The use of crowdfunding platforms to finance terrorist activities and weak control mechanisms of social media platforms is one of the four main agendas to be discussed at the third No Money For Terror (NMFT) conference to be hosted by India this week.
The conference, to be held on November 18-19 in New Delhi, is expected to be attended by representatives of about 75 countries.
The major topics to be discussed at the conference spanning four sessions are global trends in terrorism and terrorist financing; use of formal and informal channels for terrorism; emerging technologies and terrorist financing; and international cooperation to address challenges in combating terrorist financing.
On Tuesday, the official handle of NMFT tweeted, “Humanitarian forces of the world and India will have to fight unitedly to defeat the menace of terrorism.”
The agenda of the conference said that “terrorists and extremists have improvised on technologies like cryptocurrency and crowdfunding by customising them to suit their requirements”. It added that the dark web brings together professional hackers and terrorists seeking to transfer or crowdsource funds, and 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 cyber crimes. 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,” the agenda said.
The conference was first held in Paris in 2018, followed by Melbourne in 2019.
A statement by the Ministry of Home Affairs on November 12 said that Union Home Minister Amit Shah will be participating in the conference and will convey India’s determination in its fight against terrorism as well as its support systems for achieving success.
The NMFT agenda said that the funding of terrorist activities often requires funds to be moved within or across jurisdictions, and this might be done through official financial systems of remittances, or through unregulated channels, or through 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,” the agenda said.