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Thread: Terrorist Finance (merged thread)

  1. #41
    Council Member Firn's Avatar
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    It would be interesting to know a bit more about how efficient the transfer from the oil $ to the islamist fighters is. Tapping into the arsenals of the respective states should greatly ease the logistics and enhance the efficiency of the operations but as far as I know it left too obvious signs.

    I have read little about the Syrian economy which must be in a terrible, terrible state and it is quite likely that USD, maybe somewhat intermixed with Euros has become the currency of choice in many areas.
    ... "We need officers capable of following systematically the path of logical argument to its conclusion, with disciplined intellect, strong in character and nerve to execute what the intellect dictates"

    General Ludwig Beck (1880-1944);
    Speech at the Kriegsakademie, 1935

  2. #42
    Council Member davidbfpo's Avatar
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    Links to two US media reports, a short one:http://mideastafrica.foreignpolicy.c...EBhGc0.twitter and the pointer to a Brookings paper 'Playing with Fire: Why Private Gulf Financing for Syria’s Extremist Rebels Risks Igniting Sectarian Conflict at Home':http://www.brookings.edu/research/pa...lict-dickinson
    davidbfpo

  3. #43
    Council Member davidbfpo's Avatar
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    Default Financing Terror: A Strife 4-part series

    'Strife' is a blog run from Kings War Studies and the series started today, with a "broad brush" review and opens with:
    Al Qaeda, ISIS, and the Taliban are household names these days. Yet, in the climate of the ‘War on Terror’, how do organisations like these survive and even thrive? It takes more than just strong leadership and organizational skills to uphold the proper functioning of terrorist groups – it takes money. Terrorism is the culmination of costly planning. It includes the dissemination of ideology, maintenance of logistics, recruitment and training of operatives, and perpetration of the terrorist act itself. Financial activity related to terrorism accounts for an estimated 5% of the annual global output, or about $1.5 trillion US$.
    Link:http://strifeblog.org/2015/01/07/fin...4-part-series/

    Coming up:
    Over the next few weeks Strife will feature a four-part series on terrorist financing. Each author will examine a different method of terrorist financing, using modern and varied case studies, offering a new look at who and what is funding today’s terror activities. Arne Holverscheid will discuss the role of private Kuwaiti donors in financing rebel groups in Syria affiliated with terror organisations and blurring the lines between good and bad, friend and foe. Claire Mennesier will examine the involvement of Pakistan in financing terror groups, and the motivations and challenges presented by this involvement. Samuel Smith will address the frightening trend of kidnapping for ransom as a source of finance for terror groups through a case study of the Abu Sayyaf Group in the Philippines and Southeast Asia. Finally, Drew Alyeshmerni will shed light upon the use of charities as a cover for terrorist financing and the implication that defining certain organisations as terror groups may have upon the eradication of this source of financing.
    davidbfpo

  4. #44
    Council Member davidbfpo's Avatar
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    Default European terrorists’ financial activities are remarkably ordinary

    Once again Norway's FFI provides public insight, with a report 'The financing of jihadi terrorist cells in Europe', in English and 68 pgs long. Short of time read the summary and the conclusion.

    From the summary:
    This report takes stock of how jihadis in Western Europe raise, move, and spend money. Usingnew data from court documents and media reports, it reviews the financing of 40 jihadi terrorist cells that have plotted attacks in Europe, and examines a selection of cases in depth. European terrorists’ financial activities are remarkably ordinary. Jihadis who have plotted attacks in Western Europe most commonly relied on funding from the cell members’ own salaries and savings. The vast majority of the cells studied (90 %) were involved in income-generating activities, and half of them were entirely self-financed. Only one in four received economic support from international terrorist organizations such as al-Qaida.

    Finally, jihadi terrorist attacks in Western Europe have generally been cheap, with three quarters of the plots studied estimated to cost less than $10,000.
    Link:http://www.ffi.no/no/Rapporter/14-02234.pdf

    Anyone aware of a similar report covering the USA?
    Last edited by davidbfpo; 04-17-2016 at 09:38 PM.
    davidbfpo

  5. #45
    Council Member davidbfpo's Avatar
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    Default A financial "minority report"

    A somewhat odd, UK-centric BBC commentary by a RUSI expert:
    Over the past 18 months, hundred of people have travelled from the UK to fight in Syria. Most have joined the self-styled Islamic State. Could banks assist the security authorities identify some of these so-called foreign fighters by uncovering "telltale" financial footprints?

