On 4th July, Illicit Trade carried news of a report which says that Islamist terrorist networks are using Facebook Groups to trade looted antiquities stolen from conflict zones such as Syria, Libya and Yemen.  An analysis of 95 Arabic-language Facebook Groups set up to facilitate the trafficking of looted antiquities, a group of volunteer anthropologists, discovered that such items are being traded by members of violent extremist organisations.  These are said to be actively using the Groups to trade antiquities stolen from war-torn countries across the Middle East and North Africa, including items that were looted by Daesh in Iraq and Syria before the final collapse of its so-called caliphate in March.  Administrators of these Groups are highly interconnected and have a global reach, the report stating that a US antiques dealer is linked with one individual involved with the running of multiple trafficking pages on Facebook.  The 95 Groups analysed for their study were managed by 488 individual administrators, and had 1,947,195 members.


Author: raytodd2017

Chartered Legal Executive and former senior manager with Isle of Man Customs and Excise, where I was (amongst other things) Sanctions Officer (for UN/EU sanctions), Export Licensing Officer and Manager of the Legal-Library & Collectorate Support Section

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