In January 2018, FATF released a new report “Financing for Recruiting for Terrorist Purposes”.  In its article on the release, law firm Shearman & Sterling say that the Report examines the typical methods of recruitment to terrorist organisations and the costs associated with those methods, that recruitment methods vary from region to region, and that techniques include recruitment via religious groups in some regions and online recruitment via social media in others.  The Report also presents case study data on the sources of funds available to terrorist recruiters and the general expenditures involved in the recruitment process.  The Report recommends –

  • Improved inter-agency and international co-operation to share information and analyze suspected recruiters and financial supporters of terrorist organisations; and
  • That national operational and security agencies engage more with the private sector, non-profit organisations and social media and other Internet providers, by providing better contextual information and guidance to enable those providers to identify the financial flows associated with terrorist recruitment.

The Report says that, while terrorist organisations have different recruitment techniques, depending on whether they are large, small or a dispersed network of individuals, it has identified the most common methods of recruitment used by terrorist organisations and terrorist cells (and their related funding needs) as follows –

  • Personal needs of the recruiter and the maintenance of basic infrastructure for the recruitment/facilitation network;
  • Production and dissemination of recruitment materials (e.g. online or in print);
  • Paying for goods and services to facilitate the new recruits’ early participation in the terrorist organisation (e.g. travel, accommodation costs or payments); and
  • Financial incentives provided directly to recruits.

This Report also found that –

  • Recruitment activities on the Internet are often very closely linked to appeals for financial assistance to terrorists;
  • Recruitment and dissemination of terrorist ideology in prisons and correctional centres is increasing. In one case study, individuals in prison received funding for recruitment activities;
  • More information is required on the costs associated with producing high quality recruitment materials such as the online magazines and video games produced by ISIL. The production of these materials, and their continuous availability online, requires a certain level of expertise and equipment which is likely to have some financial implications and could generate a financial footprint; and
  • Some terrorist organisations may experience the need for specialists in civilian professions who cannot be recruited on ideological grounds (e.g. engineers, doctors, IT specialists, financiers, professional money managers.). The costs of obtaining and engaging the service of such specialists can easily exceed the salaries of ordinary members.


Author: raytodd2017

Chartered Legal Executive and former senior manager with Isle of Man Customs and Excise, where I was (amongst other things) Sanctions Officer (for UN/EU sanctions), Export Licensing Officer and Manager of the Legal-Library & Collectorate Support Section

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