Although rumours of the Daesh terrorist group making millions from timely foreign exchange transactions appear to be unsubstantiated, poor banking system controls in Iraq and Jordan have allowed the group to operate despite official bans, terrorist finance analyst Christine Duhaime told Radio Sputnik.
Chatham House associate fellow David Butter previously told a UK Parliamentary panel that Daesh makes as much as $25 million per month through currency trading in Iraq. This does not appear to be true, according to Duhaime, although Daesh has made it more difficult to track its finances because the group began planning its financial operations before its activities became a major issue.
"The thing we've known but don't talk about for some reason is that [Daesh] uses banks, they definitely sued our banking system, they've wired money in and out, and in fact, in the territory where they are is a bank that is effectively controlled by them," Duhaime told Radio Sputnik.
In addition, Daesh is said to be printing counterfeit passports, which would give the group additional abilities to continue financing its activities even if a strict "Know Your Customer" regime is enforced, according to Duhaime.
Dhuhaime also pointed to Iran as a successful example of a Middle Eastern country that is fully implementing measures to prevent the financing of terrorist groups, with every new account monitored by the country's central bank in a highly centralized system.