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Policy Analysis

Counterterrorism Lecture

Iraq's Role in Countering the Islamic State's Finances

Ali Mohsen Al-Alaq

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October 16, 2017

Watch a live briefing from the governor of Iraq's central bank on the challenge of combating Islamic State financial activity.

After the Islamic State took over vast swaths of the country in 2014, the Central Bank of Iraq (CBI) moved quickly to cut off financial institutions in IS-controlled territory, blacklist exchange houses exploited by the terrorist group for cross-border transactions, and otherwise isolate it from the international financial system. As authorities push IS out of its core territory, investigating and disrupting its remaining financial networks in Iraq can help weaken its ability to operate as a terrorist organization and insurgency.

To discuss this challenge and the CBI's role in meeting it, The Washington Institute hosted a Policy Forum with Dr. Ali Mohsen Al-Alaq.

Ali Mohsen Al-Alaq, the Governor of the Central Bank of Iraq, is a financial expert, policymaker, and academic with three decades of experience in financial management, accounting, and analysis. Since being appointed as CBI governor in 2014, he has helmed a number of anti-corruption and counterterrorism efforts, including as chief implementer of Iraq's new anti-money laundering and counter-terrorist financing (AML/CFT) legislation (2015) and as a major contributor to the National Strategy for Combating Corruption (2017). He also heads two national oversight bodies -- the Anti-Corruption Council and the AML/CFT Council -- and is the focal point for cooperation with the Counter-ISIL Finance Group (CIFG).