Context: Recently during his address at third ‘No Money for Terror’ (NMFT) Ministerial Conference on Counter-Terrorism Financing, The Prime Minister of India has strongly asked for avoiding any ambiguity in dealing with terrorism and also warned against nations that use terrorism as a tool of foreign policy.
About No Money for Terror (NMFT) conference:
- It is a collaborative initiative of the international community that was held for the first time in Paris in 2018.
- Subsequently the 2nd edition of the conference was held in Melbourne in 2019.
- It aims to progress the discussions on combating terrorist financing.
- It also intends to include discussions on technical, legal, regulatory and cooperation aspects of all facets of terrorism financing. It focuses on-
- Global trends in terrorism and terrorist financing.
- Use of formal and informal channels of funds for terrorism.
- Emerging technologies and terrorist financing.
- Requisite international co-operation to address related challenges.
- This international “No Money for Terror” conference along with special UNSC briefing (which will be held in December) is part of a series of measures that the Government appears to be making to keep up the momentum from the recently held Counter Terrorism Committee (CTC) meet.
Agenda of the conference:
- The conference agenda does not include country-specific discussions rather the participants will discuss issues ranging from sources of terror to the threat or its funding.
- India is expected to draw global attention towards issues such as-
- Lack of universal consensus on laws regarding cybercrimes.
- Weak control of social media platforms and their misuse by terrorist and extremist groups.
- Dark web and crypto-currency related issues.
- Crowdfunding along with anonymous, decentralized and untraceable nature of terror financing.
- It will also focus on effective multilateral and multi-stakeholder approaches in identification and mitigation of threats of emerging terror-financing mechanisms.
- Deliberation on misuse of non-profit and non-government organizations as front structures for financing terror activities.
Channels and sources of funds to terrorists:
- Direct smuggling of cash through international borders along with movement of goods through the trade system.
- Use of hawala networks with the support of local criminals, fugitives etc. They also use charities and alternative remittance systems.
- Formal Banking networks including SWIFT and other international channels.
- Block chain or cryptocurrencies which transcend national boundaries and international currency systems.
- Derive funding from a variety of criminal activities: ranging in scale and sophistication from low-level crime to organized fraud or narcotics smuggling or illegal activities in failed states and other safe havens.
Crowdfunding terror is a new age challenge:
- The exponential growth and reach of social media platforms have posed a challenge to the governments and security forces across the globe.
- These social media platforms are being used to raise financing, funding as crowdfunding platforms.
- These new ways of crowdfunding that are developing are critical issues that warrant close global scrutiny.
Efforts to tackle terror financing:
At National level
- The Prevention of Money Laundering Act, 2002 (PMLA) to prevent money-laundering and to provide for confiscation of property in money-laundering and related matters including the terrorist activities.
- The National Investigation Agency, a specialized agency to deal with terrorist offences was set up and has been functioning since January 2009.
- The National Intelligence Grid (NATGRID) has been constituted to create an appropriate database of security-related information.
At Global level:
- The Financial Action Task Force (FATF) which is a global money laundering and terrorist financing watchdog aims to prevent illegal activities and the harm they cause to society.
- UNSCR resolution 1267 in 1999 and UNSCR resolution 1373 in 2001: They formed the bedrock of the financial sanctions regime for terrorist organizations.
- The adaptability and opportunism shown by terrorist organizations are highly sophisticated; only accurate and well linked financial intelligence can reveal the structure of terrorist groups and also the activities of individual terrorists.
- There needs to be a global consensus on to curb terror financing and needs concerted efforts of all the International and national stakeholders.
In India’s hosting of the “No money for terror” conference there is an opportunity for the world leaders which should go a long way in focusing on the issue of state sponsored terror financing.
- Crowdfunding is a method of raising capital/resources through the collective effort of a large number of individual investors/contributors.
- Crowdfunding taps into the collective efforts of a large pool of individuals, primarily online via social media and crowdfunding platforms and leverages their networks for greater reach and exposure.
Types of Crowdfunding:
- Rewards-Based Crowdfunding: It involves individuals contributing to a business in exchange for a “reward,” typically a form of the product or service which the company/ organization offers.
- Donation-Based Crowdfunding: a way to source money for a project by asking a large number of contributors to individually donate a small amount to it.
- Equity-Based Crowdfunding: equity-based crowdfunding allows contributors to become part-owners of the company by trading capital for equity shares.
Source: The Hindu