WASHINGTON, November 13 (Sputnik) – Qatar and Kuwait could be more effective in preventing Islamic charity donations from flowing into jihadist coffers, US Treasury Under Secretary David Cohen has said.
"I think we haven't been shy about identifying Qatar and Kuwait as the two jurisdictions in the Gulf where additional steps could be taken," Cohen said at the congressional hearing on Thursday when asked to name specific countries that could improve anti-terrorist funding measures.
He identified donations from external financial supporters, along with extortion, ransom and oil sales, as key sources of income for Islamic State (IS).
"With the important exception of some state-sponsored terrorist organizations, ISIL [IS] is probably the best-funded terrorist organization we have confronted," Cohen added.
The under secretary also outlined three key elements for degrading IS's financial strength which include disrupting incoming revenue streams, restricting access to international financial institutions and imposing sanctions on IS senior leadership and financial facilitators.
Islamic State, also known as Islamic State of Iraq and Greater Syria (ISIS) or Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), has been fighting the Syrian government since 2012. In June 2014, the extremist group extended its attacks to northern and western Iraq, declaring a caliphate over large swathes in had seized across the two countries.
In an attempt to impede the military advancement of the group, the United States launched airstrikes against the IS positions in Iraq and Syria. Washington also said it was going to provide support, equipment and training to Kurdish and Iraqi forces and Syria’s moderate opposition in order to respond to the IS threat.