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Transnational Terrorism
Support Networks & Trends
Rohan Gunaratna*


A majority of contemporary terrorist groups operate beyond the national boundaries of their target states. In the post-Cold War era, the transnational character of these terrorist groups has necessarily brought forth certain advantages, viz., global networking with potential allies, arms suppliers, and other terrorist groups, as also the generation of transnational support. Instead of resisting globalisation, consequently, contemporary terrorist groups are actively harnessing contemporary forces of change.

The transnational support structures of terrorist groups act as force multipliers. While boosting the military and non-military capability and capacity of terrorist groups at a strategic level, they also perform certain diplomatic, political, military and economic functions both in the domestic and international theatre, at a tactical level. The transnational terrorist support structures disseminate propaganda and lobby with governments, intergovernmental and non-governmental organisations. They network with dispersed segments of the diaspora and migrant communities; raise funds to hire expertise and train members; procure weapons and dual technologies; and manage or charter ships both to transport personnel and supplies to the theatres of conflict.

Most national governments have responded to international terrorism at a tactical level and not at a strategic level. As a result, after four decades of combating terrorism, the traditional response of either eliminating or apprehending terrorists has neither mitigated nor deterred terrorism. This is largely due to the failure of the affected states to attack, degrade and ultimately destroy the transnational support structures of terrorist groups. As domestic infrastructures are vulnerable to detection and disruption, most terrorist groups have established support infrastructures overseas. As transnational terrorist infrastructures are beyond the operational reach and domestic jurisdiction of the target states, governments, diplomatic, security, intelligence and judicial co-operation between the various State structures becomes imperative.


Framework for the Study


There are a number of impediments in analysing the organisation and operational structures of terrorist groups. Most academics and policymakers have analysed terrorism from a distance. Only the security and intelligence agencies of the countries that are affected by the scourge of terrorism have developed a comprehensive understanding of the terrorist support structures. By employing technical and human expertise, some of these agencies have penetrated domestic groups operating overseas or foreign groups operating on their soil. As information on support-structures is primarily intelligence-based, in classified and published literature, information on the terrorist support networks is limited. Terrorist groups with international support structures tend to be aware of the technical means of gathering intelligence. They are, consequently, cautious of developing open communications network that can be monitored. To transmit important messages, the Islamic Resistance Movement (Hamas) employs code sheets so complex that even the most advanced computers cannot detect them; the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE), utilises highly trained human couriers; and the Kurdish Workers Party (PKK), uses the encryption program Pretty Good Privacy (PGP) that could not be decoded by government code-breaking agencies. [1] The agencies that monitor terrorists and support networks tend to closely protect their “source-based” information even from their domestic and foreign counterpart agencies.

Nonetheless, most governments permit foreign terrorist groups - especially those that do not pose an immediate threat to their national interests - to operate on their soil. It is, therefore, within the scope of research to develop a comprehensive understanding of the support networks by gathering foreign terrorist propaganda (leaflets, broadcasts, newspapers, Internet sources), attending public events (protest marches, rallies, and socio-cultural functions) and interviewing terrorists and their supporters. Occasionally, court and police records of former terrorists may reveal the details of banking transfers and procurement. The academic study of terrorist support structures has been limited to the work of James Adams on the Provisional Irish Republican Army (PIRA) and the Palestinian Liberation Organisation; Yehudit Barsky on the Middle Eastern groups in the US; John Hogan and Max Taylor on PIRA; and a few others. [2] There are some authors who have also studied different aspects of terrorist groups demonstrating the significance of support structures. [3] Nevertheless, at the general level, the study of terrorist support structures remains a highly neglected area of research. As the post-fundraising phase of a support network is the prerogative of government intelligence agencies tasked to monitor terrorist activities and supporters, this study draws heavily on published as well as classified sources.




Although international action against terrorism has improved considerably in the past decade, these efforts have been largely restricted to Europe and North America. The international fight against terrorism was largely developed on the criminal side. As such, states have only addressed the criminal aspects, and rarely the political – propaganda and fundraising – aspects of terrorism. Traditionally, the international political environment, disparity in national laws, [4] and the lack of international cooperation, especially on crimes that are politically motivated, [5] permitted terrorist groups to operate across borders and thrive. Moreover, the phenomenon of globalisation has enabled many terrorist groups to generate support in one theatre and fight in another theatre with relative ease. Robust international support infrastructure makes terrorist groups resilient by enabling them to weather tactical damage in the battlefield. [6] For instance, the PIRA raised a bulk of their funds to procure firearms in the US, but waged their campaign of violence in Northern Ireland and mainland Britain. For every weapon captured or destroyed by the British, the PIRA procured more than two weapons. The community of nations had recognized the need for a co-ordinated response strategy to degrade terrorist-support structures even during the Cold War. [7] But a formulated multi-pronged, multi-dimensional and a multinational response became feasible only after the end of the East-West confrontation. After recognizing this threat, the international community responded by formulating an international convention against the financial mechanisms of terrorism. The United Nations (UN) Convention of 1999 calls upon national governments to suppress the financing of terrorism through open, front, cover and sympathetic organizations of terrorist groups operating on their soil. Nevertheless, the impediments in developing a global strategy to suppress the financial mechanisms of terrorism still remain.

For decades, due to the prevailing Cold War dynamics, various host-governments tacitly or actively permitted the overt or covert operation of terrorist groups. During the Cold War, terrorist groups gained legitimacy when certain countries categorised them as “freedom fighters.” For instance, almost all the Palestinian groups were supported by the former USSR or its satellite states. While some governments channelled support directly, others channelled support through human and minority rights and humanitarian, and other “independent looking” organisations. To this date, the conditions in Europe and in North America remain ripe for any group to establish a support network and channelise funds to fight their homeland campaigns. The reality is that most governments permitted foreign terrorist group to operate on their soil unless the terrorists directly threatened either the host-government’s domestic or international interests.

Sustained support – domestic, international or both – enabled the terrorist core and the penultimate leadership to replenish the wastage in rank and file by recruitment and to boost its eroding support-base by propaganda. As transnational terrorist infrastructures are far removed from the theatre of conflict, they enable terrorist groups to accrue political, economic and military support under relatively safe conditions. Unconstrained by national jurisdiction, these terrorist infrastructures disseminate propaganda, lobby foreign governments and potential supporters, raise funds, invest funds in trade or businesses, procure weapons and hire expertise, recruit and train personnel, and transfer personnel, weapon and other supplies to the theatres of conflict. Disrupting transnational financial infrastructure – constraining access to sophisticated weaponry, expertise and other resources – could appreciably affect the sustainability of a particular terrorist campaign.


