The Fall of Afghanistan, One Year Later
Threat financing implications
This week in Insight Intelligence, we’re taking a look back at the last year in Afghanistan since the Taliban re-took control of the country. As many of you know, I’ve been writing quite a bit about it. My big concerns have been around threat financing: how are illicit actors (money launderers, corrupt officials, and of course terrorist groups) taking advantage of the Taliban’s reign for their financial activities? Here’s a collection of the work I’ve done on the issue, much of which is free to read.
The tl;drof all of this analysis is that a Taliban-controlled Afghanistan is a safe haven for many terrorist groups and illicit actors. They use the territory as a safe have from which to manage and fund their activities, including storing funds with Afghan hawaladars, raising funds from economic activities (including narcotics and other smuggling activities), using funds to acquire weapons and device components, exploiting Afghanistan’s porous borders and deep connections to the UAE to move funds, and of course using cash, hawalas, and bank transfers to obscure the source, destination, and use of funds.
For RUSI CFCS & the UK’s Serious Organised Crime & Anti-Corruption Evidence (SOC ACE) Research Programme, I wrote this piece on how various groups and actors use Afghanistan for illicit financing. In the Globe and Mail, I lamented Canada’s refusal to adapt our counter-terrorist financing laws to allow humanitarian aid into Afghanistan. And for Lawfare, I explored the challenges of understanding Taliban finance.
I also wrote a series (often with my colleague Lena here at Insight Intelligence) on various groups’ financing:
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Internet-speak for too long, didn’t read.