“The resolution gives us more flexibility to go after those who are helping ISIS, whether to move funds, to store funds or to earn funds.”
That’s from Adam Szubin, undersecretary for terrorism and financial intelligence at the US Treasury. Szubin is referencing a Security Council resolution proposed by Washington and Moscow that calls for a crackdown on Islamic State’s access to the international financial system.
As FT reports, the “rare meeting of Security Council member finance ministers also resolved to press other nations to enforce more rigorously existing rules that are designed to limit the flow of revenues, fighters and equipment to the Islamist militant group.”
And here’s a bit of largely meaningless rhetoric from the UN itself:
“At its first ever meeting at Finance Ministers’ level, the United Nations Security Council today stepped up its efforts to cut off all sources of funding for the Islamic State in Syria and Iraq (ISIL) and other terrorist groups, including ransom payments, no matter by whom.
“The Council also called on Member States to promote enhanced vigilance by persons within their jurisdiction to detect any diversion of explosives and raw materials and components that can be used to manufacture improvised explosive devices or unconventional weapons, including chemical components, detonators, detonating cord, or poisons.
“‘They (the terrorists) are agile and have been far too successful in attaining resources for their heinous acts,’ Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon told the Council at the start of the debate. ‘As Da’esh (another name for ISIL) and other terrorist groups disseminate their hateful propaganda and ratchet up murderous attacks, we must join forces to prevent them from acquiring and deploying resources to do further harm,’ he stressed.”
Yes, “we must” keep the terrorists from “acquiring and deploying resources to do further harm.” The reason we call that “meaningless” rhetoric is that it’s an insult to anyone who knows anything about the role some UN members play in financing and supplying ISIS.
Take this statement for instance: “The Council also called on Member States to promote enhanced vigilance by persons within their jurisdiction to detect any diversion of explosives and raw materials and components that can be used to manufacture improvised explosive devices or unconventional weapons, including chemical components.”
Well, for starters, we know that ammonium nitrate flows from Akcakale across the border to the Syrian town of Tel Abyad which has fallen into ISIS hands on a number of occasions. From a The New York Times piece published in May:
“Ammonium nitrate has been a vital ingredient in some of the world’s most notorious terrorist attacks, including the bombing of the Oklahoma City federal building in 1995 and the bombings of the United States Embassies in Tanzania and Kenya in 1998.
“It has also been widely used by militants in Iraq and Afghanistan, and by the Islamic State.
“A bomb filled with about 45,000 pounds could damage 16 city blocks, Dr. John Goodpaster, a forensic chemist at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis said, adding that there appeared to be at least 55,000 pounds in the pile of sacks waiting to enter the crossing [between Akcakale and Tel Abyad].
“’That is a definite concern,’ he said.”
Turkish officials failed to explain why the substance was allowed to cross.
And as for preventing “chemical components” from falling into ISIS hands, not only has Turkey failed to be part of the solution, Ankara is actually busy accusing those who try to expose the source of illegal sarin gas transfers of treason. Recall that earlier this week, the Ankara Chief Prosecutor’s Office opened an investigation into CHP deputy Eren Erdem following the lawmaker’s claims that radical groups used Turkey as a transit route for the shipment of sarin gas.
In addition to the above, Turkey also stands accused (by Russia and others) of facilitating the sale of illegal ISIS crude and thereby of helping Islamic State secure the hundreds of millions of dollars in funding it needs to continue to destabilize the Assad government in Syria and counter Iranian/Shiite influence in Iraq.
Combine all of that with the fact that, as Vladimir Putin pointed out last month in Antalya, ISIS is receiving funding from at least 40 countries including G20 members. So yes, the UN’s “resolution” is completely farcical.
Underscoring that assessment is a new “secret” report prepared on behalf of the Norwegian foreign ministry by Rystad Energy. According to Dagens Næringsliv (translated), the report shows that “large quantities of oil have been smuggled across the border to Turkey from IS-controlled areas in Syria and Iraq.” The “oil is sent by tankers via smuggling routes across the border [and] is sold at greatly reduced prices, from 25 to 45 dollars a barrel,” the report says.
Dagens Næringsliv goes on to implicate the same network of traffickers who helped Saddam avoid international sanctions, in helping ISIS export crude and import cash.
“The UN Security Council will discuss Thursday a French proposal to impose sanctions on countries that allow trade in IS,” the paper adds, dryly.
So there you go UN Security Council. If you’re looking for states that are helping ISIS “acquire and deploy resources,” we would suggest looking at NATO’s own Turkey because apparently, everyone in the entire world knows what’s going on and no one wants to do anything about it.
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