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PM Modi said at NMFT meeting countries that support terrorism must pay a price

New Delhi: According to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, international organisations shouldn't assume that the absence of conflict equates to peace. Terrorist organisations receive funding from a variety of sources, including state support. In his opening remarks at the third No Money for Terror (NMFT) conference, which is taking place in New Delhi, Modi stressed that nations that support terrorists must pay a price.

"Uprooting terrorism needs a larger, proactive, systemic response. If we want our citizens to be safe, we cannot wait until terror comes to our homes," PM Modi said. He highlighted that all acts of terrorism should receive "equal outrage and action".

"Terrorist organisations get money through several sources. One source is state support. Certain countries support terrorism as part of their foreign policy. They offer political, ideological and financial support to them. International organisations must not think that the absence of war means peace. Proxy wars are also dangerous and violent. There must be a cost imposed upon countries that support terrorism. Organisations and individuals that try to create sympathy for terrorists must also be isolated. There can be no ifs and buts entertained in such matters. The world needs to unite against all kinds of overt and covert backing of terror," PM Modi added.

"Our country faced the horrors of terror long before the world took serious note of it. Over the decades, terrorism in different names and forms tried to hurt India. We lost thousands of precious lives, but we have fought terrorism bravely. The delegates have a chance to interact with a country and people who have been firm in tackling terror. We consider that even a single attack is one too many. Even a single life lost is one too many. So, we will not rest till terrorism is uprooted."

The Financial Action Task Force (FATF), the international organisation at the forefront of combating money laundering and terrorist financing, was founded in 1989 and the NMFT was launched in 2018 as a French government initiative, Indian Express reported.

"This is a very important gathering and it should not be seen as a gathering of ministers only, because it deals with a subject that impacts the entire humanity. The long-term impact of terrorism is particularly hard on the poor and on the local economy. Be it tourism or trade, nobody likes an area that is constantly under threat. And due to this, the livelihoods of people are taken away. It is all the more important that we strike at the root of terror financing," Modi said.

The NMFT conference is being held in its third edition. France hosted the first event, and Melbourne hosted the second. The third meeting, which India had agreed to hold, was postponed due to the pandemic. India will be the 73rd foreign nation to participate as of right now. In addition to these, 15 more multilateral international organisations are involved in the fight against terrorism funding, including Interpol, the FATF, Europol, and NGOs.

PM Modi added, "In today's world, ideally there should be no need for anyone to remind the world of the dangers of terrorism. However, there are still certain mistaken notions about terrorism in some circles. The intensity of the reaction to different attacks cannot vary based on where it happens. All terrorist attacks deserve equal outrage and action. Further, sometimes, there are indirect arguments made in support of terrorism to block action against terrorists. There is no place for an ambiguous approach while dealing with a global threat. It is an attack on humanity, freedom and civilisation. It knows no boundaries. Only a uniform, unified and zero-tolerance approach can defeat terrorism."

According to the prime minister, combating a terrorist and combatting terrorism are two distinct endeavours. "A terrorist may be neutralised with weapons. Immediate tactical responses to terrorists may be an operational matter. But tactical gains will soon be lost without a larger strategy aimed at hurting their finances. A terrorist is an individual. But terrorism is about a network of individuals and organisations. Uprooting terrorism needs a larger proactive response. If we want our citizens to be safe, then we cannot wait until terror comes to our homes. We must pursue terrorists, break their support networks and hit their finances," he said.

NIA DG Dinkar Gupta noted that social media platforms are "being used to raise financing, funding, or as crowdfunding platforms" and called this "an issue that needs to be discussed" during a news conference on Thursday.

On Friday, PM Modi claimed that organised crime is one of the sources of funding for terrorism. "Organised crime should not be seen in isolation and these gangs often have deep links with terrorist outfits. The money made from gun-running, drugs and smuggling is pumped into terrorism. These groups help with logistics and communication too. Action against organised crime is extremely important in the fight against terror. At times, even activities like money laundering and financial crimes have been known to help terror funding. Fighting it needs global collaboration," he said.

According to Modi, in such a complicated climate, the Financial Action Task Force (FATF), the Egmont Group, financial intelligence agencies, and the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) are increasing their collaboration in the prevention, identification, and prosecution of unlawful fund flows. Over the past 20 years, this has aided in the fight against terrorism in a variety of ways and also illustrates the risks associated with sponsoring terrorism.

"Nowadays, the dynamics of terrorism are changing. Rapidly advancing technology is both a challenge and a solution. New kinds of technology are being used for terror financing and recruitment. Challenges from the dark net, private currencies and more are emerging. There is a need for a uniform understanding of new finance technologies. It is also important to involve the private sector in these efforts. From a uniform understanding, a unified system of checks, balances and regulations can emerge. But we must be careful about one thing. The answer is not to demonise technology. Instead, it is to use technology to track, trace and tackle terrorism," he said.

"Today, cooperation is needed not only in the physical world but also in the virtual world too. The infrastructure used for cyber terrorism and online radicalisation is distributed. Some also offer weapons training from a remote location and online resources. Communications, travel, and logistics there are many links in the chain in different countries. Each country can and must act against the part of the chain within the reach," PM Modi said.

"Many different nations have their own legal principles, procedures and processes. Sovereign nations have a right to their own systems. However, we must also be careful not to allow extremists to misuse differences between systems. This can be prevented through deeper coordination and understanding between governments. Joint operations, intelligence coordination and extradition help the fight against terror. It is also important that we jointly address the problem of radicalisation and extremism. Anyone who supports radicalisation should have no place in any country," he added.

Senior officials, such as Union Home Minister Amit Shah and External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar, will chair the NMFT sessions.

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TAGS:NMFT PM Modi Terror Funding 
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