All rights reserved, 2019
by OATF

THE "TABLE RONDE"

The “Table Ronde” is a think tank within the NGO. Its goal is to reflect on the stakes and issues related to the financing of terrorism and the proliferation of unconventional weapons.

The Think Tank members are political representatives, representatives of the military and civil world, legal experts, international financial experts and intelligence specialists.

The purpose of the roundtable is to create recommendations and reports that will come directly into the hands of states, to facilitate decision-making, action and cooperation.

Understand the Terrorist Economy

International terrorism has created an entire ecosystem that allows terrorist action to achieve maximum results with minimal means.

Remember: 9/11 attacks cost, according to sources, varies between $175,000 to $343,000; Madrid, London, Manchester, Brussels, Stockholm or Paris attacks costed a few thousand euros…

Let's not talk about knife and ram attacks...

On the other hand, financing for hiring, renting, training terrorists, logistics and propaganda on the internet as well as development of networks of influence - are much higher. In the same way as downstream financing: when it comes to taking care of terrorists families or paying for transactions to allow people to change their identity.

Until the emergence of Daesh, there were standard types of funding. But, the Islamic State has constituted a paradigm shift.

The constitution of a proto-state allowed to create a real economic ecosystem allowing ISIS to carry out oil trafficking thanks to the connivance of foreign services, the institutionalization of an Islamic tax and investment in the local economy in Iraq and Syria.

Let's not forget the origin of Daesh...  In 2013, the ideological struggle of Al Qaeda in Iraq and its external financing was exhausted. Thus, the group was transformed into " Islamic State ".

Limits of the fight against terrorism financing

 

While violent terrorist action is cheap and implements modest funding models, these models become almost undetectable within illegal financial flows or in routine currency movements.

 

 

The main difficulty that remains is the lack of consensus around the definition of terrorism. In 2019, there is still no clear definition of terrorism by the United Nations. This is why the OATF proposes a clear and simple definition of what terrorism is:

 

Terrorism is the use of violence against civilians to promote political ends.

A lack of Political Will ?

It is up to the states to implement effective means to combat tax optimization, financial flows for political and terrorist purposes. That is the reason why our think-thank brings together around the same table the very actors that will effectively fight against terrorist groups and the spread of hawalas for terrorist actions.

 

That's why at the OATF we help these actors to put in place measures to fight the informal economy of terrorist groups:

- by encouraging states to combat hawalas by developing a reliable banking system

- by harmonizing tax and banking standards, as well as financial platforms in order to put an end to offshore financing

- by encouraging more countries to sign the 1999 UN Convention

- by permitting the identification and indictment of financial facilitators and other harmful individuals

A new stake : cryptocurrencies and technologies of the Blockchain

Facing the growing craze for cryptocurrencies, the subsequent risk of money laundering and terrorism financing exists and is constantly growing. Terrorist groups now have a new money laundering platform: blockchains. Blockchains do not really create new scam methods, however they do offer a new field of application to terrorists.

The development potential of virtual currencies is important and justifies the development of a legal framework that can foster innovation while preventing abuses and especially money laundering by terrorist groups.

The role of states and collaboration between states is so crucial here: virtual currencies are by definition currencies without borders.