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Scrutiny
  
Kill their Goose, Now!
Terror Funds have to be Frozen on Top Priority, as it only Gets Harder
31/03/2011

Just like any other business, even terrorism needs to be fuelled with money regularly to ensure that the bombs and bullets never fall silent! In fact, as an industry, terrorism today looks more driven by money and power rather than by religions and ideologies. Dr. Rachel Ehrenfeld, author of bestsellers like Funding Evil, contends that terrorism today is more “an international network of corrupt state leaders, super wealthy contributors and drug and crime kingpins”. One of the major objectives of US law enforcement post 9/11 was to ensure that the wells of terror funds stay dry. As per a report released by Assistant US Secretary of State for International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs in 2007-08, a huge part of the remittances that flow into India are sent through illegal channels like Hawala, and are believed to facilitate terror activities as well. The Peruvian Financial Intelligence recently pointed out that “more than $3 billion moved illegally through Peru’s financial sector in 2009.” Most of it is used by terror groups.

As per a study by Homeland Security Newswire, the London transportation attack of 2005 cost $15,000, the cost of executing the 2004 train attacks in Madrid was $10,000 each and the 9/11 attacks cost around $500,000. As per CIA, the annual budget of al-Qaeda is estimated at around $30 million. Government cables sent by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in 2010 believe that terror is being financed using armed bank robbery in Yemen, kidnappings, drug proceeds in Afghanistan and pilgrimages to Mecca. Even the oil trade is in the line of suspicion.

Knowing the source of these funds is the key to success in clamping them down. Besides this, US and its allies need to have the political will to face off with states that sponsor terrorism like Pakistan. The more global and institutionalised this malice becomes, the louder the bombs and bullets get.

By:- Sray Agarwal
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