Sources of Support


The PIRA and the PLO pioneered the establishment of financial infrastructure in foreign countries to sustain their guerrilla and terrorist campaigns. Although these two trend-setting groups have currently abandoned violence while exploring the democratic route to power, the strategies and the practices they developed to both raise and manage funds are being emulated by various second-generation terrorist groups.

In most high intensity conflicts, with over 1000 fatalities per conflict per year, the mass internal displacement and refugee flows led to the formation of a politicized diaspora and migrant communities. In turn, these diaspora communities are radicalised and mobilized by the terrorists to support their terrorist campaigns in the homeland. The terrorist campaigns range from irredentism (e.g.: reunification of the two Irelands, Pakistan and Kashmir) to separatism (e.g.: Khalistan in India, Tamil Eelam in Sri Lanka) and autonomy (e.g.: Kurdistan in south-eastern Turkey). Contemporary terrorist groups operate internationally through front, cover and sympathetic organizations. These organizations are often registered as charities channelling funds for relief and rehabilitation and promoting human rights and culture. While some groups such as the Hamas in the Middle East and Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) in Asia manage schools and hospitals, they also siphon a percentage of these contributions to procure weapons.

The main sources of terrorist financing are diaspora, domestic, co-ethnic, co-religionist, state, organised crime and investment. Diaspora support, both individual and corporate, can be a voluntary contribution or an involuntary mandatory demand. 'Revolutionary taxation' is often accompanied by coercion, either implicit, employing the threat of force, or explicit, employing the use of force. In collateral coercion, force or the threat of force is used against family members in the homeland to make reluctant members of the diaspora pay. Like diaspora support, domestic support too can be individual or corporate and voluntary or involuntary. To prevent inviting the attention of the host law enforcement agencies, terrorists or their activists operating overseas prefer to use implicit coercion rather than explicit coercion. Sophisticated groups like the PIRA did not use coercion internationally, but selectively used it domestically. Unruly groups like the PKK knifed recalcitrant members of the community and even bombed Kurdish business establishments that refused to pay. Groups like the LTTE have invested extensively in propaganda, aimed at eliciting contributions voluntarily rather than involuntarily. Unlike a political party requesting donations, when a terrorist group makes a request for a donation, the consequences of non-payment are unpredictable. Usually, when one individual is threatened, assaulted, or killed, the rest comply. Communities with extended familial networks are reluctant to complain to host law enforcement agencies, since terrorists are more often than not revengeful, and even retaliate against those who complain by punishing them or their family members.

Co-ethnic and co-religionist support includes contributions from members of an akin ethnie or the same religion. For instance, some ethnic sympathizers in the Republic of Ireland contributed to the PIRA. Similarly, Pakistani-born Kashmiris contributed to the Indian Kashmiri groups fighting the Indian security forces in the Kashmir valley. Co-religionists contributions' include support from members of the same faith driven by religious affinity. Some Muslims of non-Palestinian descent contributed to the Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ) and managed charities in the UK and in continental Europe. Likewise, some non-Egyptian Muslims contributed funds to the Gamaya Islamiya (GI) and the Egyptian Islamic Jihad (EIJ) and other radical Islamic groups engaged in terrorism. Several dozen Middle Eastern and Asian Islamic groups engaged in terrorism have benefited from the donations of wealthy Arabs. Although there is no conclusive proof, it may be surmised that the culture of providing such donations originated when the Afghans fought the Soviets from 1979 to 1989. Despite the personal wealth of the multimillionaire Usama Bin Laden, his group – Al-Quaida (The Base) – continues to raise funds in North America, Europe and in the Muslim world. The Gulf, the Middle Eastern and North African states are yet to recognize the impact of their contributions to charities that have been misused by some groups. For instance, the MILF and the Abu Saayef Group (ASG) in the Philippines diverted funds allocated to build Islamic schools and mosques to strengthen their terrorist and guerrilla bases.

States also contribute funds to terrorist groups to engage inimical states. For instance, the Republic of Ireland, through its military intelligence, disbursed about 100,000 to IRA and to other relief organisations between August 20, 1969, and March 24, 1970. Similarly, the Libyan government contributed nine million pounds sterling and 130 tonnes of weapons – SAMs, AKs GPMG, DHSK armour-piercing machine guns, RPG launchers, flame-throwers, revolvers, and Semtex explosives – to PIRA in the mid-1980s. In addition to funds, the Government of India provided the LTTE – and several other Tamil groups that have now joined the democratic process – both military and specialised training. Both India and Pakistan armed and funded each other’s terrorist groups. Both Iran and Iraq have provided funds to several Middle Eastern and Asian Islamic and non-Islamic groups. Iran’s financial and technical support to Hezbollah has contributed to the instability of Middle East. There are other state sponsors that provide funds under ethnic and religious compulsions.

Like terrorist groups, most contemporary criminal organisations are also transnational in reach. To fund their operations, all well-established terrorist groups engage in organized crime or low-level crime. Organised crime differs from low-level crime in the degree of scale and co-ordination. While organised crime is conducted by an organisation, low-level crime is directed by individuals and appears disconnected. Organised crime can be broadly divided into fraud (percentage from prisoner welfare, social security; illegal logging, cultivating or refining narcotics, video, CD and cassette piracy; taxi scams such as running unregistered taxis; not paying taxes), smuggling (cigarettes, alcohol, narcotics, humans), racketeering (extorting percentages from prostitution, human smugglers, narcotic trafficking, forgers of identity and travel documents, drinking clubs, taxi services), kidnapping for ransom, and armed robbery. The groups that have developed a transnational reach usually engage in organised crime. With time, terrorist groups through their overseas representatives break into high-risk and high-profit ventures such as narcotic trafficking, human smuggling, credit card scams, etc. In addition to developing a capability to adapt and forge both travel documents and visas, some groups work closely with criminal groups to transport migrants from the Global South to the Global North. Some groups such as the LTTE even own a shipping fleet. During the past decade, human smuggling netted profits that rivalled profits from narcotics. The MILF engaged in racketeering, kidnapping for ransom and also in armed robbery in the Philippines. Certain groups such as the Islamic Armed Group of Algeria (GIA), operating in small teams of 5 to 10, engaged in credit card scams and netted Sterling 5,000-10,000 a day. The GIA terrorists in France spend 50% of their time engaging in low-level crime to fund their terrorist operations.

