Virtual Assets for Real Terrorism

Amit Shah - Terrorism is also evolving with technology

Virtual Assets for Real Terrorism

Beware Of Darknet, Crypto Funding – Ami Shah

Transformation of terrorism from Dynamite to Metaverse and AK-47 to Virtual Assets is definitely a matter of concern, says Union Home Minister Amit Shah.

NEW DELHI, Nov 18 (The CONNECT) - Union Home Minister Amit Shah today raised an alarm against real challenges and threats from the new form of virtual assets being used by terrorists for financial transactions.

“We need to work coherently towards developing a robust and efficient operational system to crack down on the use of virtual asset channels, funding infrastructure and Dark Net,” Shah said addressing the 3rd 'No Money for Terror' Ministerial Conference on ‘Global Trends in Terrorist Financing and Terrorism’ theme in New Delhi.

He said that today, terrorists and terrorist groups understand the nuances of modern weapons and information technology, and the dynamics of the cyber and financial space very well, and use them.

He said that this transformation of terrorism from "Dynamite to Metaverse" and "AK-47 to Virtual Assets" is definitely a matter of concern for the countries of the world, and, we all have to work together to formulate a common strategy against it. Shri Shah added that we also recognize that the threat of terrorism cannot and should not be linked to any religion, nationality, or group.

Shah said that to confront terrorism, India has made significant progress in fortifying the security architecture, as well as the legal and financial systems. In spite of this, terrorists are constantly finding new ways to carry out violence, radicalize youth and raise financial resources. He maintained that the ‘Dark Net’ is being used by terrorists to spread radical content and conceal their identities. Additionally, there is an increase in the use of virtual assets like cryptocurrency. He said that we need to understand the patterns of these Dark Net activities and find their solutions.

He pointed out that the United Nations, IMF, Interpol and other stakeholders such as law enforcement agencies, financial investigators, and regulators of various countries can have a more positive impact in this regard. “We must understand these challenges in-depth and make efforts globally to curb the new techniques of terror financing, as was done in the recently concluded Interpol General Assembly in New Delhi,” he said.

The international community has a collective approach that terrorism must be condemned in all its forms, but, the forms and manifestations of terrorism are continuously evolving due to technological revolution.

The Minister said that terrorism is, undoubtedly, the most serious threat to global peace and security, but, the financing of terrorism is more dangerous than terrorism itself, because the 'means and methods' of terrorism are nurtured from such funding. Furthermore, the financing of terrorism weakens the economy of countries of the world.

He said that India has been a victim of terrorism for several decades, which is sponsored from across the border. He said that Indian security forces and civilians have had to deal with incidents of extremely serious terrorist violence perpetrated in a sustained and coordinated manner.

Union Home Minister said that unfortunately, there are countries that seek to undermine, or even hinder, our collective resolve to fight terrorism. He said that we have seen that some countries protect and shelter terrorists, protecting a terrorist is equivalent to promoting terrorism. He said that it will be our collective responsibility that such elements never succeed in their intentions.

Shah said that after August, 2021, the situation in South Asian region has changed and the regime change and the growing influence of Al Qaeda & ISIS have emerged as a significant challenge to regional security. He stated that these new equations have made the problem of terror financing more serious. Three decades ago, the whole world has had to bear the serious consequences of one such regime change, the result of which we all have seen in the horrific attack of 9/11. He said that in this background, last year’s changes in the South Asian region are a matter of concern for all of us. He added that along with Al Qaeda, organizations in South Asia like Lashkar-e-Taiba and Jaish-e-Mohammed continue to spread terror.

Shah said that we should never ignore terrorists' safe havens or their resources. He said that we also have to expose the double-speak of such elements who sponsor and support them, and therefore, it is important that this Conference, the participating countries, and the organizations, should not take a selective, or complacent perspective of the challenges of this region.

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