ALERT LINE
Defunding Da’esh: Curb the Illicit Trade on Looted Cultural Property | COL, Christopher Herndon, US Army (Ret.)
DVIDS

Defunding Da’esh: Curb the Illicit Trade on Looted Cultural Property | COL, Christopher Herndon, US Army (Ret.)

The United States and its allied partners have made progress in their efforts to control terrorist activities in many parts of the globe, but these efforts can only yield substantial results if funding sources of Da’esh and similar groups are not immediately curbed. The U.S. and its allied partners must focus efforts on adopting proactive measures that curb that portion of the market of looted and stolen antiquities and artifacts that is exploited by terrorist organizations. Blood antiquities serve as a major means of funding terrorists, ensures their continued existence and provide the possibility for future expansion. The Middle East is an exceptional archaeological and art-historical palimpsest of vanished and still existing civilizations as illustrated with an array of sites and monuments spanning prehistoric through Egyptian, Ancient Greek, Roman, Byzantine, medieval Islamic to modern times. Several sources, show that many parties involved, including warlords have organized illegal excavations, sometimes almost on an industrial scale to provide a steady supply of objects that find their way to black-market dealers and unscrupulous collectors around the globe. Illegal cultural activities include trafficking and the destruction of heritage from the Middle East and North Africa are not just cultural crimes. It can be argued that these crimes are categorically war crimes, or even crimes against humanity, because of the identity-erasing aspects that make their deeds also a threat to regional and global security.

Read Full Article Here