Increasingly, more terrorist groups are developing criminal components to fund their operations. With enhanced international co-operation denying state sponsorship, the evolution of terrorist financial networks is likely to proceed along this path. The most lucrative source of revenue, and one that appears impossible to seal off, is from narcotics trading. Most major terrorist groups engage in cultivating, refining and trafficking in heroin or cocaine, or 'taxing' narcotic traders. They range from the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Columbia (FARC), Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA), PIRA, PKK, the LTTE, Al Quaida and several factions in Myanmar. For instance, V. Manoharan, the head of the LTTE International Secretariat, UK, was arrested in Paris for possession of heroin. Manoharan was fined 120,000 francs and sentenced to three years in prison on March 25, 1985. [8] Until he was released in September 1987, the LTTE paid his salary and thereafter appointed him as the LTTE representative in France. To evade stepped up surveillance, most terrorist groups prefer to engage in transcontinental trafficking by employing semi-autonomous units to ensure deniability. Some groups such as the PIRA and LTTE use merchant vessels to smuggle narcotics and other merchandise goods. For instance the PIRA-chartered British cargo vessel, Ramsland, was interdicted with weapons as well as 36 tons of marijuana to pay for them. Similarly, Valhalla too was engaged in gun running and narcotics trafficking. FARC exchanged narcotics in return for weapons from the Russian mafia. Some groups such as the Kashmiri factions and the Shanti Bahini Movement in the Chittagong hill Tracts of Bangladesh refrain from participating in either retail or wholesale narcotics transfers. As Pakistan believes that trafficking in narcotics would criminalise the Kashmiri campaign, its external intelligence agency, the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) has ensured that none of its client groups are engaged in trafficking narcotics.

Money laundering refers to investment aimed at loosening the dirty track and generating clean money. However, many contemporary groups launder money to generate high profits both in safe and high-risk ventures. Through front, cover and sympathetic organisations, terrorist groups invest in trade, enterprise and in the stock exchange. In the contemporary context, several foreign terrorist groups own gas stations, jewellery shops, supermarkets, canned food industries, printing presses, video and audio parlours, travel agencies, transportation companies, computer schools, security firms, and phone card companies in the UK, Germany, Switzerland, France and in Canada. To make money, terrorist groups hosted cultural and musical events, organised lotteries, and engaged in unauthorized foreign exchange transactions. In the UK, groups like the Hamas, LTTE and the PKK own broadcasting stations, newspapers, restaurants, and development NGOs to solicit grants, etc.

Other than raising funds by soliciting contributions and commercial investments, terrorist groups also lobbied against international aid, trade, tourism and investment. Such terrorist lobbying affected the sustainability of a target state, especially those economies dependent on external revenue, to simultaneously fight poverty as well as terrorism. Through front, cover and sympathetic organizations, terrorist groups have lobbied with the UN and other Inter-governmental organisations, governments and host societies, and NGOs, against political, social and economic intercourse with the target countries. For instance, the International Educational Development Inc. led by Karen Parker even attempted to lobby the UN Human Rights Sub-commission in Geneva. Very few government and private organizations recognized the threat and responded effectively. However, the United Nations denied the provision of NGO status to the Tamil Centre for Human Rights (TCHR) after video evidence sighted one of its representatives, Deirdre McConnell, addressing a LTTE rally in Switzerland. Law enforcement authorities in more than one country are investigating whether funds raised by the TCHR with offices located internationally have been used to procure weapons for terrorist operations. Often, terrorist groups have dissuaded NGOs with a US $ 8 billion budget per year from contributing to development projects by branding the regimes they opposed as engaging in genocide, ethnic cleansing and in human rights violations. On poor advice, some affected states temporarily suspended democratic values by imposing media censorship, curtailing the right of assembly, denying access to human rights NGOs, etc. Terrorist lobbying projected such over-reaction as a permanent feature eroding the international image of their opposing regimes. Failure to counter terrorist propaganda, from leafleting at the UN to slick websites and influential PR firms, led to a remission of international aid and arms embargoes affecting the capacity of a state to wage a sustained campaign against terrorism.

The opportunities open to terrorist groups to generate funds and attack the economy of their opposing regimes has dramatically increased and diversified in the post-Cold war period. With porous borders, stepped-up travel, enhanced communication, and the free flow of ideas and technologies, the mobility of terrorist groups and the spread of their ideologies have gradually increased. With the advent of off-shore-companies and numbered bank accounts, terrorist groups could operate beyond their theatres of conflict undetected over longer periods of time accruing power and wealth.


Dynamics of Support


A number of host and homeland factors and conditions determine the nature, amount and quantity of international support for a terrorist group. PIRA front, cover and sympathetic organisations in the US generated about US $ 2.5 million per year up to the mid-1990s. [9] This was about a fifth of the PIRA budget and a bulk of it was used to procure weapons in the US. PIRA generated about US $ 3.5 million per year per annum since the mid-1990s. The PKK budget was estimated between US $50-100 million a year of which the bulk was from narcotics trading and diaspora contributions. About 80% of the LTTE budget, estimated at US $ 80-100 million, comprised diaspora contributions and revenue from international trade, enterprise and investments. [10] From its diaspora, the JKLF and other Kashmiri groups raised between US $ 100,000–200,000 a year. The volume of hefty contributions from wealthy Arab well-wishers and the Pakistani state, and modest co-ethnic and domestic contributions, is not exactly known. [11] Diaspora contributions depended not only on events in the homeland but also in the host country. Migrant assimilation with the host mainstream diluted the ethnicity factor by the second generation. The world-wide Irish diaspora was about 70 million and the American Irish diaspora was 40.7 million. Before the Kennedy Presidency, racism against the Irish prevented integration, preserving Irish nationalism. Nonetheless, less than 1% of the Irish Diaspora contributed to PIRA and to the other splinter outfits – Irish National Liberation Army (INLA), Continuity IRA and Real IRA. Although the Irish integrated and assimilated themselves in the post-Kennedy years, communities such as the Armenians did not, and therefore were vulnerable to terrorist propaganda. A higher percentage of the Turkish Kurds, Sri Lankan Tamils, Indian Sikhs and the Muslim Kashmiris, living in ethnic enclaves isolated from mainstream host society, contributed to the PKK, LTTE, and to Khalistani and Kashmiri factions.

