Washington, DC - Italy, Saudi Arabia, and the United States on March 19-20 co-led the inaugural meeting of the Counter-ISIL Finance Group (CIFG) in Rome, Italy. Representatives from 26 countries and several multilateral organizations met to agree on an Action Plan to further their understanding of ISIL’s financial and economic activities, share relevant information, and develop and coordinate efforts to combat ISIL’s financial activities.
The CIFG was established as part of the Counter-ISIL Coalition effort to enhance coordination among international partners on key lines of effort to defeat ISIL. The CIFG will meet regularly to consult on efforts to counter ISIL's financial activities and economic sustainment. The next meeting of the CIFG is scheduled to take place in Saudi Arabia in early May 2015.
The CIFG Action Plan notes the unique terrorist financing challenges posed by ISIL, and identifies and establishes key steps that Coalition members, and potentially the entire international community, should undertake to disrupt ISIL’s sources of revenue, movement and use of funds, and its overall economic sustainment. The key objectives of the CIFG will be to (1) prevent ISIL’s use of the international financial system, including unregulated money remitters; (2) counter ISIL's extortion and exploitation of economic assets and resources -- such as cash, oil, agricultural goods, cultural property, and other economic commodities -- that transit, enter, or are derived from areas in which ISIL operates; (3) deny ISIL funding from abroad, including from external donors, foreign terrorist fighters, and kidnapping for ransom; and (4) prevent ISIL from providing financial or material support to foreign affiliates in an effort to expand its global ambitions. In addition, the CIFG will promote the implementation of United Nations Security Council Resolutions specifically targeted at ISIL and other al-Qaida associated groups in Iraq and Syria.
The CIFG will work to accomplish these goals through enhanced information collection and sharing, developing new countermeasures, providing technical assistance, coordinating sanctions efforts, strengthening internal anti-money laundering/counter-terrorist financing meansures, and private sector outreach, among other steps.