`The financing behind the violence that continues to disrupt Iraq may have an unlikely source: ancient treasure.
“The people that are murdering men, women and children in the streets are getting some of their funds from the current trade in antiquities,” said Marine Col. Matthew Bogdanos. “In Afghanistan the Taliban are using opium to support their activities. The cash crop in Iraq is not opium, it’s antiquities.”
Bogdanos, who’s been labeled the “Indiana Jones” of Baghdad, was conducting counter-terror actions in southern Iraq in April 2003 when he heard from news reports that 170,000 artifacts had been stolen from the Iraq Museum while U.S. troops stood by idly.
Bogdanos, who has a master’s degree in classics from Columbia University, decided to do something about it.’