Report: Fraud schemes and money laundering fund terrorism in Central Asia
Kazakhstan’s state-controlled bank, BTA, has been implicated in a transfer allegedly made by the bank to the benefit of an unnamed terrorist group.
Security watchers have started to recognise the diversification and long-distance integration of terrorist networks – in particular away from the Middle East. “For years, individuals and charities based in Saudi Arabia were the most important source of funds for al-Qaeda. […] Saudi officials have taken steps to disrupt terrorist financing in their country, yet charities continue to play a role in the sponsorship of terrorist groups,” a US Council of Foreign Relations report posted recently reads. “Many terrorist organizations attempt to operate legitimate businesses, which generate their own profits and can also be used as a front for money laundering. Ties to terrorism have been found amid the trade of livestock, fish, and leather. Businesses involved in agriculture and construction have also been found to support terrorism. […] Another, more traditional means of transfer is also widely used by terrorists. Hawalas are time-honored, trust-based remittance agencies popular across Asia and found throughout the world, particularly in Muslim communities. With no more than a handshake and a password, individuals are able to transfer money across the world.”