Notre Dame Law School Professor Jimmy Gurulé, a terrorist financing expert, testified today (June 23) before the Congressional Task Force to Investigate Terrorism Financing — part of the U.S. House Financial Services Committee. Gurulé offered recommendations to enhance the U.S. government’s counter-terrorist financing efforts, including sanctions on foreign companies that assist ISIS.
Gurulé is an internationally known expert in the field of international criminal law, specifically, terrorism, terrorist financing, and anti-money laundering and has been an expert witness and consultant on several high profile anti-money laundering and counter-terrorism cases.
As the United States and its allies around the world grapple with fighting ISIS, Gurulé contends the West must reassess using the tactics it used to take down al Qaeda’s financing mechanism and implement a more appropriate strategy.
“While al Qaeda relied heavily on external donors for funding, the Islamic State is largely self-funded deriving its revenues from the sale of oil and gas, extortion and taxation, kidnap for ransom, looting banks, selling stolen antiquities, and human trafficking,” Gurulé said.
“The U.S. must adapt to the terrorist-financing challenges posed by the Islamic State and refocus their efforts. The government should consider implementing an economic sanctions model similar to the one used against Iran, which imposes sanctions on foreign companies contributing to Iran’s energy sector. Foreign companies that assist the Islamic State in repairing and rebuilding its oil infrastructure damaged by U.S. airstrikes should be subject to severe U.S. economic sanctions.”
According to a CNNMoney report, ISIS generated $2 billion in 2014. It’s been estimated ISIS sells as much as 25,000 barrels of oil per day, generating $1-2 million on a daily basis.
Gurulé’s financial intelligence skills have been honed over decades of working in high-profile public law enforcement agencies including the U.S. Department of Treasury where he worked as the under secretary for enforcement. During his tenure he was instrumental in developing and implementing the Treasury’s global strategy to combat terrorist financing, and engineered the conviction of those responsible for torturing and brutally murdering a Drug Enforcement Administration special agent in Mexico.
Gurulé’s full testimony can be read here.