    (Near the end) ... engagement between the authorities and banks in exploiting this capability for security purposes remains limited despite the obvious benefits it can bring.
    Link:http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-32722318

    'Suspicious Activity Reports', known as SAR, are the common referral mechanism from the banks and other insitutions to the police. In both the UK & USA there are plenty of them, with only very few being productive. Above all "cash is king" and so the value of such cooperation is very moot.
    davidbfpo

  6. #46
    Council Member AdamG's Avatar
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    Default Danish jihadists cashed in on welfare benefits

    Gotta give them credit for knowing how to game the Socialist System.

    Thirty-two Danes have collected nearly 400,000 kroner worth of unemployment benefits while fighting in Syria, it was revealed on Monday.
    http://www.thelocal.dk/20150518/dani...lfare-benefits
    Last edited by davidbfpo; 05-23-2015 at 11:16 AM. Reason: was a stand alone thread
    A scrimmage in a Border Station
    A canter down some dark defile
    Two thousand pounds of education
    Drops to a ten-rupee jezail


    http://i.imgur.com/IPT1uLH.jpg

  7. #47
    Council Member davidbfpo's Avatar
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    Default Terror on the Cheap: Financing Lone Actor and Small Cell Attacks

    Another short RUSI commentary; the summary:
    As recent reports highlight the increasing risk of Daesh-inspired lone actor or small cell homeland terrorist attacks, an urgent recalibration of terrorist-finance disruption efforts is required to include both funds flowing to Syria/Iraq and those raised to be used at home.
    Near the end:
    The traditional measures in place for tackling terrorist financing play little role in disrupting this rapidly emerging form of low budget terror.
    Link:https://www.rusi.org/analysis/commen.../#.VeB3KH2pNiV
    davidbfpo

  8. #48
    Council Member davidbfpo's Avatar
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    Default White Paper on Islamic State Funding

    A Canadian lawyer's viewpoint, a 14 pg. document from March 2015, which on a quick scan has some gems within:http://www.duhaimelaw.com/wp-content...g-Methods1.pdf

    The author's CV:http://www.duhaimelaw.com/lawyers/christine/
    davidbfpo

  9. #49
    Council Member davidbfpo's Avatar
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    Taken from the current Yemen thread and cited in part:
    The biggest beneficiary of the war has been AQAP, which now controls some six hundred kilometers of the southern coastline—from just outside Aden to Mukalla, the fifth largest city in Yemen and the capital of Hadramaut province. When AQAP seized the Mukalla at the start of the war, they looted $100 million from its banks. They are now earning at least $2 million and perhaps as much as $5 million a day in smuggling oil. The group is stronger today than ever before.
    Link:http://www.brookings.edu/blogs/marka...ecurity-riedel

    My interest was prompted by a "lurker" asking does the anti-money laundering legal structure work, when terrorist groups can be self-financing?
    davidbfpo

  10. #50
    Council Member davidbfpo's Avatar
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    A RUSI paper, 42 pgs (un-read yet) by a US author:
    This paper offers an overview of the aims of US policy, an examination of the US experience in implementing Sections 314 and 311 of the PATRIOT Act, and a consideration of the advantages and disadvantages of the US approach. It also draws lessons from US experience and provides seven principles for policy-makers to consider when developing public–private information-sharing arrangements at the national or international level.
    Link:https://rusi.org/publication/occasio...-us-experience
    Last edited by davidbfpo; 04-29-2016 at 04:18 PM. Reason: 38772v
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  11. #51
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    Default How to fight terrorist financial networks?

    Thanks to a SWJ comment which linked to this book review of a 2015 book, which was missed:http://www.thewashingtonbookreview.c...cial-networks/

    The book is Counterterrorism and Threat Finance Analysis during Wartime edited by David M. Blum and J. Edward Conway, Lexington Books (Rowman & Littlefield), US $85.00, Pp 212, February 2015, ISBN 978-0739180433.

