Statements & Remarks

Counter ISIS Finance Group Leaders Issue Joint Statement

Global Coalition to Defeat ISIS Convenes Nineteenth Finance Working Group Meeting

On January 30 and 31, the United States, Italy, and Saudi Arabia hosted virtually the 19th meeting of the Counter ISIS Finance Group (CIFG), a working group of the Global Coalition to Defeat ISIS.  The U.S. Treasury Department and the U.S. Department of State jointly represented the United States at this event, which included over 40 member states and observers.

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

The work of the Global Coalition to Defeat ISIS (Daesh) remains as important as ever.  The Global Coalition must be vigilant to prevent ISIS from supporting any terrorist organizations around the world.  To that end, the CIFG mission remains integral to achieving the goals of the Global Coalition.

Over the course of two days, CIFG participants explored creative approaches to denying ISIS access to our financial systems, dismantling ISIS fundraising and financial facilitation networks, and stopping the group from gaining territorial control in Africa, the Middle East (particularly Syria and Iraq), and across Asia.  Financial regulators, counterterrorism officials, and independent experts discussed case studies that highlighted the terrorists’ use of cash smuggling and abuse of financial institutions, including hawalas and virtual asset service providers, and businesses.  The CIFG participants also noted the importance of protecting the non-profit organization (NPO) sector from abuse.

ISIS sources of funds largely reside outside the formal economy and allow ISIS affiliates to sustain insurgencies and attacks against civilians which threaten regional stability in parts of Africa and Asia.  In populated areas where ISIS has a presence, it often relies on criminal activity and exploitation of natural resources to generate funds.  Moreover, ISIS fundraising networks around the globe continue to receive contributions that support ISIS’s capability to conduct terrorist attacks and promote its violent ideology.  Some of ISIS crowdfunding campaigns exploit unwitting donors by launching fraudulent charitable appeals.

The CIFG co-leads call on Global Coalition members to address these challenges, pursuant to each member’s domestic counterterrorism authority, through increased cooperation to counter the evolving ISIS threat consistent with the following lines of effort:

  • Increase timely information-sharing with relevant agencies, international partners, and financial institutions to enable detection, investigation, and disruption of ISIS financing networks.
    Continue monitoring terrorist fundraising appeals via social media and encrypted electronic messaging applications to inform law enforcement measures against individuals who seek to provide financial support to ISIS.
  • Combat ISIS by employing adequate security measures to prevent the group from extorting the local population, kidnapping civilians for ransom, looting, and engaging in other criminal activities to generate revenue.
  • Strengthen our anti-money laundering/countering the financing of terrorism (AML/CFT) regimes to prevent terrorist financiers from taking advantage of permissive jurisdictions where they perceive that they can act with impunity.  In that vein, it is essential that all countries effectively implement the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) recommendations.
  • Enhance oversight of all payment mechanisms, including money service businesses, mobile payment systems, and virtual asset service providers.  Effective implementation of AML/CFT frameworks to mitigate ISIS abuse of financial systems includes subjecting financial institutions to AML/CFT obligations and taking meaningful enforcement measures against all financial institutions in instances of non-compliance.
  • Protect NPOs from abuse by applying focused, proportionate, and risk-based measures in line with FATF standards.  States should appropriately implement these risk-based measures to preserve the integrity of the NPO sector without unduly disrupting or discouraging legitimate NPO activities.
  • Increase effective public actions, such as prosecutions and targeted financial sanctions against ISIS donors, fundraisers, and financial facilitators, to dissuade others from funding terrorist groups.  Coordinated or joint disruptions of ISIS financial facilitators, such as the three individuals the United States sanctioned on January 30, 2024, would be particularly impactful.

Global Coalition members will continue working together to improve our disruptive actions against ISIS financial networks and strengthen oversight of the global financial system to make all jurisdictions inhospitable to ISIS and other terrorist groups.  It is imperative that we prevent ISIS funds transfers that could fuel new terrorist operations.  Together we will hold ISIS financiers accountable and ensure the enduring defeat of this transnational terrorist threat.

Click here to read Fact Sheet: Countering ISIS Financing