In June 2014, the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS) swiftly moved into Mosul (the second largest city in Iraq) and abruptly took over. Upon seizing the city, ISIS immediately took to robbing all the banks, including stealing $400 million from the Mosul Central Bank. In July, the Financial Times then reported that ISIS had now positioned armed guards outside the banks in Mosul. The ISIS terrorists guarded the banks and left the money inside. ISIS is using banks under their control to facilitate banking transactions in the region and worldwide.
The United States Treasury is working diligently with the Iraqi government and the Central Bank to shut down all of the banks inside the territory of ISIS. The U.S. Treasury is also attempting to shut down the ISIS groups ability to conduct banking transactions internationally. When ISIS conducts oil smuggling, it is using the Iraqi banks that are currently under their control to collect the funds as well as safeguard the funds within the banks. At the same time, the U.S. Treasury is not interested in completely shutting down all of the banks. It does not want to alienate the population in these Iraqi towns and drive them to join ISIS. In addition, doing so would gain valuable information on how the ISIS organization handles their finances and where the funds are being funneled to.
ISIS Terrorist Financing C-Span October 23, 2014
David Cohen, Treasury Under Secretary for Terrorism & Financial Intelligence
ISIS in Iraq take control of western Iraq
What is behind the ISIS decision to reopen banks in Mosul?