Terrorist Financing and the Internet

While al Qaeda has used the Internet primarily to spread its propaganda and to rally new recruits, the terrorist group has also relied on the Internet for financing-related purposes. Other Islamist terrorist groups, including Hamas, Lashkar e-Taiba, and Hizballah have also made extensive use of the Internet to raise and transfer needed funds to support their activities. The Internet’s appeal in this regard for terrorist groups is readily apparent–offering a broad reach, timely efficiency, as well as a certain degree of anonymity and security for both donors and recipients. Unfortunately, while many governments now recognize that the Internet is an increasingly valuable tool for terrorist organizations, the response to this point has been inconsistent. For the U.S. and its allies to effectively counter this dangerous trend, they will have to prioritize their efforts in this area in the years to come.

Tags: Al-Qaeda, Fundraising, Hamas, Hizbullah