, which include over 70 countries and international organizations, are committed to ending financial support to ISIS and its global affiliates to prevent them from terrorizing civilians and re-establishing safe havens.  We are working to identify and dismantle financial support networks that enable ISIS to spread its radical ideology, recruit new followers, and mobilize resources for massacres and terrorist attacks.

During the 18th CIFG meeting, we continued focusing on ISIS Core and ISIS affiliates across Asia.  We also placed increased emphasis on combating the expanding ISIS presence in Africa, reflecting a top priority of the Global Coalition.  Partner countries and independent experts presented case studies on recent disruptions of ISIS donors, fundraisers, and financial facilitators.  They also shared unique insights into ISIS financial sources, transfer methods, and weaknesses.  Notably, the presentations demonstrated how coordinated action and information-sharing among states, non-governmental organizations (NGOs), and the private sector amplify the impact of law enforcement investigations, targeted sanctions, prosecutions, and other measures against ISIS financing networks.  International cooperation has been critical to exposing and disrupting ISIS transactions outside the formal financial system, including via hawalas and cash smugglers; abuse of the charitable sector for fundraising; and increasing use of virtual assets and mobile payment systems.

CIFG members and observers are seeking to enhance the effectiveness of our collective efforts to stop ISIS financing.  First, we invite our respective intelligence and counterterrorism partners, NGOs, and the private sector to increase information-sharing regarding ISIS financial activities and networks to help us understand and counteract them.  Second, we call for closer cooperation with countries that are prone to exploitation by ISIS financiers to bolster their capability to conduct investigations, impose asset freezes, and take other enforcement measures against ISIS financiers.  Third, we look to assist vulnerable jurisdictions strengthen their key anti-money laundering and countering the financing of terrorism (AML/CFT) controls and requirements, consistent with international standards set by the Financial Action Task Force (FATF).  To fortify institutional defenses against ISIS financiers, we encourage adoption of a risk-based approach to implement effective regulation and oversight of informal financial transfer mechanisms, mobile payment platforms, virtual asset service providers, dealers in precious metals and stones, and transactions by higher-risk non-profit organizations in line with the FATF guidance.  Lastly, we urge Global Coalition members to do more to help military and other security forces combat ISIS insurgency, particularly in Africa.  The deployment of adequate security measures in conflict zones is crucial for preventing ISIS from extorting civilians, kidnapping for ransom, looting, and engaging in other criminal activities to generate revenue.

As long as the global ISIS threat persists, CIFG partners will continue to deploy various resources and forge international partnerships to dismantle ISIS’s financial infrastructure.  We will use all tools at our disposal to accomplish this mission and will not rest until the Global Coalition achieves the enduring defeat of ISIS. 

Click here to read Fact Sheet: Countering ISIS Financing