    The review states:
    The editors have been members of either the Afghanistan Threat Finance Cell (ATFC) or the Iraq Threat Finance Cell. Both Blum and Conway were deployed in wars.
    davidbfpo

  12. #52
    Council Member davidbfpo's Avatar
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    May 2016 CTC Sentinel article by Magnus Ranstrop, on ISIS micro-financing methods in Europe:https://www.ctc.usma.edu/posts/micro...opean-recruits

    Abstract: Islamic State recruits from Europe are raising significant funds for the group through multiple microfinancing techniques within the European Union. Moneymaking schemes have included petty theft, fraudulent loan applications, social insurance fraud, and VAT fraud. A range of techniques are being employed by aspiring and active European Islamic State operatives to transfer money to the Islamic State in Syria and Iraq, including bringing money with them when they travel to join the group, withdrawing funds from money transfer businesses operating along the Turkey-Syria border, sending cash couriers, and using the hawala system. To shrink this funding pipeline, financial intelligence must be better integrated into EU counterterrorism efforts.
    Last edited by davidbfpo; 06-13-2016 at 09:11 PM. Reason: 42,462v
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  13. #53
    Council Member davidbfpo's Avatar
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    Default Enhancing Financial Intelligence

    Just spotted and not read a new RUSI report 'Making Information Flow: Instruments and Innovations for Enhancing Financial Intelligence':https://rusi.org/sites/default/files...ation_flow.pdf
    Last edited by davidbfpo; 08-05-2016 at 08:55 PM. Reason: 46,343v
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  14. #54
    Council Member davidbfpo's Avatar
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    Default Slogans and statements have no effect

    An Indian commentary asks whether a "cashless" society will reduce terrorism and found - to my surprise - this:
    a “cashless economy” need not be “terror-free”. In November 2014, CNBC conducted a survey of the 10 top “cashless” societies. It found Belgium to be the world’s top cashless society with 93 per cent non-cash consumer payments and 83 per cent debit card use. France was second, then Canada, the UK, Sweden, Australia, Holland, the US, Germany and South Korea. Unfortunately, Belgium and France were also the worst victims of indigenous and trans-border terrorism.
    Then citing FATF and US reports states:
    Detecting terror financing through legal channels is an extremely onerous task, as the US Treasury and FATF reports would indicate.
    Link:http://indianexpress.com/article/opi...ption-4390492/
    Last edited by davidbfpo; 11-24-2016 at 01:53 PM. Reason: 51,766v 5k since August
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  15. #55
    Council Member davidbfpo's Avatar
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    Default Lone-Actor and Small Cell Terrorist Attacks

    Another RUSI report on 'Lone-Actor and Small Cell Terrorist Attacks: A New Front in Counter-Terrorist Finance?' and in summary:
    As the threat from lone-actor and small cell terrorism evolves, this paper examines the financing of both disrupted and successful plots since 2000 in Great Britain, France and Australia. These plots often require minimal amounts of funding, making proactive identification through financial means challenging. Nonetheless, this paper highlights a number of key themes that warrant further investigation, showing the potentially disruptive role that financial intelligence can play.
    Link:https://rusi.org/publication/occasio...-front-counter

    Now to starting reading it, so may be a comment later.
    Last edited by davidbfpo; 01-29-2017 at 06:02 PM. Reason: 59,433v up 6.5k in two months
    davidbfpo

  16. #56
    Council Member davidbfpo's Avatar
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    Default "Hal" McMaster recommends this tome

    Spotted this book last week and might one day get to read it: 'Threat Finance: Dismantling the lifeline of Organized Crime and Terrorism' by Shima D. Keane, published in 2013 by Gower. It is very expensive alas, so a library copy one day.

    One review via the publisher I expect is by "Hal" McMaster:
    This book provides a lucid education on the often inconvenient realities of serious economic crime and identifies with clinical precision the reasons why it sometimes seems beyond the practical capabilities of the law to deal with it. What makes it so important, however, is Dr Keene's ability to mobilise the difficult thoughts that need to be thought if modern democracy is to survive the corruptive threats of crime and terror and their ability at the more sophisticated levels to exploit the modern accommodations of international finance and cyberspace with apparent impunity. The challenge, so vividly described here, can appear overwhelming; but the lasting influence left by this seminal work is the conviction that it will be more adequately met if some of the current cosy thinking on this subject in relevant fields of influence can be turned on its head.
    Link to Amazon UK:https://www.amazon.co.uk/Threat-Fina...threat+finance

