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Why Terrorists Engage in 'Cultural Cleansing'

NEW YORK, September 24, 2015 - As the jihadist extremist group Daesh (better known as the Islamic State) has asserted control of a wide swathe of the Middle East, it has rampaged through archeological sites and museums. In addition to stealing artifacts to sell on the black market, Daesh has destroyed numerous millennia-old historical sites, including the Temple of Bel in Palmyra, Syria. UNESCO Director Irina Bokova, Australian Foreign Minister Julie Bishop, and Foreign Minister of Jordan Nasser Judeh explain why terror groups like Daesh feel compelled to engage in this "cultural cleansing." These remarks are excerpted from the event Culture Under Threat: Antiquities Trafficking and Terrorist Financing, held Thursday morning at Asia Society. (3 min., 25 sec.)

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