Interpol did not claim that Islamic State made $100m-a-year from conflict antiquities

Last Tuesday, I doubted Interpol had said or could have known that ‘Islamic State pockets $100 million yearly from heritage booty [conflict antiquities]’. Unsurprisingly, Interpol did not say that (at the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) or anywhere else) and does not know that.

I assumed, if Interpol had said that, someone had laundered dodgy statistics through them; and it was a scaled and sculpted form of the claim that Islamic State had made thirty six million dollars ($36m) from the sale of antiquities from one region of Syria, which came from the Iraqi government in the first place.(1) Since the claim did not even come through Interpol, it must have been falsely attributed to them in order to lend it legitimacy. I don’t want to attribute it to anyone, yet, because it may have been introduced by an as-yet-unidentified link in the chain. But it came out via Iraq.

1: It has been suggested that the choice of $100 million for the claim was based on the U.S. Department of the Treasury’s estimate for the Islamic State’s income from the sale of oil and oil products to local smugglers.

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