In most cases, the international revenue of a group was much higher than the domestic revenue. If the fighting zone was economically not devastated, the opportunities for domestic fund raising and local investment were significant. But if the means of generating a livelihood in the homeland was remote, the terrorists focused on generating international support. The dire need to survive determines the efficacy of international propaganda and fund raising wings. Often potential supporters had to be socialised into giving by organising fund-raising drives regularly. To ensure a steady flow, modest monthly contributions were preferred to large one-time contributions. To galvanise the support base into contributing, terrorists used propaganda leaflets, posters, films, lectures, which ideologically indoctrinated the supporters. The most effective were personal testimonies of persons or family members who suffered at the hands of the security forces. Those who were directly affected contributed more than others. The scale of activity through front, cover and sympathetic organisations modulated the support levels. Usually international financial support was translated into military hardware and other supplies, to maintain international offices, and to meet the expenses of the overseas staff. International finance was critical for the military survival of most terrorist groups unless they received partial or full state support. Hard currency was valuable to procure sophisticated weapons and dual technologies that would give the terrorists the much-desired edge over the security forces. The availability of multiple sources of support determined the dependency of a group on one particular source. For instance, PIRA, LTTE and PKK were dependent on diaspora contributions to sustain their military campaign, primarily to procure sophisticated weapons; but the Kashmiri groups were dependent on state sponsorship both for weapons and maintenance of the rank and file in the battlefield.

Many economically sophisticated groups – such as PIRA and the LTTE – invested their funds in businesses. According to James Adams, contributions accounting for 50% of its budget in the early 1970s were invested wisely in commercial ventures. Gradually, the revenue from the businesses exceeded the contributions. Since the second half of the 1990s, the LTTE too generated more revenue from businesses rather than from contributions in the preceding period. While the PKK made a few income-generating investments, the Kashmiri groups lacked the economic acumen to develop an independent source of revenue. While PIRA and the LTTE employed professional accountants, the PKK and the Kashmiri groups witnessed financial mismanagement and financial negligence respectively. The PIRA and LTTE cases demonstrate a trend for terrorist groups to become less dependent on contributions and to invest in high income generating projects. With relative ease, registered companies operating on behalf of terrorist groups transacted businesses, engaged in trade, solicited grants, and laundered funds in high-risk high-income generating investments. The success of disrupting terrorist infrastructure was dependent on host capability of monitoring the range and depth of terrorist front, cover and sympathetic organisations; key personnel; and international co-operation. Compared to monitoring contributions, revenue from businesses was more difficult to monitor. With host legislation increasingly being directed to prevent terrorists from soliciting contributions, it is likely that the terrorists will rely more on revenue from businesses, difficult to detect, disrupt and destroy.

Usually, contributions for terrorist groups were dependent on certain events in their homeland, which could galvanise domestic and diaspora emotions. While Irish American support dramatically increased with the 1969 riots, Bloody Sunday, internment, and the death of hunger strikers; the Tamil support dramatically increased with the burning of the Jaffna library, 1983 riots, and large-scale cordon and search operations. The commitment of the homeland and the diaspora leadership's determined to a large extent the efficacy of propaganda and fund raising campaigns. Coercion to solicit funds in the diaspora increased revenues in the short term, but decreased support in the long term. Ideally, the terrorists had to reinforce fund raising drives with sustained propaganda. Only a few groups had the foresight to co-ordinate and compliment propaganda with fund raising initiatives.

The availability of funds regulated the access of a group to weapons or to weapon components. With more funds, terrorists were able to progress beyond procuring the standard automatic personnel weapons to sophisticated standard high and low trajectory stand off weapons. The terrorist groups that succeeded in procuring stand off weapons such as RPG, LAW, SAMs, MBRL, large calibre mortars or dual technologies such as GPS, closed circuit diving gear, mini helicopters, mini submarines posed a serious threat to standing armies especially of the developing world.

With neutralisation of sources and/or interdiction of supplies, the technical capability of terrorist groups declined. For instance, when the UK and US governments successfully disrupted the international arms pipeline to PIRA, PIRA started manufacturing home-made guns and explosives. Although these improvised weapons were potent, they were not as lethal or accurate as the factory-made weapons. Furthermore, with access to finance, some groups developed or seriously considered developing weapons of mass destruction. For instance, Aum Shinrikyo’s Satian 7, who manufactured the Sarin nerve agent that killed twelve Japanese and injured more than 5000 in 1995, cost approximately US $ 10 million to construct. [12] Aum Shinrikyo netted much larger profits by selling its own manufactured products to its members as well as by managing several businesses, selling computers, pharmaceuticals, noodles and real estate. [13] Thus, sources of funds can always regulate the technical capability of a terrorist group. As such, disrupting the terrorists' capability to raise funds should be an integral component of a comprehensive counter-terrorist agenda of a state.


Domestic Response


The US government took the lead to designate a number of terrorist groups operating on US soil as 'terrorist' in October 1997. The decision of the US government was prompted by the influence and the lobbying capacity of the Jewish community and the State of Israel. Operating through a series of registered and unregistered charities, they argued that the Hamas, the Palestinian Islamic Jihad and Hezbollah were raising significant amounts of money in the US. As the US could not selectively designate just the Middle Eastern groups as 'terrorist', it also decided to review a large number of groups from all the regions of the world. [14] The terrorism centres of the US operational agencies – both the FBI and the CIA – failed to forecast the security implications of such a categorisation on its domestic and international interests. The PKK and the LTTE – with the support of two well-known terrorist lobbyists, R. Fertig of the Humanitarian Law Project and Karen Parker of the International Education Development Inc. – challenged the US decision in court, especially in the context of the denial of aid to lawful and non-violent activities of groups. The terrorist groups lost the two court cases filed in the district courts of Washington and Los Angeles. While a few other groups aligned with anti-US state sponsors, some others built terrorist coalitions to work together against the US. For instance, the Al Quaida led by Usama Bin Laden built a close network with Pakistani and Bangladeshi groups and issued a fatwa against the US.

Many of the terrorist groups also shifted their information infrastructures to Canada, where the laws were hitherto as liberal as in the US. Although the co-operation level between Canadian Security Intelligence Service (CSIS) and the Royal Canadian Mounted Police Force (RCMP) with their US counterparts has been enhanced, the lack of legal teeth in Canada has gravely affected Canadian security. At the pinnacle of audacity, a terrorist front in Canada invited the Canadian Finance Minister Paul Martin to a fundraising dinner in May 2000. The event was organised by the Federation of Tamil Associations of Canadian Tamils (FACT), an organisation identified as a LTTE front both by the US and Canadian governments. The dinner, at C$60 per plate, was held at the Western Harbour Castle hotel in Toronto. Two days before the event, a conversation between a Tamil migrant factory worker and a well-known LTTE fund collector in Toronto Father Francis Xavier recorded: [15]

Migrant worker: We work hard in the factory – hopefully you will not waste the money in Canada.

Fund collector: Do not worry every penny you provide will go to buy arms for the LTTE.

There were other groups that shifted their infrastructures to South and Central America and to Europe. Although the FBI's domination of links between the security agencies in Latin America prevented a truly regional network, it helped to strengthen co-operation within and outside the region.

