FATF REPORT Financing of Recruitment for Terrorist Purposes


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FATF REPORT
Financing of Recruitment for Terrorist Purposes
January 2018

The Financial Action Task Force (FATF) is an independent inter-governmental body that develops and promotes policies to protect the global financial system against money laundering, terrorist financing and the financing of proliferation of weapons of mass destruction. The FATF Recommendations are recognised as the global anti-money laundering (AML) and counter-terrorist financing (CFT) standard. For more information about the FATF, please visit www.fatf-gafi.org This document and/or any map included herein are without prejudice to the status of or sovereignty over any territory, to the delimitation of international frontiers and boundaries and to the name of any territory, city or area.
Citing reference: FATF (2018), Financing of Recruitment for Terrorist Purposes, FATF, Paris www.fatf-gafi.org/publications/methodsandtrends/documents/financing-recruitment-terrorist-purposes.html
© 2018 FATF/OECD. All rights reserved. No reproduction or translation of this publication may be made without prior written permission. Applications for such permission, for all or part of this publication, should be made to the FATF Secretariat, 2 rue André Pascal 75775 Paris Cedex 16, France (fax: +33 1 44 30 61 37 or e-mail: [email protected]). Photocredits coverphoto: ©Thinkstock

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TABLE OF CONTENTS
EXECUTIVE SUMMARY .................................................................................................................................... 3 SCOPE AND OBJECTIVES.................................................................................................................................4 METHODOLOGY ................................................................................................................................................ 5 METHODS OF RECRUITMENT AND ASSOCIATED COSTS.....................................................................5
Active recruitment........................................................................................................................................................ 6 Passive Recruitment .................................................................................................................................................... 6 SOURCES OF FUNDS FOR TERRORIST RECRUITERS.............................................................................8 Support from terrorist organisations ................................................................................................................... 8 Outside donations as a means to raise funds by terrorist recruiters ....................................................10 Misuse of NPOs............................................................................................................................................................. 11 Criminal activity........................................................................................................................................................... 16 USE OF FUNDS FOR ACTIVITIES RELATED TO TERRORIST RECRUITMENT ............................. 18 Personal needs and upkeep of recruitment networks and individual recruiters ............................18 Production and dissemination of recruitment materials ...........................................................................19 Paying for goods and services to facilitate FTFs and terrorist cells.......................................................21 Direct payments to recruits, use of mercenaries, employment of civil experts................................23 OBSERVATIONS AND AREAS FOR FURTHER CONSIDERATION ..................................................... 25 Interagency co-operation.........................................................................................................................................25 International co-operation ...................................................................................................................................... 26 Private sector and NPO sector engagement.....................................................................................................27 Table of Acronyms ........................................................................................................................................ 28 References ....................................................................................................................................................... 29
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EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

1.

The ability to effectively recruit new operatives, members and supporters is

critical for the survival of a terrorist organisation.

2.

A better understanding of the role of funding in the process of recruiting

individuals into terrorist organisations will enhance understanding of the role of

counter-terrorism financing measures in disrupting terrorist recruitment activity.

Improving the understanding of recruitment financing can also assist in the early

detection, investigation and prosecution of recruiters or the adoption of targeted

financial sanctions, both at a domestic and international level.

3.

Input collected for this report highlights the differences in recruitment

financing1 in different parts of the world. In some cases, the costs and the financial

transactions associated with recruitment are minimal. In other cases, where

recruitment networks are involved and connected to facilitation networks, the value

of financial intelligence and investigations could be significant.

4.

One of the main objectives of this report is to understand the costs associated

with different methods and techniques of terrorist recruitment. While terrorist

organisations have different recruitment techniques, depending on whether they are

large, small or a dispersed network of individuals, this report identifies 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)
 Financial incentives provided directly to recruits or for the hiring of mercenaries or civil experts.

1 For the purposes of this study, ‘recruitment financing’ includes any funds used to, actively or passively, recruit members to join a terrorist organisation or to pursue its goals.

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5.

Jurisdictions provided a range of case studies to demonstrate their

experience in examining the funding needs and expenditures related to different

methods of recruitment.

6.

While individual recruiters may rely on self-funding, recruitment networks

can establish complicated recruitment and facilitation infrastructures which may

include the renting of real estate and transport, organisation of meetings and the use

of unregistered religious organisations or prayer rooms or centres of worship, etc.

Recruitment networks may face ongoing costs to maintain this infrastructure. These

costs may not be extensive unless the network also facilitates recruits’ early

participation in the terrorist organisation.

