IS financiers arrested in Iraq: coalition

IS financiers arrested in Iraq: coalition
2 min read
11 October, 2018
The US-led coalition fighting IS said the arrests 'deal a major blow' to the group's efforts to remerge in Iraq.
Iraqi currency being exchanged in Erbil [Getty]
The US-led coalition fighting the Islamic State arrested ten members of a key financial network for the group in Iraq, they announced on Thursday. 

Iraqi commandos and Kurdish counter-terrorism forces arrested the members of the al-Rawi network in operations 7-9 October in Baghdad and Erbil in northern Iraq, the coalition said in a statement. 

According to the coalition commander, US Army Lieutenant General Paul LaCamera, the arrests "deal a major blow to the desperate attempts by ISIS to re-emerge in Iraq".

"Those who provide support to ISIS, in any way, will face the consequences," he said.

Fawaz Muhammad Jubayr al-Rawi, who headed the network, was killed in June 2017 during a strike in Albu Kamal in eastern Syria.

The US Department of the Treasury imposed sanctions on al-Rawi and his company in 2016.

Al-Rawi "was an ISIL finance emir and senior ISIL financier" and stored large amounts of cash for the Islamic State near his home town of Al Bukamal, Syria, according to the US Treasury.

He pledged allegiance to IS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi in 2014 and held regular meetings with senior members of the jihadist group in his home between 2014 and August 2015.

IS fighters swept into Iraq in the summer of 2014, taking control of nearly a third of the country. At the height of the group's power its self-proclaimed caliphate stretched from the edges of Aleppo in Syria to just north of the Iraqi capital, Baghdad.

With its physical caliphate largely destroyed, IS is transforming from a "proto-state" to a covert "terrorist" network, "a process that is most advanced in Iraq" because it still controls pockets in Syria, according to a UN report.

The UN report said IS may still have up to 30,000 members roughly equally distributed between Syria and Iraq.

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