According to findings by Turkey’s Financial Crimes Investigation Board (MASAK)*, the Islamic State (ISIS) made numerous financial transactions in recent years through Turkey including one involving a payment for a shipment of explosives provided by a Turkish citizen, Deutsche Welle Turkish reported on Monday.
A 2021 report by MASAK asserted that Fayez Alflıtı, a Turkish citizen of Lebanese origin, sold a shipment of explosives to ISIS in 2015 via Lebanon, and ISIS paid him 400,000 US dollars that was first transferred from Raqqa in Syria to Antep in Turkey, and then from Antep to Lebanon.
The report also stated that Alflıtı occasionally visited Turkey and usually stayed in the southern city of Adana.
A Yusuf El Ali Elhasan residing in Turkey’s northern city of Trabzon was implicated in the report for acting as a financial middleman. Elhasan, reportedly transferred the money delivered to him by some people of Syrian origin to a foreign citizen in the capital of Ankara and to a suspected ISIS member Ali Elali in the southeastern city of Urfa (Riha). The money was subsequently transferred to a company in Syria.
According to the report, two Syrian citizens Ammar and Muhammed Salo also acted as middlemen, residing in Turkey’s southern city of Maraş, in the transfer of money into and out of conflict zones.
In December 2019, as ISIS suffered a military defeat in Baghuz, northeast Syria, the two played a crucial role in transferring large amounts of the group’s money out of the region. It was also stated in the report that some of that money might have been brought to Turkey via the Syrian contacts of Salos in return for a hefty commission.
A Hasan Maher Abdullah Abdullah, who had been an ISIS fighter in 2014 in Anbar, Iraq, also resided in Turkey, and while he did, he made monthly money transfers of 10-15 thousand dollars from a company in the northern city of Samsun, the report said.
The Turkish daily Birgün had earlier published some other parts of the MASAK report concerning the role of certain Turkish companies in providing ISIS with millions dollars worth of drone parts and material for improvised explosive devices (IEDs).
* MASAK is a board answering to the Turkish Ministry of Finance and the Treasury