NEW DELHI: Union Home Minister Amit Shah on Friday said terrorism is the most serious threat to global peace and security, and that “protecting a terrorist is equivalent to promoting terrorism”.
Shah’s remarks came while chairing the first session of the third ‘No Money for Terror’ Ministerial Conference on the ‘Global Trends in Terrorist Financing and Terrorism’ theme.
In his opening address, the Union Home Minister said, “Terrorism is undoubtedly the most serious threat to global peace and security, but the financing of terrorism is more dangerous than terrorism itself because the ‘means and methods’ of terrorism are nurtured from such funding. Furthermore, the financing of terrorism weakens the economy of countries of the world”.
Shah said that India condemns terrorism in all its forms and manifestations and said no reason can justify an act such as taking innocent lives. While expressing his sympathy for the victims of terrorist attacks all over the world, the Home Minister said there should be no compromise with this evil.
Shah said that India has been a victim of terrorism for several decades, which is sponsored from across the border. He said that Indian security forces and civilians have had to deal with incidents of extremely serious terrorist violence perpetrated in a sustained and coordinated manner.
The Union minister said that the international community has a collective approach that terrorism must be condemned in all its forms but, the forms and manifestations of terrorism are continuously evolving due to technological revolution. He also 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.
He said that this transformation of terrorism from “dynamite to metaverse” and “AK-47 to virtual assets” is definitely a matter of concern for countries around the world, and stressed that all have to work together to formulate a common strategy against it. “We also recognise that the threat of terrorism cannot and should not be linked to any religion, nationality, or group”, he added.
The Home Minister listed the six pillars of India’s strategy against the financing of terrorism. “First, strengthening the legislative and technological Framework; Second, creation of a comprehensive monitoring framework; Third, actionable intelligence sharing mechanism and strengthening of the investigation and police operations; Fourth, provision for confiscation of property; Fifth, prevent misuse of legal entities and new technologies, and Sixth, establishing international cooperation and coordination”, he said.
Shah also highlighted the role of the amendment to the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act and the National Investigation Agency (NIA) in India’s fight against terrorism and its financing. “India has strengthened the fight against terrorism and its financing, with the amendment of the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act, strengthening the NIA, and giving a new direction to financial intelligence. It is the result of our continuous efforts that terrorist incidents in India have come down drastically. This has also resulted in a drastic reduction in the economic losses caused by terrorism”, he said.
“We have seen that some countries protect and shelter terrorists. Protecting a terrorist is equivalent to promoting terrorism. We should never ignore terrorists’ safe havens or their resources. We also have to expose the double-speak of such elements who sponsor and support them”, the Home Minister said.
In the last few years, Shah said, “India, under PM Modi’s leadership, has succeeded in cracking down on terror financing”. To achieve the goal of ‘No Money for Terror’, Shah said the global community must understand the “mode-medium-method” of terror financing and adopt the principle of ‘One Mind, One Approach’ in cracking down on them.
“The Darknet is being used by terrorists to spread radical content and conceal their identities. There is an increase in the use of virtual assets like cryptocurrency. We need to understand the patterns of these Darknet activities and find their solutions,” he said. “The emerging trends of the illegal trade of narcotics, and the challenge of narco-terror, have given a new dimension to terror financing. In view of this, there is a need for close cooperation among all nations”, he noted. (ANI)