Stopping terrorism is the number one priority of the United States Federal Bureau of Investigation yet they and other agencies are not working with all of the best technology that can be made available. Currency Tracking Technologies (CTT) is developing applications of that technology which will enhance law enforcement’s intelligence capabilities to stop terrorism by providing advanced software for scanning cash, a networked database for all the latest intelligence on cash involved in criminal activity, and data management solutions supported by blockchain and artificial intelligence.
Terrorist groups have become increasingly adept at eluding detection through the use of cash, sophisticated laundering operations, or legitimate front companies. Currency is a necessary element of terrorist activity. Sleeper cells need to remain below the radar, paying rent, keeping a simple job, buying groceries, nothing too fancy, just enough to stay afloat and not get noticed. Additionally, they need resources to plan, stage, and train for attacks.
Cash is the easiest way to keep an anonymous storage locker rental, or a stash house for engineering explosives. It’s the easiest way to avoid a paper trail for chemical purchases, black market small arms or light weapons acquisitions.
Terrorists will use any kind of money from nefarious sources, from the drug trade, or human trafficking, to counterfeiting their own — the less traceable, the better.
Who are the terrorists:
Organizations such as the so-called Islamic State, Colombian FARC, ETA, Hamas, Boko Haram, and Al-Qaeda and its affiliates are largely dependent on the use, transfer and storage of cash.
Terrorists have become adept at laundering money, using the Hawala transfer system to hide it, investing in legitimate businesses, and using charities to mask money marked as donations. Although there are thousands of charities in the Muslim world and only a hundred or so are funneling donations to terrorist-related activities, they are often the largest and best-funded charitable organizations.
One notable example was when leaked emails revealed the Clinton Foundation was accepting donations from Saudi Arabia and Qatar while admitting in private that both “…the governments of Qatar and Saudi Arabia, … are providing clandestine financial and logistic support to ISIL and other radical Sunni groups in the region.”
- About 60 percent of terrorism is funded through illicit activities such as drug trafficking.
- Law enforcement is disrupting and dismantling terrorist financing and criminal laundering operations through more advanced investigative tools and tighter money laundering regulations.
- The FBI’s number one priority is protecting the U.S. from terrorist attacks.
- Terrorist groups have become adept in eluding law enforcement through the use of cash and sophisticated money laundering operations.
The U.S. State Department released their annual Country Reports on Terrorism in September naming Syria, Sudan, North Korea, and Iran as the primary State Sponsors of Terror in the world. Saudi Arabia and Qatar didn’t make the list.
In 2009, AUSTRAC discovered movement of money from Australia to Somalia-based terror organization al-Shabaab. Without a currency tracking tool available to them, and all the money transfers made under false names, investigators could only identify suspects by matching telephone numbers to phone ownership records.
CTT’s firmly held vision is one of Law Enforcement and Federal Agencies (eventually international agencies, too) having access to the best crime-stopping tools available.
Creating a proprietary software capable of running advanced scans of currency through top-of-the-line scanners, coupled with a national real-time updating database, supported by blockchain for immutable chain of custody, and enhanced by artificial intelligence to recognize and predict patterns, the crime-fighting tools of the future are (almost) here.