The FBI have released a document titled ISIL Antiquities Trafficking asking that dealers and collectors take extra care when buying antiquities from the Near East.
The FBI have satellite evidence of industrial scale looting of ancient sites. Bonnie Magness-Gardiner, manager of the FBI’s Art Theft Program said that “We now have credible reports that U.S. persons have been offered cultural property that appears to have been removed from Syria and Iraq recently”.
Additionally, a cache of archaeological and historic objects were recovered by US special forces in a May raid on the ISIL finance chief Abu Sayyaf, further indicating the organisation’s use of looted antiquities to fund other activities.
According to the State Department’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, “The cache represents significant primary evidence of looting at archaeological sites in Syria and Iraq, theft from regional museums, and the stockpiling of these spoils for likely sale on the international market.”