U.S. says Islamic State has made $1.5 billion from bank looting, oil sales

A black flag belonging to the Islamic State is seen near the Syrian town of Kobani, as pictured from the Turkish-Syrian border near the southeastern town of Suruc in Sanliurfa province, October 6, 2014. REUTERS/Umit Bektas/Files

LONDON (Reuters) - Islamic State militants have looted up to $1 billion from bank vaults in Syria and Iraq and has made at least another half a billion dollars from black market oil sales, senior U.S. Treasury official Adam Szubin said on Thursday.

"ISIL has made more than $500 million from black market oil sales," Szubin, acting Under Secretary for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence with the U.S. Treasury, said in remarks prepared for delivery.

"It has looted between $500 million and $1 billion from bank vaults captured in Iraq and Syria,” Szubin said. "And it has extorted many millions more from the populations under its control, often through brutal means."

Szubin spoke at Chatham House in London.

(Reporting by Jonathan Saul and Guy Faulconbridge)