Cutting money supply to terror groups will end terrorism!

Cutting money supply to terror groups will end terrorism!

Recently, the UNSC passed a resolution to prevent terror financing to ISIS, Al Qaeda and other such groups in a bid to counter terrorism. Saudi Arabia has also formed a counter-terrorism unit to battle the menace with many nations as part of a coalition. With questions about whether putting an end to the financing will bring terrorism to an end arising, let us see if this aspect of counter terrorism has the ability to douse the flames of terrorism.


1. Counterterrorism is a very comprehensive campaign: Ending terror financing is just one part of counter-terrorism operations. Policy makers will need to turn to a range of policy instruments to conduct these campaigns. This includes detailed police and intelligence work, political negotiations, military force and sociological changes such as spread of education and poverty alleviation besides economic sanctions to end terrorism.

2. Most groups ended through operations and negotiations: Most terror groups ended their operations through police and intelligence operations or negotiation and settlements with the government. Very rarely did military force work and even stopping terror financing will not curb the menace till concentrated efforts are made on all scores.

3. Other factors are also important: Studies have shown that economic conditions impact terror groups on the basis of their regime type, size, ideology and group goals. Comprehensive case studies of specific terror groups and how they ended pointed to political negotiations. In fact the narrower the foals, the more likely political accommodation would work. Military force only works when terror groups are well organised, large and armed.

4. Terror involves a powerful ideology- Terror is based on brainwashing and a certain ideology of hatred which has to be countered. Cutting off the money supply alone will not work.

5. Non military methods can only be complementary: Non military instruments such as cutting off terror financing or providing foreign assistance continued to create a strategy for a war on terrorism that ignores the military factor. If policing and intelligence do not form the backbone of efforts, catching tracking and arresting the terrorists will be hard.

6. Terrorism has many root causes: Availability of money for terror financing is only one part of the bigger picture. Main causes of terrorism include unemployment, poverty, injustice, corruption and lack of education. These need to be tackled first.


1. Ending terror financing will maximise efforts to detect terrorist attacks: Exchange programme is already in place with agencies to fight money laundering and terrorism financing. Cutting off the money supply can prevent further attacks.

2. Terror financing gives a clue to risk profiling: Cooperation with the private sector to trace the sources of money would be a prelude to detecting terrorist attacks. Actionable intelligence becomes easier to gain if financial networks for funding terror are identified and cut off.

3. Stopping terror financing will lower attacks: Money enables terror groups to continue their daily operations. Stopping the flow of financial support to terrorist organisations will lower the intensity and frequency of attacks besides stopping them altogether. Barriers and economic sanctions will really help in countering terrorism.

4. International standards for terrorist financing sanctions will work: Terror financing is an evil that fuels the fire of terrorism. If the money can be cut off at the source, terrorist activities would face organisational failures and execution delays. Placing barriers on terror financing will simply divert it to another country till international standards for terror financing are in place. But stopping the flow of funds will definitely prevent the arms and ammunitions from reaching the terrorist groups.


Terrorism is a scourge that threatens society and harms economic growth, peace and social harmony. Ending terror financing is just one part of the comprehensive approach that is needed to counter terrorism. However, it should be noted that cutting off the money supply is a very critical part of the counterterrorism operations without which a terror free world cannot be accomplished. Governments and agencies should focus on intelligence sharing as well as economic sanctions to counter terrorism. A solution that does not consider the financial angles will fail to work. Likewise, without changes on a social scale including alleviation of poverty and unemployment, terrorism will continue to ensnare young minds and cause great suffering. Education can also work towards making the world free of terrorism and steps to counter this global menace will work only if coordinated efforts are made across all scores rather than concentrating on one aspect alone. With global bodies such as UNSC and the powerful nations like Saudi Arabia taking steps to counter terrorism, it is hoped that this evil menace will cease to plague the world for once and for all.
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  • RE: Cutting money supply to terror groups will end terrorism! -Deepa Kaushik (12/23/15)
  • Finance is one major component that promotes terrorism. The highly equipped technologies involved in the terror attacks are because of the huge amount of money pumped in to the terror activities. The terror groups are gaining immense confidence due to the good sum of money that gets rotated into their stream and they get to enjoy the circulation of money for heinous crimes.

    The money is the soul factor which makes the terror groups expand. It is not only the brain-washing criteria but also the lure for money to the family and their well-being which makes the young minds get trapped to these terror activities. The terrorist groups are able to combat poverty and unemployment with the lure for a good amount to their families. If we can remove the route cause of unemployment and raise the standard of loving of the citizens, that would end the agenda of the terror groups to trap these poor young brains.

    Cutting money supply to the terror groups is not all that easy task. These groups are not gaining good amount from good sources which we can block simply. The terror groups are funded by the ill and crook minded who plot the innocent people and make them as puppets. Hence, it would be very difficult to conclude that cutting money supply to terror groups would end terrorism.