Today, for any government to mount a sustained fight against contemporary terrorist support networks, it should develop the following seven components. [16] First, political bipartisanship in national security decision making; [17] second, sustained international co-operation; [18] third, comprehensive database with access to all national agencies; [19] fourth, professional intelligence organisations; [20] fifth, highly mobile anti-terrorist forces; [21] sixth, appropriate legal framework; [22] seventh, media cooperation. [23]

In the age of globalisation, it has become apparent that no single country can protect its security without the co-operation of another state. Just as states co-operate, contemporary terrorist groups also co-operate with one another. Similar to states exchanging personnel and sharing intelligence, terrorists also share operational knowledge and fundraising strategies. [24] Identical to states learning from other states, terrorist groups also gain operational knowledge from other groups. Therefore, for effective counter-terrorism strategies to be operational nationally and internationally, the evolving transnational character of the terrorist threat needs to be factored into consideration. For instance, the Islamic Brotherhood and the Jamaat-e-Islami, the two largest Islamic conglomerations of groups, teamed up to fight the campaigns in Afghanistan, Kashmir, Tajiikistan, Algeria, Philippines, Egypt, Chechnya, Dagestan, Bosnia, Xingjiang, and Kosovo.

Although terrorist outfits cooperate at the strategic and tactical levels, states are reluctant to cooperate fully in certain areas. Even between the national agencies of allies, release of information that could compromise their sensitive human assets or counter-technologies has impeded the common fight against terrorism. Thus, Israel did not share information with British counterparts; and the British and US agencies withheld intelligence in certain areas. When requested, the MOSSAD refrained from presenting evidence of support activities of Middle Eastern groups on UK soil. Similarly, the UK does not share information on countering remote-controlled bomb technology with the US due to fear of penetration of the US national security establishment by PIRA. National sensitivities will always be an impinging factor in international co-operation. [25]

Nonetheless, the international community today is aware that sharing national intelligence is imperative in a globalised world. If the international community is seriously considering engaging mobile groups or groups with regional and global networks, international cooperation becomes critical.


International Response


The terrorist campaigns in Europe ended or declined with the implosion of the Soviet Empire, their principal sponsor. [26] The groups that survived the Cold War period were mostly ethnopolitical groups, which had modest to large diaspora and domestic constituencies. As such the ethnopolitical groups had more staying power than the ideologically driven groups. For instance, only the two-ethnopolitical terrorist groupsPIRA and ETA (Spanish Basque separatists)survived in Europe. [27] Despite sweeping changes in the international environment throughout the 1990s, there are more terrorist groups on the European radar screen today. These are mostly Asian, Latin American, African, and Middle Eastern groups, using Europe as a launching pad for support operations. Furthermore, the collapse of the Soviet Empire has left Eastern Europe, the Caucuses and the Balkans open to Western Europe. This has opened up twin opportunities for governments and terrorist groups. North American and Western European governments have developed new intelligence sources. Simultaneously, terrorist groups within Eastern Europe, the Caucuses and the Balkans have formed coalitions with each other and formed working relationships with Western European groups. For instance, during the PIRA-UK government disengagement, both the Real IRA and the Continuity IRA procured weapons from the Balkans.

A comprehensive assessment of the current global intelligence picture suggests that most terrorist campaigns are fought in the Middle East, Asia, Africa, and in Latin America. But the bulk of these terrorist campaigns are sustained by fund-raising in Canada, Europe and in Australasia. The freedom of association, movement and demonstration enshrined in the constitutions of many liberal democracies provides the latitude of operations that many groups lacked at home, generating political support and economic wealth. While the mature campaigns already operate steady support bases, the new campaigns are developing fledgling support bases. Even if disrupted, a well-established group with a significant support base can rebuild its losses within a short period of time. Furthermore, as borders within Europe are porous – with the exception of the Irish and mainland UK border – all the European states will have to respond collectively to any threat. As borders are virtually open within continental Europe, support structure disrupted in one European country is likely to emerge in another. [28] The most effective government strategies are to disrupt the terrorist infrastructure when they are in a formative phase and collectively. The key to this is to harmonise domestic legislation and co-ordinate anti-terrorist responses.

Although international action against terrorism has improved considerably in the past decade, these efforts have been largely restricted to Europe and North America. Despite the existence of co-operative legal frameworks, bilateral co-operation has been limited and multilateral co-operation is largely non-existent. For instance, the convention on terrorism ratified by the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) members exists only on paper. Like EUROPOL, an ASEANPOL is in the making. A SAARCPOL is a distant reality, as a result of disagreements between states primarily over the Indo-Pakistan conflict on the disputed territory of Kashmir. Despite the failure of multilateral initiatives outside the West, bilateral and trilateral initiatives – between Turkey and Germany; the UK and India; India, Nepal and Bangladesh, etc. have helped. The international experience in this realm, and to this point in time, indicates that, with the criminalization of terrorist fundraising and close enforcement by host agencies and authorities, terrorist fundraising receded. Nevertheless, only a few countries have been able to criminalize the support networks of certain terrorist groups. The US has taken the lead by criminalizing 30 terrorist groups. Although the UK has been able to criminalize the domestic Republican and Loyalist terrorist groups, the new legal framework is expected to alter the status quo. In addition to its domestic groups, India criminalized the LTTE, after an LTTE female suicide bomber assassinated Rajiv Gandhi, a former Prime Minister, in May 1991. Germany and a few other European states criminalized the PKK after the PKK conducted a series of terrorist operations throughout Europe. Overall, most states have criminalized their domestic terrorist groups without criminalizing the foreign groups. As terrorist groups are revengeful by nature, many states are wary about designating foreign groups as 'terrorist' and implementing a crackdown against them. Thus, countries like France and Italy permitted foreign terrorist groups to operate as long as they did not did not target their citizens or link up with domestic terrorist groups. But with the terrorist threat to France and Italy increasing, their governments have begun to respond decisively. This demonstrated that it is the threat level that drives international security and intelligence cooperation. In sum, the domestic and international mechanisms and frameworks aimed at combating terrorist infrastructure, including financial infrastructure has been weak or non-existent.


