US antiquities black market helps fund ISIS, experts say

14 Dec 2015 8:25 AM | Anonymous
US antiquities black market helps fund ISIS, experts say


Taken from Syria and Iraq, some items are believed to stay within the Middle East, others travel to east Asia and Europe, and some treasures have also shown up in the U.S. • Without an expert eye, the goods often pass right through security checks.

Reuters and Israel Hayom Staff

The multimillion-dollar antiquities black market in the United States is helping fund the terrorist group Islamic State, experts said on Wednesday, noting that whatever the group doesn't destroy in Syria and Iraq, it sells for a hefty profit.

Consequently, some people may not realize that they could be inadvertently helping the Sunni radical Islamist organization.

"They're benefitting not only from the sale but also from the trade itself," said Deborah Lehr, chair and co-founder of Washington-based Antiquities Coalition, which is formed by a group of worldwide experts fighting the illegal trade of antiquities by terrorist groups like ISIS