During a press conference at the G20 Leaders Summit in Antalya, Turkey, on Monday, Russian President Vladimir Putin said that the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) is being funded by 40 countries, including G20 members.
Putin was asked if “fighting terrorism was one of the summit’s main subjects of discussion” and if measures have been planned to “prevent the financing of terrorism.”
Putin told reporters that fighting terrorism was one of the key issues discussed, “especially after the tragic events with the hostage taking and loss of life in Paris,” and he said, “Yes, of course we are well aware that we must cut off the channels used to finance terrorism, and we discussed this.”
[pull_quote_center]I gave examples based on our information about individuals financing various Islamic State subgroups in different countries. We have established that financing is coming from 40 countries, including G20 countries. We discussed this issue.[/pull_quote_center]
The “Group of Twenty” includes Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, the European Union, France, Germany, India, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, South Korea, Mexico, Russia, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, Turkey, the United Kingdom and the United States.
While Putin did not give the specifics as to how many members of the “Group of Twenty” were financing ISIS or which members were involved, he said that the implementation of Russia’s initiative “on preventing financing of terrorism, unlawful trade in objects of art after terrorists pillage museums in the territories they seize, and unlawful sale of oil and petroleum products and earnings from this sale” was discussed.
[pull_quote_center]I also showed our colleagues satellite images and aerial photographs that show very clearly the scale of this illegal trade in oil and petroleum products. You see columns of refueling vehicles stretching for dozens of kilometers in lines so long that from a height of 4,000–5,000 meters they vanish over the horizon. It really looks more like an oil pipeline system.[/pull_quote_center]
Investigative journalist Ben Swann reported on the origin of ISIS in March, and he noted that the group grew drastically after it seized Humvees, tanks and weaponry left behind by the U.S. and that even when the U.S. government “became aware that ISIS fighters were capturing U.S. equipment, it did nothing.”