Illicit Antiquities linked to Islamic terrorists — Who’da thunk it?


It shouldn’t be news. I men­tioned the pos­sib­il­ity in 2005, and again late last year. When you buy unproven­anced antiquit­ies you don’t know who you’re buy­ing them from.

Now the Ashland Daily Tidings reports on the work by Matthew Bogdanos, which he says shows that the con­nec­tion between the trade in illi­cit antiquit­ies and Islamic insur­gents is undeni­able. Yes, you read that right. It turns out some mem­bers of Al-Qaeda are prone to crim­inal activity.

Despite that fair-play to Antonia Kimbell at the Art Loss Register who said that she’s seen no evid­ence of a dir­ect link. The way the Art Loss Register works is they check a data­base of illi­cit arte­facts. Obviously that means that someone needs to have registered an arte­fact as illi­cit, but that’s not a prob­lem so long as Al-Qaeda remem­ber to fill out the paperwork.

I went to look at David Gill’s blog to fact check the work­ings of the Art Loss Register because Kimbell’s com­ments seemed unfeas­ib­ily mor­onic. I can’t believe someone that cred­u­lous would be able to hold down a job at the Art Loss Register if it worked the way I described it. But it does, and David Gill is also blog­ging this story.

There’s a lot of things I’d like to see hap­pen with the Iraqi occu­pa­tion. One is that I’d like to see UK and US gov­ern­ments sup­port our sol­diers by mak­ing it harder for ‘art col­lect­ors’ to fund the enemy. If you’d like to read more about how you can fund the killing of British and American sol­diers and pick up a nice antiquity into the bar­gain then you can read Looting Matters, Illicit Cultural Property and Safe Corner.

3 thoughts on “Illicit Antiquities linked to Islamic terrorists — Who’da thunk it?

  1. farang

    And how many US mil­it­ary per­son­nel have “helped them­selves” to looted Iraqi antiquities?????

    ODDLY silent on that fact, ain’t ya?

    Using YOUR logic, one could eas­ily state that “sup­port­ing our troops” means encour­aging loot­ing, now couldn’t it?

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