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Terrorist Financing Innovation & Adaptation
NCITE & ICSR Report
Hello everyone! I’m pleased to share my new report, with my colleagues Marc-André Argentino & Tore Refslund Hamming, on terrorist financing innovation & adaptation. We wrote this report for NCITE and ICSR, and even better news, it’s free to read! I hope you enjoy, and let me know if you have any questions about the report. And don’t forget to come and join me over on Substack Notes.
What’s in the report:
Key terms to help you become familiar with financing issues. This includes terms related to cryptocurrency, but also more traditional financing methods like hawala.
Case studies of terrorist financing adaptation, evolution, and learning in ten different groups and two broader movements:
a specialized section on cryptocurrency (we had to!)
How to counter these trends and issues
How to anticipate terrorist and extremist financing adaptation and innovation
A few highlights:
Terrorist financing innovation is rare; instead, terrorists and violent extremists evolve or adapt their financing to the realities of the economic, financial, and counter-terrorism situation.
When economic and financial systems evolve, most terrorists adapt to new financing methods. Terrorists employ financial technologies and cryptocurrencies when they are convenient and widely used.
Terrorists will prioritise adoption of new technologies where there is an operational security advantage to doing so (as a means to obscure the source, destination or use of funds).
They will also adopt new technologies when there is sufficient market saturation to allow them to use the technology easily and sufficient users among which they can hide. Terrorists will prioritise new technologies that allow them to quickly, easily and cheaply move money, both domestically and internationally, or that allow them to buy the goods and services they require.
While other forms of terrorist innovation are often linked to problem-solving and efforts to circumvent countermeasures, terrorist financing innovation is relatively immune to these pressures. Even twenty years after the global community implemented counterterrorist financing policies and practices on a macro-scale, terrorist actors continue to use banks, cash couriers, trade-based mechanisms and money service businesses to move funds. There has been little change in the primary methods used by terrorists to move funds.
And don’t forget: we’ll be launching our course on terrorist financing analysis soon! Get on the list so you’re the first to know when we go live.