Counter Threat Finance- New way to Deal with Terrorism worldwide
by CA Anand Prakash Jangid
Terrorist groups vary widely, ranging from large, state-like organisations(ISIS) to small, decentralised and self-directed networks. Terrorists financing requirements reflect this diversity, varying greatly between organisations. Financing is required not just to fund specific terrorist operations, but to meet the broader organisational costs of developing and maintaining a terrorist organisation and to create an enabling environment necessary to sustain their activities. Also there are Failed States like Pakistan and some Middle Eastern countries who actively support this organization through their financial Infrastructure.
This threat includes small terrorist cells or individual terrorists capable of committing attacks and significantly harming society. It is therefore important to identify and dismantle the financial networks of all types of terrorist groups.
Terrorist organisations use funds for the following broad categories:
Operations: Terrorist organisations require funds to carry out specific terrorist attacks and undertake pre-operational surveillance. This includes travel to and from the target location, the use of vehicles and other machinery and purchase of a range of arms from light assault weapons to improvised explosive devices (IEDs). Funds are also required for false identity documents and basic living expenses such as accommodation, food and basic medical treatment. Terrorist organisations also need funds for personnel such as couriers to send messages or to transport cash within the country.
Propaganda & recruitment: Terrorist organisations require funding to successfully recruit members and raise funds, which can be expensive as this recruitment process involves using different means. The use of the Internet provides a less expensive mechanism to facilitate the initial steps of recruitment, but the follow-up actions require additional costs. The exploitation of social media for the purposes of terrorist recruitment and propaganda has become a priority Counter threat Finance(CTF) issue. While many terrorist organisations have exploited social media to solicit funds from supporters, more complex terrorist organisations are investing funds in sophisticated Propaganda war like we see in Kashmir in India where this is financed by Pakistan state.
Training: All terrorist organisations seek funds to enable training of operatives and sympathisers in a number of areas including, weapons training, bomb-making, clandestine communication and ideology. In this context, terrorist groups often acquire land for use as a training camp, buildings as a safe haven for both trainers and trainee and to provide training facilities. Virtual training is also conducted via the Internet in order to reach a wide range of sympathisers.
Salaries and Member Compensation: Many terrorist groups set aside funds for the salaries of their leadership and members, as well as for the families of jailed or deceased members. Providing financial security and incentives to group members can cement commitment to the organisation’s goals and ideology. Terrorist groups may also provide long-term financial support to the families of deceased operatives.
Social Services: Many terrorist groups use their financial resources to establish or subsidies social institutions that provide health, social, and educational services. Terrorists do this to undermine the credibility of the legitimate governments – by providing services that they say the state is neglecting – and to build support within local populations and aid recruitment efforts.
Time has come to use the “Counter Threat Finance” approach and Methodology to dismantle the Terrorism Financing approach Worldwide.