FRIDAY, 18TH November, 2022 [Day-1]
Session 1: Global Trends in Terrorism and Terrorist Financing.
Session 2: Use of formal and informal channels of funds for terrorism.
Saturday, 19TH November, 2022 [Day-2]
Session 3: Emerging Technologies and Terrorist Financing
Session 4: International co-operation to address challenges in combating terrorist financing
The funding of terrorist activities often requires funds to be moved within or across jurisdictions. This might be done through official channels of the financial system remittances, or through unregulated channels or use of cash couriers. The informal system remains a preferred channel for terrorist organisations because of cost effectiveness, efficiency (speed of transfer), reliability, lack of customer identification checks, lack of transaction records and tax evasion. There is similarity between modes of terrorist financing and money laundering, as in both cases, primary efforts are to hide the trail of and storage site of funds from the scrutiny of state authorities. Organized crime is also a source of financing and includes illicit trafficking of arms, persons, drugs, artefacts, cultural property, natural resources, and wildlife.
Threats caused by terrorism and extremism have become more diverse in contemporary decades. Terrorism in South Asia, today, is exacerbated by extremists and jihadists, claiming political and socio-cultural motivations and seeking legitimacy for their illicit actions. Insurgent groups worldwide are engaging in sectarian conflicts—increasingly based on ethnic-nationalist and sectarian lines. It is noticed that substantial number of terrorist attacks continue to be perpetrated by local actors against local targets (state machinery) aimed at achieving local objectives, while there has been a noticeable effort by certain global terrorist organisations to perpetrate transnational attacks in the South Asian region.
Challenges experienced in combating terrorist financing can be categorised into challenges at the state and international level. Additional challenges arise in terms of the inclusion and regulation of the private sector as well as extension of technical assistance to smaller financial institutions. Cooperation among states carried out at the international, national and regional levels needs coordinated responses from intergovernmental and national law enforcement agencies. This is required to bridge the gap between private and public sectors and facilitate better information sharing and cooperation among various stakeholders and, Financial Intelligence Units (FIUs). More coordination is needed among states for international organizations to foster effective mechanism to combat terrorism financing.
Terrorists and extremists have improvised on technologies like cryptocurrency and crowdfunding by customising them to suit their requirements. The dark web brings together professional hackers and terrorists seeking to transfer or crowdsource funds. The anonymous, decentralised, and often-untraceable nature of terror financing through various means poses a serious challenge. The world still lacks a universal consensus on laws and norms regarding cybercrimes. The weak control mechanisms of social media platforms and their misuse by terrorist and extremist groups to raise funds have been regularly highlighted. An effective multilateral and multi-stakeholder approach can help in the identification and mitigation of threats of emerging terror-financing mechanisms. An effective legislative framework can help ensure that internet service providers / social media platforms work towards effective, proportionate and dissuasive self-regulation.