Insight Intelligence: January 2023
Hello, and a warm welcome to all the new subscribers to Insight Intelligence. We’re almost at 3,000 members! Please keep sharing these newsletters to help grow our community. Here’s a short summary with what we wrote about in January. There’s plenty more to come next week when we look at a new terrorist organization. Don’t forget: you can always leave me a comment on this post or in the chat about what you want to see next!
This month, we focused on terrorist financing issues, but also delved into foreign interference and Wagner Group.
We started the month by looking at terrorist group financing in 2022 (organizational financing), and what we can expect for 2023. I have three main takeaways: the slowing adoption of crypto, the professionalization of group financing (particularly for the extreme right and ISIL provinces), and ongoing terrorist adaptation to counter-financing measures. You can read the full post here:
We then turned our attention to foreign interference in Canada, exploring the issue of those PRC “police stations”, the convoy, and potential electoral interference. This is an important read if you’re struggling with what exactly foreign interference is in Canada, or what we know so far. There’s been a fair bit of inflammatory reporting on the issue, so I try to get into the weeds here.
I also took a look at the issue of terrorist financing “indicators”. I should warn you: I’m quite skeptical about their utility, given that terrorist financing is basically a small data problem. It doesn’t lend itself to rules / algorithms in the same way that money laundering does. In this piece I outline a few of the problems, and what we should be doing instead.
And as we do periodically, we published a short terrorist financing news roundup to keep you up to date on all the issues you might have missed in the world of terrorist financing.
We also published an analysis of the Jolo Church bombings from 2019. Lena wrote this article, but I’m credited with it because I put it into the newsletter. But it was another great article from her, and we’ll see more of her writing over the coming months!
And finally, I wrote a bit about Wagner Group. This Russian private military corporation is a source of a great deal of media in part because of their role in Ukraine, but also for their role in human rights abuses and atrocities in Africa. The group was also recently the focus of a vote from the Canadian House of Commons, calling for them to be designated as a terrorist entity. (Readers of Insight Intelligence will know that this isn’t how the listing process happens…)
That’s all for now! As always, we appreciate the shares and likes, so keep ‘em coming!