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Our Take: Terrorism is a global problem that requires a concerted global effort to combat. Counter-finance, intelligence, and possibly military action will be needed to dissipate and disperse terrorists. All stakeholders must come together, share experiences and intelligence.
Terrorism is an increasingly global problem that requires concerted global effort to combat. One of the life lines of these terrorists is the fund on which they use to finance and advance their illicit act. In some of my previous pieces, I proffered and reserved that solution to peace could only be achieved through table discussion, concord, mediation and other methodologies to conflict resolution. However, these are conventional methods for peaceful resolution with genuine and honest radical groups and agitators. Left wings revolutionists as well as religious extremist & terrorists’ groups like ISWAP/ Boko Haram, ISIL and other local and foreign designated terrorist organizations that pose threats to national and international peace and security, could only be confronted with force and other methods of combating the menaces of terrorism which includes the disrupting of terrorists’ sources of funds.
Terrorists require funds to operate; without funding they cannot purchase weapons, equipment, supplies, or services that will enable them to cause havoc to public. Terrorism financing is a global phenomenon that not only threatens member states’ security, but can also undermine economic development and financial Eco system. The main concern is to identify those sources so as to block or stem them. Disrupting and cutting off the financial flow of these terrorists is therefore critically important in combating both terrorism and terrorism financing.
Technically, it’s not out of context for one to presume that, no amount of physical confrontation can stop the radical movement and global terrorism. If the world superpowers like, the United states of America and Russia are battling with terror activities both within and outside their territories then, its apparent and obvious that developing countries like Nigeria could only manage to reduce the tempo but could not eradicate terrorism in its entirety. The combination of counter-finance, intelligence, and possibly military action will be needed to dissipate and disperse terrorists on earth.
As a world power, USA have directly or indirectly waged several wars without a concrete success. Starting from the Korean war of 1950s, Vietnam war of 1960s/70s, Iran-Iraq war of 1980s, the Gulf war of 90s, the Taliban/Afghanistan (war on terror) of 2000s and the Libyan War; down to the present unending war in Syria that have already engulfed eleven years. Yet, neither of these wars has been effectively won.
To identify, detect, disrupt and prosecute terrorists/ terrorism financing, all stakeholders must come together, share experiences and intelligence that will lead to confiscation of assets, arresting the culprits, convictions and prosecution of the perpetrators as well as their accomplices. Countries have been grappling with so much obstacles in tackling insurgency due to inter-agency rivalry and lack of collaboration & synergy among state actors. This could be both at the local and international levels with other countries & international bodies. If all the relevant authorities and intelligence communities could come together and confront these radicals assiduously, in no time their activities could be reduced to the barest minimum.
In Nigeria for instance, deficiency in uprooting the financial and logistical supports offered to the network within and from outside the country is the major hindrance to the success of the military, security and other intelligent agencies at the theatre war. It’s obvious that the insurgences are getting assistance from unseeing hands both from inbound within Nigeria and outbound from other jurisdictions.
Regardless of whatever offensive measure takes by military and other intelligence circle against the Boko Haram terrorists, kidnappers, Arm bandits and other violent crime Groups, the ability to defeat these groups for good depends on the ability to identify their sources of funds. As mentioned earlier, funds are the lifeline of every human including the terrorists; without which they could not actively function and cause havoc to humanity.
If Nigerian armed forces and other branches of the security apparatus thus, the Navy, Air force, Army, department of state services (DSS), National intelligence agency (NIA), Law enforcement agencies (LEAs) such as, the Nigerian customs service, the Economic & financial crimes commission (EFCC) and Independent corrupt practice & other related offences (ICPC), National drug law enforcement agency (NDLEA) and National Agency for Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP) and other relevant stakeholders & competent authorities as well as intelligence communities including, the Nigerian Financial intelligence (NFIU) could come together with one objective, which is to disrupt and end this menace, in no time we could achieve what we did not achieve more than a decade.
This could only be achieved through working together as a team. While the military and other field actors are at the battle fields confronting and waging war, both on the land, maritime domains and air spaces, intelligence agencies like the DSS and NIA are actively providing more information and intelligence to the field actors; the NFIU is adopting its mandate of rigorous financial intelligence gathering, painstaking and accurate analyses through, identifying, tracing, analyzing financial transactions related to terrorism financing and disseminating vital and actionable financial intelligence to the field actors and executives. At the same time, the law enforcement and prosecuting agencies are actively engaging in arresting, investigating and prosecuting the culprits.
To this juncture, to end the senseless killings and other illicit and unlawful conducts/activities of these dreaded groups in Nigeria and beyond, there is a need to strengthen inter-agency communication and information/intelligence sharing between, the military, law enforcement agencies, security and intelligence services, public private partnership and; prosecuting agencies as well as the civil society organizations. There is an adage in Hausa “Kashin baki sai taro” roughly translates as, “only a team could kill a cobra or venomous snake”. Therefore, to fight our common enemies, thus, terrorism, kidnapping, arm bandits and other violent crimes in Nigeria, all and sundry have to come together. God bless Nigeria.
Recommendation(s): To end the senseless killings and other illicit and unlawful conducts/activities of these dreaded groups (Boko Haram and Bandits) in Nigeria and beyond, there is a need to strengthen inter-agency communication and information/intelligence sharing between the military, law enforcement agencies, security and intelligence services, public-private partnership and prosecuting agencies as well as civil society organizations.
About the Author: Sanusi Moyi is an anti-money laundering expert. He writes from Abuja.
Keywords: Terrorism, Kidnapping, Boko Haram, Bandits, DSS, NIA,