THE STORIES BEHIND THE HEADLINES

Abu Dhabi

London

New York

Sun, 08 Dec 2019 19:46 GMT

Isis may Change Financial Strategy after Leader’s Death

Counterterrorism & Security

7Dnews London - AFP

Fri, 22 Nov 2019 00:51 GMT

Isis terrorist group must resort to a new financial strategy in the aftermath of the death of their mastermind Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi last month.

After attending a Luxembourg meeting focused on countering Isis, Marshall Billingslea, US Treasury assistant secretary for terrorist financing, said that the group's “centralised model” in Iraq and Syria will be transformed into a more regionalised approach.

The defeat of Isis on ground in Iraq and Syria has been exacerbated by the violent demise of their leader during a US raid on October 26th in Syria.

The group now seems directed towards more fragmented structure which may dissipate aspirations of the so-called “caliphate” dream.

"They still have access to millions of dollars," Billingslea told reporters on Wednesday.

However, in the coming phase, Isis will be more dependent on “their different regional bodies to become more self-sufficient," notably through ransoms from kidnappings, extortion and even the theft of cows in Nigeria, where it has a presence.

The Luxembourg meeting brought together representatives of countries within a coalition that has formed to combat Isis.

Malaysia and Thailand recently announced they are joining the global anti-Isis coalition led by US and Saudi Arabia as the terror group disintegrates.

Billingslea's prediction sheds light on the coherence and capability of Isis, as it is losing unity and turning to sleeper cells after the comprehensive international efforts to dismantle the group in the Middle East and Europe.

The new leader of the group will have to start from scratch to recall already-dispersed members. This may suggest that smaller branches of Isis will work alone or may begin to collaborate with other militias present in Syria and Iraq.

This increased financial independence could create further divisions and foster a power struggle within the ranks of the militia group.

Middle East