Crowdfunding on SM used for terrorists: NIA

NEW DELHI: National Investigation Agency (NIA) director-general Dinkar Gupta on Thursday said that India has evidence of how social media platforms are being used to raise terror funds by means of crowdfunding and underlined that the issue will be deliberated during a two-day international ministerial conference called “No Money For Terror” from Friday here.

He also said that use of social media would also be discussed, as it has become the tool for crowdfunding. Narco-terrorism will be discussed threadbare as it is posing a major threat to India due to its geographical location, he added.

Addressing a press meet before the global meet starting on Friday, Gupta said that Pakistan and Afghanistan were not participating, while China was yet to confirm.

The third “No Money for Terror Ministerial Conference on Counter-Terrorism Financing”, hosted by Union home ministry, will be inaugurated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and attended by Union home minister Amit Shah, external affairs minister S. Jaishankar and others.

Asked if Pakistan, China and Afghanistan were invited to the conference, secretary (west) of ministry of external affairs, Sanjay Verma said: “China has been invited.” He, however, remained silent on the other two neighbouring countries.

Giving details of the conference, the NIA DG clarified that no country-specific discussion is part of the agenda but representatives of 73 nations, including ministers of over 20 of them, will discuss with an open heart all issues, be it the source of terror, the threat or its funding. “Every participating country has the full right to express its views,” he said.

Underling that terror activities have declined in India in all theatres in last years and this was not merely a “claim” but a fact, he further said: “In the last eight years, there is a huge reduction in terror activities in all ‘theatres of conflicts’, be it Jammu and Kashmir, Punjab, the northeast or the areas affected by Left Wing Extremism.”

Describing as a “battle”, he said the country has to strengthen its infrastructure, mechanisms, and frameworks to fight this menace of global terrorism and its financing.

To a question on the inclusion of social media platform regulation in the agenda of the terror financing conference, Mr Gupta said social media platforms are being used to raise financing, funding or as crowdfunding platforms.

“We do have evidence of this kind of thing happening. This is an issue that needs to be discussed because such platforms are being used for raising finances which are being used in terror activities,” Gupta said.

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