Washington, DC - The Counter-ISIL Finance Group (CIFG), which met on May 7 in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, announced today the issuance of a Communiqué rejecting the payment or facilitation of ransoms to ISIL in line with relevant U.N. Security Council Resolutions. Representatives from 25 countries and several multilateral organizations met to continue their work to combat ISIL’s sources of financing, including the dangerous and ongoing problem of kidnapping for ransom.
The Communiqué issued rejects the payment or facilitation of ransoms to ISIL, so as to deny ISIL an important source of funds and remove a key incentive for ISIL to engage in further kidnapping or hostage-taking activities. The Communiqué also encourages private sector partners to adopt or to follow relevant guidelines and best practices for preventing and responding to ISIL kidnappings without paying ransoms. The CIFG is committed to remaining engaged with private sector entities and individuals to ensure they are aware of the full range of risks faced by staff operating in high-threat environments.
The Communiqué was developed at the May 7 meeting of the CIFG in Jeddah. In that meeting, the CIFG discussed the steps taken by its members and by the international community more broadly to undermine ISIL’s criminal financial activities. The CIFG also exchanged information on ISIL exploitation of banks and exchange houses, and shared best practices for safeguarding the financial sector. The Group discussed the latest trends in ISIL’s exploitation and smuggling of energy resources and cultural property. A number of concrete international countermeasures to disrupt these illicit trade flows were discussed. The CIFG also examined potential financial linkages between ISIL and its foreign affiliates.
The CIFG was established as part of the counter-ISIL Coalition effort to enhance coordination among international partners on lines of effort to defeat ISIL agreed by Coalition ministers and representatives on December 3, 2014 in Brussels. The CIFG will continue to 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 the United States in September 2015.