Counter-Terrorism Measures


As terrorist groups in the post-Cold War era have begun to develop an international capability to raise funds, combating global financial infrastructure has been rendered a complex task. For instance, despite the US-UK special relationship, UK's success in persuading the US to disrupt PIRA fundraising and procurement in the US has been limited. Furthermore, despite the LTTE assassinating Rajiv Gandhi, the Indian Government's efforts at disrupting the LTTE infrastructure in South India was not totally successful. But, whenever countries have heightened the level of co-operation, the concerned terrorists have suffered. In 1987, when the Germans cooperated with the French, the French terrorist group Action Direct suffered. In 1992, when the French cooperated with the Spanish, the Basque separatist leadership was captured. In 1998, when the Kenyans cooperated with the Turks, the PKK leader Abdallah Ocalan was captured. Similarly, when the US disrupted PIRA procurement in the 1970s, PIRA started using home made weapons and fertiliser explosives. When India cooperated with Sri Lanka in 1993, the LTTE arms carrier, Ahat, carrying Satasivam Krishnakumar, the head of the LTTE International Secretariat, was interdicted, and as a result, LTTE international operations suffered for a few years.

At a global level, there are four formidable intelligence-sharing networks. [29] However, the building blocks of effective international co-operation – intelligence sharing and exchanging personnel – are cooperation between domestic agencies. Although technical intelligence can assist, the key to monitoring terrorist support networks is human intelligence. Most sophisticated terrorist groups are aware of the technical capability of security services. To manage an agent-handling network, essential to develop high-grade intelligence, highly competent, well-trained and dedicated men and women should be assigned to intelligence gathering, collation and projection. Intelligence is worth ten of everything else. To quote the Director-designate of the UK Counter-Terrorism School, Mike Dolamore, “if you get your intelligence wrong, everything goes wrong.” [30] Without generating high-quality timely and accurate intelligence on financial transactions and banking transfers, it is impossible for domestic agencies to enlist the sustained cooperation of foreign intelligence counterparts. Host intelligence agencies face formidable difficulties in penetrating foreign terrorist groups because of the cultural and language gap. Therefore, success of any information gathering operation is dependent on the ability and willingness of a host agency either to work with its foreign counterparts or enlist migrants able to infiltrate the close-knit support structures of terrorist groups. Penetrating a support network is the stepping-stone to infiltrating a terrorist group. Sustained penetration is the key to damaging a group significantly. But, developing such a capability requires patient, intelligent and hard work spread over a long period of time, qualities that are found to be lacking in most agencies in the developing world.

The key to degrading foreign terrorist groups raising funds is not only to prosecute the collectors but also the group. The basic tenet of English law is to prosecute the individual. An examination of the terrorists' modus operandi reveals that a new member can always replace an old member. Therefore, targeting both the individual and the organisation is paramount to degrade terrorist financing infrastructure. This necessitates a close monitoring of the front, cover and sympathetic organisations as well as the operatives. However, emphasis on targeting organisations and not the operatives can prove counter-productive. This is because a group can create a few hundred fronts, but will find it difficult to replace an experienced operative.

Degrading terrorist financing infrastructure is consequently dependent on the ability and willingness of a host government to mount surveillance and reconnaissance on both organisations and operatives. As the US and German experiences have demonstrated severe penalties, including seizure of funds, confiscation of assets and lengthy prison sentences, are likely to break the morale of fundraising activists and deter fundraising at least temporarily.

Operationally, linking funds raised in one country with the commission of a terrorist crime in another country is extremely difficult to prove in a court of law. Evidentiary information will have to be tested in court and the judicial systems will have to be compatible. Successfully tracking the money trail requires high-grade intelligence that most countries affected by terrorism have failed to develop. Both the process of investigation and the trials are likely to be long, hard and costly work. Nonetheless, governments determined to bring terrorists and their supporting institutions to justice are likely to make use of this window of opportunity. In return, both target and host governments will sharpen their thinking and tools to reactively and proactively address the financing of terrorism across international borders.

When the US State Department banned 30 groups and created a legal framework to prevent support for these groups in October 1997, the PKK and the LTTE legally challenged the decision of the US government. Although they lost the court cases, terrorists are likely to legally challenge future government actions to close down, seize assets and imprison offenders. This would be the case despite the increase in court cases and rising court expenses. However, terrorists are likely to become more clandestine in fundraising, money laundering, investment, and foreign exchange courier and electronic transfers. This is likely to reduce the amount of funds they collect openly. Dependent on how individual governments respond, terrorists are likely to shift from generating funds by open collection to clandestine investment.

Nevertheless, the argument that when a terrorist group is proscribed in a host country, it goes underground and its activities becomes even more clandestine and hence more difficult to monitor is flawed. Many intelligence services have argued that they are comprehensively monitoring the terrorist groups operating on their host soil. But, without their knowledge, funds have been transferred from European, Canadian, Singaporean, Australian, Thai, New Zealand and Australian bank accounts to procurement accounts in the countries of the Balkans, Eastern Europe, and southern belt of the former USSR.

Permitting groups to disseminate terrorist propaganda but to prohibit them from raising funds is not a workable strategy. Propaganda whips up emotions that are converted into hard cash. Disseminating propaganda is the key to fundraising. It is thus not impossible to trace the groups engaged in fund raising. Governments should consider proscribing the operation of any group that employs terrorism – attacks on civilians and public infrastructure – to achieve a political goal. Proscription of the group, as well as its front, cover, and sympathetic organisations should be publicised to deter public support. This should be followed by the intelligence services watching community organisations that are likely to be newly established or infiltrated by terrorist groups.

In addition to these specific counter-measures, there are factors and conditions that could be addressed by long-term political, socio-economic, educational, and criminal-justice reform. [31] National governments should seek to address legitimate political grievances and aspirations that drive Diaspora and domestic populations towards supporting terrorism. Building alternative political forces, renouncing violence as a means to power, and representing the broader public interest are central in dissuading support for violence. The politicisation and radicalisation of a community in terms of lending support to violence is related to the denial or lack of access to equal political, socio-economic, and educational opportunities. Addressing the underlying causes of a marginalized section of the people can restrain growing support for anti-state activities at an early stage. Failure to respond can lead a terrorist group to build significant support and evolve into a larger and a stronger guerrilla force. Sustained support enables a terrorist group capable of attacking soft targets – civilians and unprotected infrastructure – to engage security forces. Terrorist provocation often leads to security forces' reprisals that boost terrorist coffers. Security forces should be trained to win the hearts and minds of communities, especially where their political leaders have been eliminated or silenced by terrorists, rather than to exercise counter-productive concepts such as 'collective punishment.' Reforming the security forces engaged in counter-insurgency operations by instilling discipline, providing intensive training, imparting language skills and teaching public relations is critical to break the actual or potential terrorist grip on the populace. Therefore, the counter-terrorism measures to restrain the development of a terrorist and guerrilla capability to raise funds come within the parameters of general counter-insurgency. The counter-measures against terrorist financing will have a strategic impact only if the causal factors and conditions are recognised, identified and addressed.

