Transformation of terrorism from ‘dynamite to Metaverse’ matter of concern: Amit Shah

Union Home Minister Amit Shah on Friday said the transformation of terrorism from “dynamite to Metaverse” and “AK-47 to virtual assets” is definitely a matter of concern and the global community must understand the “mode, medium and method” of terror financing.

Addressing the third ‘No Money for Terror Ministerial Conference on Counter-Terrorism Financing’ in the national capital, Shah said the countries should adopt the principle of “one mind, one approach” in cracking down on terrorism and terror financing. 

At the same time, he also did not approve of linking the threat of terrorism to any religion, nationality or group.

Despite having significant progress in improving security infrastructure, he said terrorists are constantly finding new ways to carry out violence, radicalise youth and raise financial resources. He said the darknet is being used by terrorists to spread radical content and conceal their identities, while there is an increase in use of virtual assets like cryptocurrency. 

Also read: BJP uprooted appeasement politics and established rule of law, says Amit Shah

“Terrorism is, undoubtedly, the most serious threat to global peace and security. But I believe that the financing of terrorism is more dangerous than terrorism itself because the means and methods of terrorism are nurtured from such funding. Furthermore, financing of terrorism weakens the economy of countries in the world,” he said.

Today, he said, 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.

“This transformation of terrorism from ‘dynamite to Metaverse’ and ‘AK-47 to virtual assets’ is definitely a matter of concern for the countries globally. And we all have to work together to formulate a common strategy against it,” Shah said.

In an apparent reference to Pakistan, he said there are countries that seek to undermine, or even hinder, the collective resolve to fight terrorism. “We have seen that some countries protect and shelter terrorists. Protecting a terrorist is equivalent to promoting terrorism. It will be our collective responsibility that such elements never succeed in their intentions,” he added.

Referring to the Taliban takeover of Afghanistan in August 2021, he said the South Asian security scenario has changed. “The regime change and the growing influence of Al Qaeda and ISIS have emerged as a significant challenge to regional security and these new equations have made the problem of terror financing more serious.”

“Three decades ago, the whole world 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. In this background, last year changes in the South Asian region are a matter of concern for all of us. Along with Al Qaeda, organisations in South Asia like Lashkar-e-Taiba and Jaish-e-Mohammed continue to spread terror,” he said.

He also said emerging trends of the illegal trade of narcotics, and the challenge of narco-terror, have given a new dimension to terror financing. 

Calling for close cooperation among all nations, Shah said multilateral institutions such as the United Nations and the presence of platforms such as the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) are most effective in terms of preventing terrorism in the field of ‘Combating the Financing of Terrorism (CFT)’. “FATF is playing an important role in setting and implementing global standards to prevent and combat, money laundering and terrorist financing,” he added. 

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