TraCCC conducted research to understand the illicit trade of antiquities out of Syria and Iraq, with a particular focus on its links to terrorism and threat finance. This understanding was used to develop instructional materials and deliver training to international partners on the nature of the trade, investigating and dismantling it and combatting sources of terrorism funding. This work was done by a large and diverse group of experts in crime, antiquities, trade and terrorism, and across several language specialties.
The project took place from September 2017 to January 2019 and focused on the following activities:
1. Conducted a 3-month survey of the online antiquities market, including the dark web to determine what can be known of the size of the market and who the players in the market are, as well as values and locations, as much as these variables can be established. Research was conducted in English, Turkish, Kurdish, and Arabic.
2. Produced a report on the state of the global trade of illicit antiquities for the U.S. Department of State.
3. Created training materials that can be used in training exercises on understanding the trade, how to combat it, links to terrorism, and case and financial investigations.
4. Delivered first round of training to international partners, as determined by the State Department.