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India moots permanent secretariat to fight terror

  • Published
    21st Nov, 2022
Context

Union Home Minister has proposed a permanent secretariat for “No Money for Terror,” (NMFT) a ministerial body.

About
  • The “No Money for Terror” conference was started in 2018, as an initiative of the French government, to specifically focus on cooperation between countries to choke terror funding.
  • In 2019, the conference was held in Australia.
  • It was to be held in India in 2020 but was postponed due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Conference 2022:

  • It was attended by delegates from 72 countries and 15 international organizations.
  • During the Conference, deliberations were held in four sessions with a focus on:
    • Global Trends in Terrorism and Terrorist Financing.
    • Use of Formal and Informal Channels of Funds for Terrorism.
    • Emerging Technologies and Terrorist Financing.
    • International Co-operation to Address Challenges in Combating Terrorist Financing

Key Points:

  • India reiterated that all countries will have to agree on one common definition of ‘terrorism’ and ‘terror financing’.
  • Avoid the issue from turning into a political issue.
  • Prevention of the use of Non-Profit Organizations (NPOs) to spread terror Ideology.
  • India has decided to develop national and global databases on crimes such as terrorism, narcotics, and economic offenses.
  • India will circulate a discussion paper to all participating jurisdictions for their comments.
  • India stressed the need to strengthen the United Nations Security Council framework to deal with the threat of terrorism.

Significance of Permanent Secretariat:

  • To coordinate global efforts against terror funding more efficiently
  • To sustain the continued global focus on countering the financing of terrorism.
  • The time is ripe as India is positioning itself as a global player in the anti-terrorism fight.
  • To deal with money laundering as well as combating the financing of terrorism issue.
  • It will be working complementary to Financial Action Task Force (FATF).

Measures suggested:

  • Preventing diversion from legal financial instruments by fighting anonymity in financial networks.
  • Restricting the use of proceeds of other crimes for terrorist activities
  • Preventing the use of new financial technologies, virtual assets such as crypto-currencies, wallets, etc., for terror activities
  • Eliminate the use of Illegal channels, cash couriers, and hawala by terror networks
  • Continuous capacity building of counter-terror and financial intelligence agencies of all countries.

India’s stand at NMFT Conference 2022:

  • Regime Change in Afghanistan: India urged the international community to take cognizance of threats emerging from regime change in Afghanistan, as the last one had led to the 9/11 attacks.
  • Stress on Terrorist's Safe Havens: India stressed that the international community should never ignore terrorists’ safe havens or their resources.
  • Cost of Terrorism Supportive Countries: Certain countries support terrorism as part of their foreign policy. They offer political, ideological, and financial support to them.
  • Threats from Organised Crime: Organised crime should not be seen in isolation and these gangs often have deep links with terrorist outfits.

Initiatives to Counter Terrorism:

National:

  • In January 2009, in the wake of the 26/11 terrorist attack, the National Investigation Agency was established to deal with terrorist crimes.
  • In India, the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Amendment Act is the primary anti-terrorism law.
  • To gather information related to security, the National Intelligence Grid (NATGRID) has been established.
  • An operational hub has been created for the National Security Guard to ensure a rapid response to terrorist attacks.

Global:

United Nations Office of Counter-Terrorism (UNOCT)

  • Terrorism Prevention Branch (TPB) of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC)
  • Financial Action Task Force (FATF)
  • India’s Annual Resolution on Counter-Terror
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