Regional conclave discussing terror financing through fake charities

April 14th, 2009 - 6:59 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, April 14 (IANS) With the Mumbai attacks bringing to the fore the growing misuse of charities as conduit of funds for terrorist activities, a three-day regional conference on countering terrorism financing began here Tuesday.
Officials and technical experts from the US, India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Nepal, the Maldives and the European Union are participating in the conference aimed at cracking the financial backbone of terrorists organisations.

The conference on countering terrorist financing in the charitable sector is being organised by the US embassy and the Asia Pacific Group on Money Laundering, an international organisation comprising 39 countries and a host of regional and international observers that aims at starving terrorists of funds.

The conference aims at “promoting government action to prevent terrorist organisations from exploiting humanitarian or religious charities as a way to conceal the illegal international movement of funds”, the US embassy said in a statement here.

“The international community has recognised the need to protect the charitable sector both to combat terrorism and to assure donor confidence in the integrity of charities,” the embassy said.

The conclave will discuss and explore best practices and a wide range of options for cooperation to protect the charitable sector from this regional and global threat

India suspects key operatives of the Laskar-e-Taiba, a banned Pakistan-based terrorist outfit, to be the masterminds of the Nov 26 Mumbai carnage. After being banned in 2002, the LeT has reinvented itself and has sought to hide behind the Jamat-ud-Dawa, which calls itself an Islamic charity. Pakistan was forced to ban JuD following sustained pressure for India and the international community and arrest some LeT leaders for their alleged involvement in the Mumabi attacks.

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