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Adversary / Threat One man's terrorist is another man's freedom fighter. Talk about (or with?) them.

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Old 12-05-2013   #41
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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.
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Old 12-09-2013   #42
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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
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Old 01-07-2015   #43
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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:
Quote:
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:
Quote:
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.
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Old 01-22-2015   #44
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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:
Quote:
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?
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Old 05-17-2015   #45
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Default A financial "minority report"

A somewhat odd, UK-centric BBC commentary by a RUSI expert:
Quote:
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.
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Old 05-19-2015   #46
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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
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Old 08-28-2015   #47
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Default Terror on the Cheap: Financing Lone Actor and Small Cell Attacks

Another short RUSI commentary; the summary:
Quote:
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:
Quote:
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
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Old 01-25-2016   #48
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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/
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Old 04-18-2016   #49
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Taken from the current Yemen thread and cited in part:
Quote:
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?
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Old 04-29-2016   #50
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A RUSI paper, 42 pgs (un-read yet) by a US author:
Quote:
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
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Old 05-11-2016   #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:
Quote:
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.
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Old 06-13-2016   #52
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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

Quote:
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.
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Old 08-05-2016   #53
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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
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Old 11-24-2016   #54
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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:
Quote:
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:
Quote:
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/
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Old 01-29-2017   #55
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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:
Quote:
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.
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Old 2 Weeks Ago   #56
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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:
Quote:
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
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