Posts tagged ‘Al-Nabek Al-Nabk Al-Nabuk An-Nabek An-Nabk An-Nabuk’


Note: Rim Turkmani hasn’t estimated IS income from Nabek as $36m, she’s noted previous reports in her LSE paper

When the Australian’s Jamie Walker said that, ‘in recent research for the London School of Economics, ­Syrian-born scientist Rim Turkmani estimated that Islamic State had earned $36 million off antiquities taken from a single site — the ancient Abyssinian monastery in Nabek’, he meant that Turkmani had tried ‘to estimate the income that ISIL makes from selling Syrian antiquities’ and concluded that it was ‘difficult’ (or, indeed, impossible, as she did not provide an estimate).

However, in her paper on ISIL, JAN and the War Economy in Syria, she also noted the Guardian’s previous report that ‘memory sticks obtained after an arrest of ISIL members in Iraq revealed that they made 36 million dollars from selling antiquities from only site in Al Nabek area in the Syria’. More than a year since their publication, the antiquities data on those memory sticks have still not been published or verified.


the Islamic State is profiting from looting, dealing and smuggling of antiquities from Syria and Iraq

The Syrian Heritage Task Force’s Prof. Salam Al Kuntar and Prof. Amr Al Azm (@alazmamr) have revealed to the Sunday Times that the Islamic State is ‘imposing a “tax” on looted antiquities‘ in Iraq and Syria. Its local ’emirs determine the tax rates and anyone refusing to pay is killed’.

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Did antiquities trafficking significantly facilitate the development of ISIS?

CNN’s Anderson Cooper (@andersoncooper) interviewed Martin Chulov (@martinchulov) regarding the inner workings of ISIS(1). In his original presentation of the $875m of assets that ISIS had accumulated before its conquest of Mosul, Chulov quoted an intelligence official who said that ISIS ‘had taken $36m from al-Nabuk alone‘ (by implication, through local/regional antiquities looting); but, in the CNN interview, Chulov said that ’36 million of it, according to these accounts, had come from looting and pillaging antiquities and archaeological digs around the country’ (at 2 minutes, 6 seconds).

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Iraq/Syria: ISIL/ISIS fundraising by antiquities trafficking

There is now secure (if imprecise) evidence that, like the other parties to the Syrian civil war, the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham/the Levant (ISIS/ISIL) is using the looting and trafficking of antiquities to fund its fighting. However, more interesting – and concerning – than the unsurprising news that ISIL are trafficking antiquities as well, are the implications for the relationship between the trade and the conflict.

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