Society for Policy Studies organised a special lecture on “Countering Terrorism Finance : An Assessment of Current Efforts and Possible Steps for the Future”
Speaker: Amit Kumar Ph. D. President, AAA International Security Consultants LLC, USA and Visiting Fellow
Cmde C Uday Bhaskar (Retd)
Director, Society for Policy Studies
Date: February 10, 2016
Time: 06:30 pm
Venue: Conference Room-I, India International Centre
The Society for Policy Studies in association with the India International Centre organized a lecture on “Countering Terrorism Finance: An Assessment of Current Efforts and Possible Steps for the Future” on February 10, 2016. Delivered by a leading expert on the issue of counter-terror financing (CTF), Dr.Amit Kumar, this lecture was attended by a packed house comprising domain experts, both from the government and outside it, strategic experts, research scholars, mediapersons and others. .
Chaired by C. Uday Bhaskar with Colonel Vivek Chaddha (Retired) as the discussant, the panel assessed the present state of countering terrorism finance (CTF) measures and the steps that can be taken to make the system more robust.
Opening the lecture, Dr. Kumar said the subject of CTF should necessarily be split into four heads to acquire an impactful understanding of the nature of the threat, three of which were – (1) terrorism threats (2) finance angle (3) strategic angle.
Highlighting the belated acknowledgement of the issue of terror and its connection with money laundering by the Western world only post 9/11, Dr. Kumar suggested that while the concerns related to these interrelated issues have been ever present, there has been a significant change in how these have been dealt with in the pre-9/11 and post 9/11 contexts.
He said that as far as India is concerned, the government’s efforts in countering terrorism financing definitely saw an upward swing after the serial bombings in Mumbai in 1993 and the 26/11 terror strike in the same city in 2008.
Dr. Kumar further dwelled on the issue of cyber terrorism and informed the audience of the role NGOs, cash couriers and hawala played, knowingly and unknowingly, in abetting finance terrorism and terrorists.
Colonel Chadha who has authored a book on countering terrorism financing, said that it would make for a useful analysis to assess the financial clout of separatist leaders in sensitive states like Jammu and Kashmir, apart from investigating the disconcerting issue of criminalization of politics at a general level. He also elaborated on the grey dealings that feed into election financing and suggested that financial institutions especially the banking sector should be looped into the anti-money laundering drive primarily for the role they serve in being conduits for such transfers.
Uday Bhaskar said that one big lacuna in India is the lack of legislative harmony on the concerns of terrorism, CTF and money laundering. Noting that there is a need to reconcile the state and central laws on these concerns, he stressed that given gravity of the issue at hand, there is a great deal of urgency in delineating that fine threshold when a transgression of law and order becomes a terrorist attack.
The experts were unanimous in their calls for strengthening of domestic legislations and regulations followed in the wake of initiatives taken by the United States (US), after 9/11; and these efforts received an impetus after 26/11, as also pursuant to the decision to take membership of the Financial Action Task Force (FATF).
Policy Recommendations on the subject
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