7.

This study 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 highquality 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.
 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 significantly exceed the salaries of ordinary members.

8.

The return of foreign terrorist fighters from conflict zones may lead to the

creation of another generation of recruiters and authorities must be aware of any

potentially financial indicators of these activities. Targeting the financing of

recruitment activities of terrorist organisations provides law enforcement authorities

(LEAs), financial intelligence units (FIUs), and other operational and security agencies

with the opportunity to disrupt terrorist recruitment from the onset and prevent

additional individuals from joining terrorist groups.

SCOPE AND OBJECTIVES

9.

In December 2015, the FATF agreed that further concerted action urgently

needs to be taken to strengthen global counter-terrorist financing regimes to combat

the financing of these serious terrorist threats, and contribute to strengthening the

financial and economic system, and security. One of the key objectives of this work is

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to improve and update the understanding of terrorist financing risks. This study is intended to explore the financing involved with recruitment activities by terrorist organisations across the globe.
10. The FATF does not provide a definition for “recruitment financing”, nor are there existing definitions in literature. For the purposes of this study, “recruitment financing” includes any funds used, actively or passively, to recruit members to join a terrorist organisation or to pursue its goals. A “recruiter” may have more than one role in a terrorist organisation. Activities that are relevant to recruitment include, but are not limited to, developing or disseminating propaganda materials, training of the recruiter and the recruits, providing for the expenses of the new recruits. The report also looks at how recruitment fits into the overall expenditures and financial management of terrorist organisations.
11. This report aims to cover the methodologies used by groups with high levels of recruitment activity and will focus on UN-designated terrorist organisations and domestically listed terrorist organisations where information was provided by project participants.
12. A better understanding of the financial aspects of terrorist recruitment will enhance the understanding of the role of counter-financing of terrorism (CFT) measures in disrupting terrorist recruitment activity. This includes determining how financial intelligence and information can help competent authorities to identify terrorist networks at the recruitment and fundraising stages. Improving the understanding of recruitment funding may also assist in the detection, investigation and prosecution of recruiters or the adoption of targeted financial sanctions, both at a domestic and international level.
METHODOLOGY
13. This report utilises data from the relevant authorities within the FATF Global Network, including the Asia Pacific region (APG), Eurasian region (EAG) and the Middle-East and North African region (MENAFATF). The project team collected information from authorities via questionnaires and via meetings with country experts. Sixteen countries responded to the questionnaire and case studies and experiences were collected at the FATF Joint Experts’ Meeting in Moscow in April 2017 and the APG/MENAFATF meeting in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia in November 2016.
METHODS OF RECRUITMENT AND ASSOCIATED COSTS
14. To recruit individuals, terrorist organisations use a variety of tools. While many recruitment methods are relatively low cost, others require substantial initial or ongoing investment; the involvement of a network of people; or maintenance of some infrastructure.
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15. The recruitment methods and techniques and their associated costs vary from region to region, and according to the social and political context. In the Eurasian region, recruitment often occurs through religious organisations and the majority of the members of terrorist organisations are recruited by organised recruitment networks which require financial support. In Europe, recruitment often occurs online, through social contacts in lower socio-economic urban areas, specific religious gatherings and in prisons. In Africa and in parts of the Middle East region, recruitment often occurs in areas where the terrorist organisation has territorial control or influence (Hansen, 2016). There are also cases where terrorist groups in Africa recruit militants from outside the territory of their control.2
Active recruitment
16. Active recruitment occurs when there is direct personal contact between the recruiter and the individual(s) that the recruiter aims to involve in the terrorist group.
17. Recruiters in organisations such as Euskadi Ta Askatasuna (ETA) target specific geographical areas or communities where they are likely to find sympathisers (Sullivan, 2015). Some terrorist organisations have specific needs in recruiting different types of individuals (ranging from militants and field commanders with combat experience to qualified civilian professionals, including engineers, doctors, IT specialists and financiers).
18. Active recruitment may not require a large amount of funding. One person with the sole responsibility of recruiting individuals to the organisation would need a source of funding for their living expenses and this support could come from a larger financing infrastructure. In some cases, the recruiter is funded to train in theology in foreign religious institutions. Setting up meeting places, developing and disseminating relevant literature and other materials and providing the basic conditions for the individuals’ participation in the terrorist organisation (for example, fake identification documents or flight tickets) may also require funding. These expenses are generally minimal and are likely met by the recruiter. The recruiter may also solicit donations and fees from followers to meet these expenses.
Passive Recruitment
19. Passive recruitment occurs when terrorist organisations recruit individuals through indirect means, such as addressing groups of people through media
2 The Boko Haram terrorist group in Nigeria, for example, recruits some of its members from the lower North Central states of the country, far away from the conflicts in the North East where they once held control. Similarly, they appear to recruit from countries within the regions of West and Central Africa, including Senegal, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, Chad and Cameroon.
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campaigns and recruitment materials with the intention of recruiting them into the aims and activities of the terrorist organisation.
20. FATF’s 2015 report on Emerging Terrorist Financing Risks noted the exploitation of social media for the purposes of terrorist recruitment and propaganda. The Internet and social networks have, in the past five years, become the most commonly used tools to recruit members and supporters for terrorist organisations and disseminate their ideology, or in other words, online recruitment materials (sometimes referred to as “propaganda”3 ). This applies to the recruitment of foreign terrorist fighters as well as for home-grown terrorist activities. It allows terrorists to spread their ideology at relatively low-cost and to identify like-minded supporters who are willing to join the terrorist organisation or provide financial or other material support.
21. While online communication tools now represent the biggest window for passive recruitment of potential terrorists, other traditional methods are also currently used such as printing leaflets or indoctrination materials, broadcasting specific programs and holding general meetings. One example of such a mix of traditional methods with more modern forms of communication is the ISIL-monthly magazine, Dabiq, available online since 2014 and based on Al Qaeda’s Inspire magazine.
22. The infrastructure and material for passive recruitment has certain fixed costs that can require both regular financial support and expenditures. For instance, maintaining a digital magazine and keeping the IT teams updated may require a continuous funding stream.
23. Although the access and use of social networks and the creation of websites can be free of charge, some terrorist organisations create high-quality content, which may require the involvement of expertise and sophisticated equipment. Due to the scale and variety of forms of distribution of this content, it is likely that a number of bloggers and moderators are participating in the distribution of the material.
24. Recruitment activities on the Internet are often very closely linked to appeals for material support and other assistance to terrorists. Recruiters and individuals spreading terrorist ideology very often use the same resources not only for recruitment but also for collecting donations. Terrorist organisations are distributing their propaganda using password-protected websites and restricted access Internet chat groups, but also use these communication channels to exchange sensitive information such as bank accounts or the true purpose of purportedly charitable donations.
3 Propaganda generally takes the form of multimedia communications providing ideological or practical instruction, explanations, justifications or promotion of terrorist activities. Propaganda via the Internet may also include the use of video footage of violent acts of terrorism or video games developed by terrorist organisations that simulate acts of terrorism and encourage the viewer to engage in role-play, by acting as a virtual terrorist. See “The use of the Internet for terrorist purposes” (UNODC, 2012).
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SOURCES OF FUNDS FOR TERRORIST RECRUITERS