Even if one source of finance dries up, contemporary terrorist groups have numerous other opportunities to explore. For instance, with the arrest of US based PIRA fund collectors and procurement officers, PIRA turned to Libya in mid-1985. The Libyan connection provided PIRA sufficient weapons and explosives to last more than a decade. When several hundred Tamils were arrested in the 1980s for selling narcotics at a retail level – 400 in Italy alone – the LTTE shifted from retail to wholesale operations using their ships. To earn respectability some groups temporarily abandon trading in narcotics and explore other avenues of finance generation. But when conditions and factors demanded more resources, the groups that had abandoned the narcotics trade recommenced that activity. Similarly, if legal and quasi-legal incomes dried out and the economic survival of the group was threatened, the drive to recommence illegal activity could over-ride other considerations. When a government disrupts the flow of funds from traditional sources, the propensity for a group to explore newer sources of funds increases. Therefore governments should consider all the options available to a terrorist group before embarking on a programme targeting a specific source of income. Furthermore, whenever possible a government should leave a door open for a terrorist group to abandon violence and seriously seek a negotiated political settlement.




Attacking the lifeblood of a terrorist group should be an integral component of the comprehensive counter-terrorist strategy of any affected state. Realising the threat posed by terrorist support structures, the community of nations has responded by formulating a UN Convention on the Suppression of Terrorist Financing. The latest UN convention calls upon states to strengthen their domestic legislation. This involves formulation of extensive laws and ratifying fairly comprehensive legislation. [32] In countries like Switzerland, Belgium and Japan, this will involve lifting banking secrecy and monitoring of banking services. Although the convention grew out of G8 – which includes Japan - and the Paris and Lyon Summits, initially there was some hesitation on the part of these three countries to support the convention. Countries in Scandinavia, where terrorist groups have established extensive infrastructure, were not forthcoming in their support for this convention. Due to pressure from human rights and civil liberties groups, many governments have been reluctant to support the convention. As a result, this convention is not among the 25 Conventions recommended to member-states for adoption at the turn of the millennium by the UN Secretary General Kofi A. Annan. Nonetheless, this Convention will pressurise and offer guidelines to a number of countries that have suffered gravely from the threat of terrorism or are tacitly supporting terrorism elsewhere. For instance, Sri Lanka has lacked the domestic legislation to fight terrorist support structures. On a visit to Sri Lanka in 1994, the government arrested the UK-based Sothilingam Shanthakumar, an LTTE procurement officer who had initiated purchase of a 60-tonne consignment of TNT and RDX (plastic explosives) purchase from the Rubezone chemical plant in the Ukraine with funds raised in the UK amounting to US $ 40,000. Although the consignment of explosives continued to kill men, women and children by the thousand, he was given a lenient sentence and released in 1997. The Sri Lankan Prevention of Terrorism Act (PTA), modelled on the British PTA of 1974, was drafted before the LTTE developed an international support network in 1983.

Even with the UN Convention coming into force, there will be insurmountable legal, political, operational and other impediments to disrupting terrorist support structures. For instance, the US legislation forbids the FBI from mounting surveillance on any particular community. As such, monitoring certain Asian and Middle Eastern communities that are vulnerable to terrorist penetration is problematic. Segments of Kurds, Sri Lankan Tamils, Indian Sikhs, Kashmiris and Palestinians living in North America, Europe, and in Australasia contribute to the PKK, LTTE, Sikh factions, Kashmiri factions and to Hamas, respectively. [33] Similarly, some terrorist-infiltrated ethnic communities exert constituency pressure on Canadian politicians to legitimize their cause in return for the ethnic vote. Disregarding the advice of Canadian law enforcement authorities, Canada’s Finance Minister, Paul Martin, attended a fundraising dinner hosted by the LTTE in May 2000. Although Martin, a possible future Premier of Canada, earned the wrath of the Canadian media and humiliation by the parliamentary opposition, he survived the scandal. Canada is not an exception, although it is likely the worst affected country. Other liberal democracies in Europe, such as the UK, or in Asia, such as Thailand, also permitted foreign terrorist groups to raise funds openly, even issuing receipts to their contributors.

Prior to the drafting of the UN Convention, and it being open to signature by the member-states in January 2000, there was no existing multilateral legal instrument to expressly address such financing. [34] Hitherto, international cooperation between national governments to disrupt terrorist financing has been ad-hoc and bilateral. Overall, the national governments were slow and not forthcoming with the operational powers to regulate the international financing of terrorism. This was despite UN's recognition of the problem quite early, and the General Assembly Resolution of December 17, 1996, calling upon

“all States to take steps to prevent and counteract, through appropriate domestic measures, the financing of terrorists and terrorist organizations, whether such financing is direct or indirect through organizations which also have or claim to have charitable, social or cultural goals or which are also engaged in unlawful activities such as illicit arms trafficking, drug dealing and racketeering, including the exploitation of persons for purposes of funding terrorist activities, and in particular to consider, where appropriate, adopting regulatory measures to prevent and counteract movements of funds suspected to be intended for terrorist purposes without impeding in any way the freedom of legitimate capital movements and to intensify the exchange of information concerning international movements of such funds. [35]

Developing a common set of values and standards in the fight against terrorism is difficult. In addition, it will require tremendous political will and courage on the part of member-states to disrupt terrorist support structures in their backyards. A shift towards far less national secrecy and the logic of overriding 'national interests' is likely to enhance true international co-operation and international efforts in this direction. Although there will never be cent per cent international cooperation, this is a significant step by the community of nations to demonstrate their disapproval of the employment of the tactic of terrorism. The regulation of banking and financial institutions in host countries is likely to benefit the security of target states suffering from terrorism as well as the security of host states where terrorists have built, and operate, their financial infrastructures. Although the terrorist groups are known to adapt and survive changing political and security counter-measures, the UN Convention is likely to be the first comprehensive challenge to disrupt and degrade transnational terrorist support structures. Only by monitoring the attempts of terrorist groups to circumvent the new laws can respective governments develop counter measures to further tighten existing loopholes in their domestic laws. Due to the enhanced terrorist mobility in search of new opportunities at the beginning of the 21st century, all states will have to develop a coherent, effective and a timely response. The failure of the community of nations to harmonise legislation and respond collectively is likely to ensure the sustainability of on-going transnationally supported terrorist campaigns.


* Dr. Rohan Gunaratna is Senior Research Associate, Centre for the Study of Terrorism and Political Violence, Scotland; Research Fellow, International Policy Institute for Counter-Terrorism, Israel; and Co-Director, Project on Managing Contemporary Insurgencies at the United Nations University, Tokyo. He is the author of six books including Sri Lanka’s Ethnic Crisis and National Security; International & Regional Security Implications of the Sri Lankan Tamil Insurgency; and Indian Intervention in Sri Lanka.

