Terrorism financing: Crypto-Taliban?
SADF Comment, No. 217, South Asia Democratic Forum (SADF), Brussels, Belgium. DOI: 10.48251/SADF.ISSN.2406-5617.C217
6 Pages Posted: 12 Oct 2021
Date Written: August 26, 2021
The United Nations Counter-Terrorism Week in June 2021 focused on the financing of Islamist terror groups. The meeting zeroed in on the ‘misuse of digital space for terrorist financing purposes’. As noted in a statement following the meeting, ‘it was recognized that the pandemic enhanced opportunities for terrorist groups particularly to raise funds through online sources. The pandemic also impacted on the implementation of CFT [Countering the Financing of Terrorism] legislation and responses, particularly regarding the adoption of a regulatory framework to address
the vulnerabilities of the virtual assets for terrorist financing purposes.’ Numerous speakers pointed out that the ‘digital space was a quickly evolving area and that terrorist groups acquired highly-specialized expertise in using all opportunities offered to raise and transfer funds through virtual assets platforms and well as to obfuscate the traceability of these transactions through complex blockchain mechanisms’. The event, organised by the Counter Terrorism Committee of the United Nations Security Council, reflects heightened concerns. Due to the increased scrutiny on the traditional, formal financial sector , some are concerned that terrorists might ‘seek more secretive mechanisms for financing their activities’. Experts are therefore identifying ‘crypto-enabled terrorist financing as a real risk that demands serious attention’ and ‘government authorities and organisations that track terrorist financing have begun to raise alarms about an uptick in the number of Islamist terrorist organizations experimenting with Bitcoin and other digital coins’.
Keywords: Afghanistan, Anti-Money Laundering, Bitcoin, China, Countering the Financing of Terrorism, Crypto currencies, Digital space, Exchanges, Taliban, Terrorism, United Nations
JEL Classification: N85, F3, F39, F55, F63, F64, F66, F68, H50, H56, H60, H70, F50, H10, H11, H70, N40, N45, I28, J18
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation