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Mon. Dec 5th, 2022
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NEW DELHI: At the ‘No Money For Terror’ ministerial conference on counter-terror financing which concluded here on Saturday, Canada highlighted the huge increase — to the extent of nearly 2,000% over the past few years — in the use of virtual assets for terror.
The growing use of virtual assets or crypto currencies, sources pointed out, has been the most prominent change in the pattern of terror financing, amid continued use of methods like illegal trade, extortion, kidnapping for ransom, drugs, counterfeit currency, artefacts and cultural property, illicit trade in natural resources and wildlife, state-sponsored financing, profits from businesses and through charitable organisations.
“Use of virtual assets remains a significant new mode of storing and transferring funds for terror, with highly speculative pricing in the pandemic period having vastly raised valuations of stored terror funds. However, like most booms and busts in financial markets, the past year has seen a significant erosion of value of virtual assets,” an IPS officer told TOI. Still, terrorist networks continue to remain interested in the use of virtual assets for their tradability, invisibility and unregulated ecosystem and they forage for more in darker corners of the internet.
Among the leading global terrorist outfits using virtual assets are Islamic State terror group and al-Qaida.
At the NMFT conference, a large number of delegates from across the globe called for quick implementation of recommendations of the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) to break virtual assets of terrorist organisations. Sharing details of views expressed by individual representatives at the NMFT conference, NIA chief Dinkar Gupta on Saturday said Australia had voiced the concern that the emerging technologies and biological/chemical weapons could be the new weapons for terrorists. France called for investment in tech innovations.
UN Office of Drugs and Crime flagged the nexus between terrorists and transnational organised crime.

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