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Counter-Financing Terrorism

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Terrorists will always need constant and reliable sources of funds to recruit more individuals and carry out their activities.

A group like Boko Haram in Nigeria has resulted to raising finances through criminal activities such as kidnapping of school girls.

Being in a desperately poor area with high unemployment, the group can easily recruit individuals as supporters, informants or direct perpetrators. Terrorists need money to buy popular support to take solid root on their home ground. This has made thorough investigation into their activities very difficult for law enforcement agencies.

Other times money comes from sponsors such as charitable organizations, group of sympathizers or foreign regimes. For example, the arrest of a renowned terrorist Ahmed Khalfani Ghailani in July 2004 revealed that as a follow up to Usama Bin Laden’s February 2003 broadcast appealing to Muslims, Al-Qaida recruiters with lots of funding in millions of dollars were sent to Nigeria to establish a presence there. The birthing of the notoriety of Boko Haram can be alluded to this event.

Lastly, legitimate businesses are also viable sources to create financing of terrorist activities. Sympathizers who have gains in the acts of terrorism are legal business owners in the same country who make large amounts of revenue even as contractors with the government of the country. Some of them playing two sides of the game.

There are technically two strategies to tackling terrorist financing  and they are:

1.  combat and dissuade money making activities

2.  tackle the distribution process

The former will be more challenging as it will be hard to tackle the entry of donations, while law enforcement  has had challenges in not being able to track when and where criminal activities will take place.

However, investigators can trace the distribution of funds based on human intelligence or the amount of money involved in a transaction.

Hence, our counter-financing programmes will include but not limited to the following:

1. Workshop training and orientation of non-profit organizations which are likely targets as channels for unsolicited terrorist funds

2. Collaboration with financial institutions on knowledge sharing and partnership to identify known routes and method of CFT

3. Manpower development and orientation of target communities in probable terrorist recruitment regions