To curb terrorism by cutting off its sources of funding, India on Friday vowed to fully implement the standards of the Paris-based Financial Action Task Force (FATF), an anti-terror finance watchdog. It also said it would particularly focus on blockchain-based cryptocurrency.
Union Minister of State (MoS) for Home Affairs G. Kishan Reddy said terror elements are using virtual assets for their vested interests.
"Virtual assets, especially cryptocurrencies, offer certain unique advantages to criminals because of their pseudonymous nature, encryption, global reach and low-cost," Reddy said.
Holding a roundtable discussion on "emerging technologies and terror financing risks", Reddy cited the cyber activities of the Falah-e-Insaniyat Foundation, a charity organisation established by Jamat-ud-Dawa, as a terrorist front, adding that "despite being designated (by UN), the body is still active in cyberspace".
The minister said: "The government of India is fully committed to implementing FATF standards and establishing effective Anti-Money Laundering and Countering Financing of Terrorism regimes to dismantle and disrupt the terror-financing networks."
FATF is an inter-governmental organisation founded in 1989 to formulate policies to combat money laundering. In 2011, the body expanded its jurisdiction to focus on ending terror financing.
Recalling India's prior experiences in uncovering terrorist use of the cyber world, Reddy said investigations have revealed that the "Islamic State, a terror group, had used encrypted platforms and the Dark Web for the radicalisation and recruitment of members. Cyber resources were also used to teach terrorists to mobilise funds, make weapons purchases and carry out attacks."
The Indian minister had, on Thursday, also expressed his concern over the tacit support being extended by some nations to terror groups, and called for a global effort against the forces that are helping these terror organisations generate income.
The FATF had recently warned Pakistan to deliver on its action plan to act against terror financing by early next year.
Reddy is leading a five-member Indian delegation to Melbourne, for the “No Money for Terror” anti-terror funding event, which was hosted by Paris in April 2018 and which India will host in 2020.