External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar has warned the world of the threats posed by new technologies used to finance terrorism. He also highlighted the role played by charities, NGOs and crowdfunding initiatives in the indirect financing of terrorist activities during the two days. No money for terrorism Ministerial conference.
“Recent trends suggest that terrorist groups have found new ways to finance their activities. It appeared that groups are quickly adapting to new anonymous payment technology and collecting and transferring funds while avoiding monetary application structures. The misuse of new financial technologies, methods such as blockchain technologies, virtual cryptocurrency, digital crowdsourcing, prepaid phone card, have all posed serious risks to counter terrorist financing efforts . Apart from these fake charities, fake non-profit organizations have become frequent sources of terrorist financing. We must be on our guard against such entities and their operations,” he said.
Jaishankar sounded the alarm that technological advancements are more easily accessible to terrorists than to law enforcement. Technology has also led to the resurgence of radical ideologies and their more transparent dissemination and motivational messages, he said.
Without naming Pakistan, Jaishankar criticized the country for its persistent tendency to use terrorism as a tool of statehood. “It is important that all states adopt an undifferentiated and undiluted collective approach to terrorism. Terror is terror and no amount of politics can ever justify it. Today, most States strive to put in place effective deterrence measures at the national level against terrorist entities. There are, however, a few who help support and justify terrorism and voluntarily provide assistance and refuge. While we must strengthen the capacities of the former, the international community must collectively challenge the latter,” he sent a strong message.
He also highlighted the problems related to the fight against cross-border terrorism. “While cross-border support drives terrorist attacks, the irony is that any authorities’ response to terrorism stops at their geographic border because that’s where their jurisdiction ends. These limitations on law enforcement work in favor of terrorist groups. In the Indian context, terrorist groups across the border such as Lashkar e-Taiba, Jaish e Mohammad or Harkat-ul-mujahideen and their proxies thrive on financial support to commit barbaric acts of terror on the Indian soil. ”
He also pointed out that the world as a whole has not exactly lived up to its commitment to fight terrorism. “My friends, it is a fact of life that despite Security Council Resolution 2642 to combat the financing of terrorism, its implementation by Member States remains uneven due to lack of political will. The global fight against terrorism cannot succeed without a conscious and coordinated effort to combat the financing of terrorism,” he said.
“Threats are greater, capabilities are greater, and our vulnerabilities have increased. The very efficiency of the modern world is now being exploited for malevolent ends. The pain and suffering of victims and families is further multiplied when rights and justice are violated. When the perpetrators, facilitators and funders of terrorist attacks continue to walk free, they enjoy the support and hospitality of the state. The most egregious example that we all know of is the Mumbai terrorist attacks in 2008,” he said.
Jaishankar stressed the need to overcome political divides and face this peril. The battle against terrorism must be fought resolutely, on all fronts, in all situations and in all places. “The challenge, however, is that while the villains are thinking global and lateral. The good guys are thinking national vertical,” he said.
The battle against terrorism must be fought resolutely on all fronts, in all situations and in all places. “It is essential to encourage a ‘whole of government’ approach at home and a ‘whole of government’ approach abroad,” he said.
This can be achieved by:
➡️share information in real time,
➡️exchange of evidence, witness statements,
➡️adopt effective procedures to bring them to justice through prosecution or extradition,
➡️gel of their financial assets,
➡️prevent their movements on their territories,
➡️prevent the supply of all types of weapons and related materials,
➡️ ensure the full cooperation of States where or against whose citizens terrorist acts are committed.
“India, together with like-minded partners, will remain engaged and energetic in highlighting the existential threats that terrorism poses to global security and stability. We will shine a spotlight on this peril – and on all those who are involved in its upkeep and promotion,” he added.
The “No Money for Terror” platform aims to broaden the base of the great fight against terrorist financing, he said. “When it comes to terrorism, we will never look the other way, we will never compromise and we will never give up on our quest for justice,” he added.
The two-day conference held on November 18-19 provided a unique platform for participating nations and organizations to discuss the effectiveness of the current international counter-terrorist financing regime and the measures needed to address emerging challenges. The conference built on the achievements and lessons of the two previous conferences (held in Paris in April 2018 and in Melbourne in November 2019) and will seek to strengthen global cooperation to deny terrorist financing and access to permissive jurisdictions to operate. It brought together around 450 delegates from around the world, including ministers, heads of multilateral organizations and heads of delegations from the Financial Action Task Force (FATF).