A new Occasional Paper from RUSI details the financial behaviours of “self-activating” terrorists in planning their attacks and assesses why counter-terrorist finance controls have been ineffective in detecting them. “Self-activating” terrorists involve so-called “lone wolf” attacks. It is said that much of the current ‘conventional wisdom’ around these kinds of actors assumes that terrorist financing and a CFT response are not relevant to this growing threat and involving little to no preparation or financial resourcing. In light of this, the European Commission commissioned RUSI Europe to carry out this research study to answer 2 related research questions –
How do self-activating terrorists operating in Europe conduct their financial attack preparations?
How should the CTF regime be changed to meet this pervasive terrorist threat?
The research findings included that self-activating terrorism can have a financial and commercial dimension and any financial activity is not necessarily negligible or invisible. It also said that current CFT collaborations are not structurally flexible or wide-ranging enough to tackle the self-activating terrorist problem proactively.
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