The Asia/Pacific Group on Money Laundering and the Middle East & North Africa FATF (MENAFATF), regional FATF-style bodies, have published a typologies report on social media and terrorism financing.
The report provides an updated and more focused analysis on of techniques and trends, including indicators, associated with the abuse of social media services for financing acts of terrorism, individual terrorists or terrorist organisations.
It says that social networking and content hosting services are primarily used to solicit donations, promote terrorism through propaganda and radicalisation; but, consistent with the current limited integration of payment methods in these services, most cases provided as part of the report show donated funds are moved using traditional payment methods.
It also says that internet communication services were used in many cases to privately communicate with campaigners or terrorist groups. The vulnerabilities of these services, for example, encrypted communication and the number of active users, are factors driving their abuse for terrorist financing.
Crowdfunding services were used in a number of cases provided as part of the report, with campaigners often disguising the use of funds for humanitarian causes.
The report highlights challenges in combating terrorist financing via abuse of social media.