STOP Organ TraffickingBlog
ISIS’s barbarity—including genocide, rape, slavery, beheadings, and torture—is well known. It uses these acts to recruit more fighters to its perverted ideology by publicizing them online. But the terrorist group doesn’t use violence and destruction just to spread its radical ideology – it’s also a source of revenue.
From drug smuggling and extortion to ransoms and antiquities trafficking, ISIS uses illicit activities to fund its terror. Shockingly, the group is also forcibly harvesting human organs and selling them for cash:
“Islamic State has sanctioned the harvesting of human organs in a previously undisclosed ruling by the group’s Islamic scholars… U.S. officials say it was among a trove of data and other information obtained by U.S. special forces in a raid in eastern Syria in May.” (Reuters, 12/25/15)
“Bodies have turned up in mass graves bearing surgical incisions and missing organs such as kidneys.” [In a briefing to the U.N. Security Council, Iraqi ambassador to the United Nations Mohamed Alhakim] said a dozen doctors have been executed in Mosul for refusing to participate in organ harvesting.” (New York Post, 2/18/15)
“[ISIS] has been recruiting foreign doctors for months to harvest the internal organs not only from the bodies of their own dead fighters but also from living hostages – including children – snatched from minority communities in Iraq and Syria… to sell on the lucrative international black market.” (Daily Mail, 12/19/14)
“The income helps finance a growing stream of suicide attacks and assassinations…” “It also aids the recruitment of Sunni tribal fighters and finances spectacular prison raids that liberate hundreds of fighters, as well as attacks on police patrols.” (CNN, 2/19/15)
Estimates indicate ISIS and other criminal and terror groups are raking in as much as $1 billion per year from trafficking organs on the black market. Clearly, more must be done to put a stop to this awful trade. And that’s why Rep. Dave Trott’s (R-MI) STOP Organ Trafficking Act is so important. Notably, the bill closes a gap in U.S. law that fails to recognize organ trafficking as a form of human trafficking, authorizes the president to revoke passports or deny visas to anyone convicted of organ trafficking, and improves tracking U.S. and global efforts to shut down this illicit trade.
Last week, the House Foreign Affairs Committee passed Rep. Trott’s bill unanimously. “The U.S. has led the fight against human trafficking, with help from this committee and its members,” said Chairman Royce prior to the vote. “Rep. Trott’s bill continues that leadership.”