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In the Media

article imageVideo: Following the Taliban's money trail

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By Can Tran
Dec 29, 2012 in World
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When combating terror across the world, there is the focus on going after the financial streams of terrorist organizations and crime organizations with ties to terror.
In the Middle East, there's plenty of chaos to go around due to a combination of intimidation from militant groups and ineffective government responses. One has to go back to Afghanistan, which has been dealing with Taliban militants. Even all these years, coalition forces are still having problems dealing with the Taliban which has a strong presence in Afghanistan and Pakistan.
How do you deal with criminal organizations, hostile government regimes, and so forth? Operations require financing. You follow the money trail and neutralize the finances. In the case of the Taliban, you have Haji Khairullah Barakzai who the United States Treasury Department says is one of the biggest financiers of the Taliban. The US Treasury Department also calls Khairullah the one who created the cash flow infrastructure for the Taliban. If you want to put a stop to a group or a movement, you take out the financial infrastructure and the people who can build it.
ReutersTV uploaded a video that talks about the Taliban's finances. It focuses on Khairullah who is the main subject of the video.
Who is Khairullah in the first place? Khairullah runs a currency-exchange business. In short, Khairullah works in money. So far, it is reported that Khairullah's currency-exchange business is legit; but, he is painted as a person that has strong ties with the militant group. At the same time, his peers consider him a pillar of the Afghan community.
Currently, he's been slapped with finance sanctions. In short, the United States Government is going after all possible finance streams that the Taliban is using. This is an example of targeting the financial streams to hurt terrorist and other criminal organizations.
Recently, HSBC has agreed to pay $1.25 Billion and enter a deferred prosecution agreement. This is in regards to money laundering, which in turn, financed criminal organizations and those that had terrorist connections. A Forbes article talks about how going after terrorist funding is not an easy task to perform. The article talks about Lebanon and Hezbollah. It talks about how Lebanon has done a lot of work to comply with international anti-money laundering standards; but, it faces more pressure to reaffirm to those standards. It also points out Hezbollah's strong presence and influence in the country.
In an article of This Day Live, it talks about how Nigeria and Switzerland are blocking sources of funding. This is a means to disable funding for terrorist activities taking place in Africa.
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More about Afghanistan, Terrorism, Islamic extremism, islamic extremist, Terrorists
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