NIA Director-General Dinkar Gupta addresses a news conference on the third edition of the No Money for Terror conference at the National Media Center in New Delhi on November 17, 2022. Photo credit: PTI
India has evidence of social media platforms using crowdfunding to finance terrorist activities, Dinkar Gupta, director-general of the National Investigation Agency (NIA) said on Thursday.
The head of the federal anti-terrorism agency said abuse of social media platforms was an issue to be discussed at the third No Money for Terror Conference (NMFT) to be held in India on November 18-19 will align.
Mr Gupta shared details of the conference, which will be attended by representatives from 78 countries, but said Pakistan and Afghanistan would not attend the event as confirmation from China was awaited.
The Hindu reported on November 15 that the use of crowdfunding platforms to finance terrorist activities and weak control mechanisms of social media platforms were one of the four main topics to be discussed at the conference.
Mr Gupta said the goal is to build an integrated approach to countering terrorism. Ministers from 20 countries had confirmed attendance and a total of 450 representatives would be present, including representatives from Interpol, Europol and the Financial Action Task Force (FATF).
Prime Minister Narendra Modi would open Friday’s session.
The meeting will build on the outcomes and learnings of the two previous conferences (held in Paris in April 2018 and in Melbourne in November 2019) and will work towards enhancing global cooperation to deny terrorists finance and access to legitimate jurisdictions
“Terrorism is an important issue for India. Almost all countries are given the opportunity to present their points of view. There will be no restrictions,” Mr Gupta said, adding that the number of terrorist attacks had decreased significantly in all areas.
Asked if Pakistan’s role in supporting terrorism in India would be addressed at the conference, Mr Gupta said: “Discussions that are not centered around a specific country will be discussed wherever the threat is coming from.”
Sanjay Verma, Secretary (West), Ministry of Foreign Affairs, said that NMFT is a complementary platform to discuss terrorism-related matters, while the FATF also has money laundering as a vertical. He added that India and Russia have a joint counter-terrorism working group and that Russia’s membership of the global organization is currently suspended.