According to a UN official, cash and hawala are still the “predominant methods of financing terrorism,” but “advanced” terrorist groups are now using cryptocurrencies.
Svetlana Martynova, the UN’s coordinator for countering terrorism financing, claims that terrorist organizations that have been shut out of the “formal financial system” have turned to cryptocurrency to finance their heinous activities (UN).
The UN representative made the remarks in a speech at a “Special Meeting” held by the UN’s Counter-Terrorism Committee (CTC) on October 28 and 29 in New Delhi and Mumbai. The meeting’s main objective was to combat the use of “new and emerging technologies” by terrorists.
Cash and “hawala,” a traditional method of money transfer in South Asia and the Middle East, have historically been the “predominant methods” of financing terrorism, according to Martynova.
However, she added, “we know terrorists adapt to the evolution of conditions around them and as technologies evolve they as well.”
These technologies, according to Martynova, include cryptocurrencies, which have been employed to “create opportunities for abuse,” she added.
While new technologies have “unmatched potential to improve human conditions everywhere,” according to UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, the harm they cause also goes far beyond supporting terrorism.
“Terrorists and others posing hateful ideologies are abusing new and emerging technologies to spread disinformation, foment discord, recruit and radicalize, mobilize resources and execute attacks.”
Regarding how the UN intends to address the problem on a global scale, Martynova stated that the main obstacle is persuading nation-states to accept its regulation.
To deter malicious non-state actors, Martynova added that very few nations have begun the work on regulation and even fewer are “successfully enforcing that regulation.”