[1] PGP encrypted messages can neither be decoded by the National Security Agency (NSA) of the US nor the General Communications Head Quarters (GCHQ) of the UK, the world’s premier agencies for breaking coded messages.

[2] James Adams, The Financing of Terror, London: New English Library, 1986; James Adams, “The Financing of Terror,” in Paul Wilkinson and Alasdair M. Stewart, Contemporary Research on Terrorism, Aberdeen: Aberdeen University Press, 1987, pp. 393-405; John Hogan and Max Taylor, “Playing the Green Card – Financing the Provisional IRA: Part 1” Terrorism and Political Violence, London, 11(2), Summer 1999, pp. 1-38.

[3] See, for instance, David Claridge, “How Terrorist Organisations Grow,” Terrorism and Beyond: The 21st Century, Oklahoma City Memorial Institute for the Prevention of Terrorism, April 2000; D.W Brackett, Holy Terror, Armageddon in Tokyo, New York: Weatherhill, 1996, pp. 89-90 and Darshan Singh Tatla, The Sikh Diaspora: The Search for Statehood, London: ULC Press, 1999.

[4] For instance, the Republic of Ireland did not extradite its nationals to the UK. Similarly, Italy, France, Belgium have rarely extradited one of its nationals on grounds of the political exception principle or otherwise.

[5] Rohan Perera, International Terrorism, Delhi: Vikas, 1997, pp. 1-9.

[6] Rohan Gunaratna, Dynamics of Diaspora-supported Terrorist Networks: Factors and Conditions Dampening or Driving Diaspora Support for Terrorism, Unpublished Ph.D. Thesis, University of St Andrews, Scotland, UK, 1999, p.476.

[7] Paul Wilkinson, Terrorism and the Liberal State, London: Macmillan, 1986, pp. 284-302.

[8] Terrorism branch, INTERPOL, Lyon, June 2000.

[9] British Intelligence source, January 1999.

[10] Rohan Gunaratna, Sri Lanka's Ethnic Crisis and National Security, Colombo: South Asian Network on Conflict Research, 1998, pp. 217-18.

[11] Interviews with leaders of Kashmiri factions in the UK, January 1999.

[12] David E. Kaplan and Andrew Marshall, The Cult at the End of the World: The Incredible Story of Aum, London: Hutchinson, 1996, p.120.

[13] Brackett, Holy Terror, Armageddon in Tokyo, pp. 73-74.

[14] Bruce Hoffman, Terrorism Specialist, personal communication, December 1998.

[15] The Sri Lankan Tamil, who posed as a migrant worker, was a plant by the Canadian authorities. Phone transcript.

[16] Rohan Gunaratna, “International Co-operation Against Terrorism: Problems and Prospects” Seminar for British Military Personnel, St Andrews, Scotland, UK, 1999.

[17] Without political bipartisanship, the continuity of trained and experienced personnel in the intelligence community will be lost with the election of a new party to power. Furthermore, the conflict is likely to develop into a “political football” where rival politicians will compromise long-term national security goals for short-term political gains.

[18] International co-operation entails exchange of intelligence and personnel; training of friendly agencies and counter terrorist forces; sharing of technology and experience.

[19] Due to inter-agency rivalry, both the input and the sharing of data has become problematic. This has impeded the effectiveness of both the collecting and the operational arms.

[20] In a professional intelligence organisation, appointments are made and promotions are governed on merit and ability and not on political colour or personal friendships.

[21] By training with experienced counter-terrorist forces, countries that are not at present facing a terrorist threat can develop skills and expertise in fighting terrorism. GSG9 in Germany, SAS in the UK, NOCS in Italy and GEO in Spain currently cooperate.

[22] Many countries lack legislation either to mount surveillance or disrupt terrorist support structures. Some countries facing the threat of terrorism are grappling with archaic legislation that has not taken into account the new methods terrorist groups are employing to accrue wealth and political power.

[23] Poor government relations with the media can trigger greater support for the terrorists.

[24] For instance, Hezbollah technology has ended up with PIRA. The transfer link has been through GIA, that trained with Hezbollah, and ETA, which is close both to the GIA and to PIRA. PIRA also established technical links with FARC. Technology was mostly transferred at low levels often between operatives working together on missions.

[25] The UK is much better in this regard than what it was five years ago. There were more reports that said “No foreign dissemination: UK eyes only” five years ago. This was because intelligence was compromised during exchange.

[26] The most pronounced campaigns that ended were Action Direct of France, Baarder Meinhoff of Germany, Red Brigades of Italy, and the Communist Combatant Cells of Belgium.

[27] As of July 2000, the groups in Brittany and Corsica are still active, but on a lower scale.

[28] When the French cracked down on the GIA, many of the other foreign groups in France relocated themselves in Scandinavia. Furthermore, when the PKK infrastructure in Germany was disrupted, the PKK relocated its European headquarters in the Netherlands and thereafter in Belgium.

[29] After World War II, the UK, US, Canada and Australia developed the largest intelligence network closely followed by the network developed by the Soviet Union and its satellite states. The latter's' network is still operational but between the CIS. Followed by these two, which generates the largest volume of intelligence, the European and Commonwealth networks are the largest and the strongest both in terms of cooperation and reach. The US has observer status in the Commonwealth network. In addition to several networks that cooperate informally and voluntarily, the four non-treaty -- non-legally binding co-operating networks under PWGOT, TREVI, SHENGEN and Dublin agreements.

[30] Personal communication, January 2000.

[31] Terrorism is a form of politics. Poverty and party politics are conducive for the rooting and sustenance of terrorism. By bipartisan national initiatives, especially far reaching reforms, the threat posed by terrorism can be mitigated and ended.

[32] Interview with Rohan Perera, Chairman, UN Ad Hoc Committee responsible for drafting the UN Convention on the Suppression of the Financing of Terrorism, June 2000.

[33] The most active Sikh faction that raises funds world-wide is the Babbar Khalsa International (BKI), a group with significant infrastructure in Canada. The most active Kashmiri factions that raise funds are the Jammu and Kashmiri Liberation Front (JKLF), Hizb-ul- Mujahideen, and the Harkat-ul-Ansar, groups with infrastructure primarily in the UK.

[34] For the Convention to become a law, 22 countries will have to sign and ratify the treaty by December 2000.

[35] “UN Convention on the Suppression of the Financing of Terrorism”, Information Sheet, New York: UN HQ, January 2000.





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