Most people living in the Western world will hear the word “terrorism” on news shows every single day. The definition of terrorist is “a person who uses terrorism in the pursuit of political aims.” So, it covers any group other than the official government that wants to rule a country or nation. It also encompasses anyone who uses violence to raise political issues or change public thinking. However, the most interesting aspect of all this is how those people get their money. Like it or not, bombs and ammunition don’t come for free – or do they?
Leading Iran expert, Mark Dubowitz released a paper that discussed the implications of the Iranian nuclear deal. He claimed that thousands of American dollars would now flow into the Islamic Republic. Then highlighted the fact that the Supreme Leader was likely to allocate those funds to terrorism. He published concerns that seem well-founded, but that the government is yet to accept.
If the pundits are right, the US could play a big role in financing terrorism during the next ten to fifteen years. They even help to support Saudi Arabia, even though they are known to fund fringe groups. That wasn’t the intention, and it could change as evidence surfaces. However, there’s no getting away from the fact that America has just allowed Iran billions in sanction relief. They’ve given that money to a country that already has a thriving economy and enough cash to support the population. So, it stands to reason they would use it to further their political ambitions.
That’s just one instance of terrorism funding worthy of attention. There are many more issues the world faces before we stamp out such disgusting practices. For example, many illegal groups use the international drug trade to raise cash. That is especially the case in the Middle East where conditions are perfect for growing marijuana and opium. Indeed, Afghanistan regained its position at the world’s top opium producer only months after the US invasion of 2001.
There are also some terrorist groups that finance their operations through kidnapping and robberies. Some readers may remember when the Islamic State overran the main Syrian bank and stole more than $35,000,000. The real problem comes when you start to look at how their launder that money. In most instances, it has to go through accounts in many Western banks before it is spent on weapons or terrorism. Some of the biggest banking groups in the world have been accused of handling that cash in recent times.
Now you understand the primary sources of funding for terrorism, the plot seems to thicken. If Western governments are inadvertently sending money to the wrong people, that’s something that needs to stop. The same goes for international banking chains that help to launder all the proceeds. We need transparent procedures and impartial investigators looking at the situation at all times. That would help to ensure money never flows in the wrong direction, and we don’t arm out enemies.
Is it possible to stop terrorism if you starve the organizations of money? That’s the idea, but it seems current policies could produce the opposite outcome.
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