    It is far cheaper via:https://www.amazon.com/Threat-Financ...threat+finance
    Last edited by davidbfpo; 03-13-2017 at 02:11 PM. Reason: 63,444v 4k up since last post
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  17. #57
    Council Member davidbfpo's Avatar
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    Default Don't Follow the Money - it is not working

    Professor Peter Neumann, Kings College London ICSR, has a scathing review of CT financing activity in Foreign Affairs 'Don't Follow the Money: The Problem With the War on Terrorist Financing'

    Here is one passage:
    More than a decade and a half into the war on terrorist funding, policymakers must recognize the drawbacks of their current approach. Financial tools cannot stop lone attackers from driving cars into crowds, nor can they do much when groups such as ISIS hold territory and earn most of their income from within it. Policymakers need to acknowledge that the war on terrorist financing, as it has been conducted since 2001, has often been costly and counterproductive, harming innocent people and companies without significantly constraining terrorist groups’ ability to operate. Unless governments find ways to revolutionize how they share information with the financial sector, most of the current procedures for identifying suspicious transactions will continue to be little more than costly box-ticking exercises.
    Link:https://www.foreignaffairs.com/articles/2017-06-13/dont-follow-money?

    Quite a few sources cited appear here already.
    Last edited by davidbfpo; 06-14-2017 at 04:55 PM. Reason: 73,383v 10k up since last post
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  18. #58
    Council Member davidbfpo's Avatar
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    Default Holy Money: where does the money to finance all of this come from?

    Encountered a reference to this monograph (82 pgs) this week; it claims to be intelligence-based, using interviews rather than open sources and is not an academic study. The editor, Aimen Deen, is a former AQ jihadist and a short BBC profile in 2015 helps:http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-31700894

    The author(s) explain:
    We have divided the study into three themes: theology, history and methodology. Since Jihadists such as al-Qaeda, the Taliban and their supporters consider fundraising for Jihad to be an act of worship just like Jihad itself, then comprehending the theological basis of Jihadist fundraising will add clarity and depth to the understanding of the concept. Historical background will illuminate the path that Jihadist finance took to evolve throughout the years. And the methodology of Jihad fundraising and then the movement of funds across borders will shed light on ingeniously simple methods adopted by Jihadist fundraisers to avoid detection by authorities worldwide.
    Link:http://www.fived.org/images/files/Holy%20Money.pdf

    I asked a SME for an opinion on its value:
    Yes, it very much is. Much of the reporting on this subject has been tactical and not very good tactical at that
    Last edited by davidbfpo; 07-26-2017 at 01:08 PM. Reason: 76,911v
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  19. #59
    Council Member davidbfpo's Avatar
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    Default Looking back at Northern Ireland

    The link below is to a 2002 House of Commons report on Northern Ireland 'The continuing threat from paramilitary organisations' and the section on financing, even if dated it has value and note was after the 1997 Good Friday Agreement and an end to hostilities.
    Link:https://publications.parliament.uk/p.../978/97806.htm
    Last edited by davidbfpo; 4 Weeks Ago at 12:15 PM. Reason: 95,191v today 9k up since last post
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  20. #60
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    Default Financing of Recruitment for Terrorist Purposes

    A report from the global financial crime group FATF and their explanation:
    Recruiting members and supporters is crucial to a terrorist organisation's survival. Each terrorist organisation has different recruitment techniques, depending on whether it is a large or small organisation, or a dispersed network of individuals. Using input collected from authorities within the FATF Global Network, this report increases understanding of terrorist organisations’ funding needs to recruit members and supporters. In some cases, these funding needs are minimal. This report identifies the most common methods of recruitment used by terrorist organisations and terrorist cells, and the costs associated with these different methods and techniques of terrorist recruitment:

    • Personal needs of the recruiter and the maintenance of basic infrastructure for the recruitment / facilitation network
    • Production and dissemination of recruitment materials
    • Payment for goods and services to facilitate the new recruits' early participation in the terrorist organization
    • Financial incentives provided directly to recruits or for the hiring of mercenaries or civil experts

    This report sheds a light on how terrorist organisations fund the recruitment of new members and supporters, from fast food restaurant ‘headquarters’ to financial incentives for new recruits, and will help authorities detect and disrupt these recruitment activities.
    Link:http://www.fatf-gafi.org/publication...-purposes.html
    davidbfpo

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