25.
  

The main sources of funding for terrorist recruiters are:
Support from terrorist organisations Donations (including the misuse of NPOs) and crowdfunding Proceeds of criminal activity

Support from terrorist organisations

26. In some cases, terrorist organisations are spending substantial amounts of money on recruiting new members and to support recruiters and recruitment networks. This support may be in the form of regular/one time payments for associated costs or personal upkeep. The recruiters or recruitment networks sponsored by terrorist organisations are not involved in terrorist acts directly and are instead focused on dissemination of terrorist ideology, recruitment of new members and facilitation of their activities. In most observed cases, terrorist organisations sponsored recruitment networks rather than individual recruiters.
27. Another form of support is the remuneration for provision of new recruits. In one case study (see below), the terrorist organisation paid the recruiter as much as USD 800 for each FTF he was able to recruit.

Box 1. Case Study: Remunerations for recruits paid by a member of the terrorist organisation
A joint FIU-law enforcement investigation revealed that ‘person X’, acting for the benefit of ISIL, arranged for the recruitment of Russian citizens and nationals of Central Asian countries.
Person X established a terrorist cell which was comprised of six nationals of the Central Asian countries.
The members of the cell recruited new members by luring them into informal worship/prayer rooms to join a religious organisation where extremist ideas were preached on a regular basis.
One of the new recruits confessed that the recruiters promised assistance that included:
 guaranteed assistance to accomplices in obtaining false passports for travel to Syria;
 collection of funds for travel;  purchase of tickets;  instructions regarding the travel route and information about contact points
in foreign countries.

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FATF REPORT Financing of Recruitment for Terrorist Purposes