UN tries to clampdown on IS funding

The UN Security Council urged countries to deny the Islamic State and other extremist groups their sources of money and fighters by shutting down oil trade, refusing ransom payments and tightening security checks.

The council statement followed a new UN report that estimates the Islamic State’s potential revenue from crude oil ranges from $846,000 to $1.64m per day and that it raised an estimated $35m to $45m in a 12-month period from ransom payments.

The report recommends new sanctions but warns that these alone are insufficient to counter the global terror threat.

Council members in an open debate expressed alarm that the new wave of fighters is younger, more diverse and skilled in using social media to attract more than 15,000 foreigners from more than 80 countries.

“Looking at these challenges solely through a military lens has shown its limits,” UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon told the meeting,

The council statement urges more effort by UN member states to restrict the flow of foreign fighters, but the chair of the council committee on counter-terrorism, Lithuania ambassador Raimonda Murmokaite, laid out multiple and “significant” gaps in border and other controls that might keep citizens from traveling to fight.

The UN human rights chief called for a campaign led by muslims to undermine the ideology of the Islamic State terrorist group, saying this may ultimately be more effective than airstrikes.

Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein, a Jordanian prince and the first UN human rights chief from the muslim and Arab world, told the UN Security Council that by calling for a caliphate, or Islamic state, the group is exploiting “a general yearning” shared by many muslims globally.

But he stressed that many muslims are opposed to the terrorist group for the crimes it has committed in enforcing its ideology, which likely amount to genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes.

The Islamic State group first took control of parts of Syria and then swept across the border in early June capturing a large swath of northern and western Iraq. A US-led coalition has been carrying out airstrikes against the group in Iraq and Syria but Zeid questioned “whether it is possible to bomb an ideology like this into submission”.

He implored the Security Council to support efforts to overturn the Islamic State group’s “ideology of violence and death, for the sake of the rights of all in Iraq”.

The group rejects any individual thought “outside of their closed unyielding logic,” Zeid said, and all dissenters “must be murdered, their memory, culture, every shred of their existence destroyed.”

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