Business News/ News / India/  Financing of terrorism is more dangerous than terrorism itself: Amit Shah

New Delhi: Financing of terrorism is more dangerous than terrorism itself, said home minister Amit Shah on Friday.

Addressing the first session of the ‘No Money for Terror’ Ministerial Conference on ‘Global Trends in Terrorist Financing and Terrorism’ theme, the minister said that means and methods of terrorism are nurtured from funding. “The financing of terrorism also weakens the economy of the countries across the world... We believe that no reason can justify an act, such as taking innocent lives."

He said that India has been a victim of terrorism for several decades, which is sponsored from across the border. “Indian security forces and civilians have had to deal with incidents of extremely serious terrorist violence perpetrated in a sustained and coordinated manner. The international community has a collective approach that terrorism must be condemned in all its forms, but, the forms and manifestations of terrorism are continuously evolving due to technological revolution."

The minister added that the terrorists and terrorist groups today understand the nuances of modern weapons & information technology. “They understand the dynamics of the cyber & financial space very well, and use them. This transformation of terrorism from ‘Dynamite to Metaverse’ and ‘AK-47 to Virtual Assets’ is definitely a matter of concern for the countries of the world. We all have to work together to formulate a common strategy against it. We also recognize that the threat of terrorism cannot and should not be linked to any religion, nationality, or group."

Shah said that to confront terrorism, India has made significant progress in fortifying the security architecture, and the legal and financial systems. “In spite of the advancements, terrorists are constantly finding new ways to carry out violence, radicalize youth and raise financial resources. The ‘Dark Net’ is being used by terrorists to spread radical content and conceal their identities."

The minister further said that there is a new challenge in the form of virtual assets before us. “New methods of virtual assets are being used by terrorists for financial transactions. To crack down on the use of virtual asset channels, funding infrastructure and Dark Net, we need to work coherently towards developing a robust and efficient operational system. The United Nations, IMF, Interpol and other stakeholders such as Law enforcement agencies, financial investigators, and regulators of various countries can have a more positive impact in this regard."

He added that there are countries which seek to undermine or hinder the collective resolve to fight terrorism. “We have seen that some countries protect and shelter terrorists. Protecting a terrorist is equivalent to promoting terrorism. After August, 2021, the situation in South Asian region has changed. The regime change and the growing influence of Al Qaeda & ISIS have emerged as a significant challenge to regional security."

The minister said that these new equations have made the problem of terror financing more serious. “Three decades ago, the whole world has had to bear the serious consequences of one such regime change. The result of which we all have seen in the horrific attack of 9/11. In this background, last year’s changes in the South Asian region are a matter of concern for all of us. Along with Al Qaeda, organizations in South Asia like Lashkar-e-Taiba and Jaish-e-Mohammed continue to spread terror."

Shah further said that the problem of financing of terrorism has become widespread. “In the last few years, India has succeeded in cracking down on terror financing. India’s strategy against the financing of terrorism is based on these six pillars, strengthening the legislative and technological framework; creation of a comprehensive monitoring framework; actionable intelligence sharing mechanism and strengthening of the investigation and police operations; provision for confiscation of property; prevent misuse of legal entities and new technologies; and, establishing international cooperation and coordination."

“India has strengthened the fight against terrorism and its financing, with the amendment of the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA), strengthening the National Investigation Agency (NIA), and giving a new direction to financial intelligence," he added.

The minister said that India believes that the most effective strategy to deal with terrorism is international coordination and real-time and transparent cooperation among nations. “Cooperation among countries in areas such as extradition, prosecution, intelligence sharing, capacity building and “Combating the Financing of Terrorism (CFT)", is important in the fight against terrorism."

Shah added that the emerging trends of the illegal trade of narcotics, and the challenge of narco-terror, have given a new dimension to terror financing. “There is a need for close cooperation among all nations. multilateral institutions such as the United Nations and the presence of platforms such as the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) are most effective in terms of preventing terrorism in the field of Combating the Financing of Terrorism (CFT)."

Swati Luthra
Swati Luthra writes on climate change, water, environment and forest issues for Mint. A graduate in Psychology, Swati has been mapping India’s policy initiatives to help meet the pledges made at CoP-26 including achieving net-zero carbon emissions by 2070.
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Updated: 18 Nov 2022, 01:38 PM IST
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