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File photo. Speaking at a global conference organized by the CBI, Prime Minister Modi had said that the Paris terror attacks revealed the remarkable flexibility and adaptability of terror networks in meeting their funding requirements. Photo: Bloomberg
File photo. Speaking at a global conference organized by the CBI, Prime Minister Modi had said that the Paris terror attacks revealed the remarkable flexibility and adaptability of terror networks in meeting their funding requirements. Photo: Bloomberg

Home ministry to map flow of terror funds

Home ministry to create a centralized database with details of funds collected by various terrorist groups

New Delhi: A day after Prime Minister Narendra Modi stressed the need for a global effort to deal with the problem of terror funding, the home ministry has decided to create a centralized database with details of funds collected by various terrorist groups.

The database will also contain details on the source of these funds and how the money is being sent to subversive groups within India.

The ministry will soon write to the state police and central intelligence agencies to share information on the flow of funds to terror networks and these details would be documented to evolve a strategy to tackle the issue.

“What is happening as of now is that if any money is recovered in counter-terror operation, the information is limited to the respective agency which is conducting the investigation. This agency could either be the respective state police or someone like the National Investigation Agency (NIA). But we plan to have this new database on terror funding, which will gather information from across the country and put it one place for better analysis and evolving a more effective strategy to deal with this problem," a home ministry official said on the condition of anonymity.

Another intelligence official who did not want to be identified said that with terror organizations raising funds through multiple sources ranging from smuggling of fake Indian currency notes to selling animal skin to kidnapping for ransom, it was imperative for a collective effort by multiple agencies to freeze terror funds.

“A big challenge for the security agencies is that most of the funds being sent to terror groups is through human couriers; and to break this network, we need to develop specific information. So, all the agencies need to have a centralized pool of information for such funds so that if there is a particular trend or pattern emerging, an effective strategy can be put in place," the official added.

Speaking at a global conference organized by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) on Wednesday, Prime Minister Modi had said that the Paris terror attacks revealed the remarkable flexibility and adaptability of terror networks in meeting their funding requirements.

“They derive funding from a variety of criminal activities, which includes the smuggling of narcotics, bank robbery, vehicle theft, fake currency, or from state sponsors and activities in failed states. Illicit funding promotes organized criminal activities such as drugs, arms and human trafficking, as well as terrorism. Targeting the proceeds of crime is an important element in this fight against crime," Modi added.

The home ministry official said terror groups such as the Hizbul Mujahideen or the Lashkar-e-Tayeeba were adopting different strategies for raising funds.

“The Hizbul Mujahideen, which has a sizeable local cadre in the Kashmir Valley, has been raising funds through a network of underground supporters and sympathizers by way of donations. But the Lashkar or the Jaish-e-Mohammed gets most of its funding from outfits such as the Jamaat-ud-Dawa from across the border in Pakistan; so, we need to well document the source of this funding to build pressure on the international forum to act," the home ministry official cited above added.

Former chief of the Intelligence Bureau Arun Bhagat, while supporting the government’s move, said that cutting the fund supply to terror organizations will have a severe impact on their activities.

“If these outfits face a financial crunch, their operations will be badly hit as they would not be able to buy sophisticated weapons or even pay their operatives. It is a well-known fact that terror groups pay money to attract unemployed youth. This kind of a database will give immediate access to information on the terror funding network to take corrective measures," Bhagat said.

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