Vancouver: A 2018 Public Report on the Terrorist Threat to Canada has raised concerns over terror financing from various countries including Pakistan.
The report said, “Internationally, Canada continues to face exposure to terrorist financing risks, in particular in the Middle East and South Asia. Specific countries include Syria, Iraq, Turkey, Lebanon, Jordan, Yemen, Qatar, United Arab Emirates as well as Afghanistan and Pakistan. Terrorist groups and their supporters use a wide variety of means to finance their activities and further their goals”.
Pakistan remains a safe haven for many terror outfits including al Qaeda, the Taliban, Haqqani Network and Lashkar-e-Taiba. Many of these outfits are enjoying the backing of Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) and Military Intelligence (MI).”
The report submitted by Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale mentioned the threat from Sunni Islamist Extremism, Right-Wing Extremism, Shia Extremism and Khalistani extremism. It further pointed out that some Canadians continue to support these groups financially.
“They can raise funds from legitimate sources, such as self-financing through regular income, or by diverting donations collected through charitable organizations”, revealed the report while adding that the extremists can also raise funds from illegitimate sources of financing such as state-sponsors or undertaking criminal activities like hostage-taking for ransom or credit card fraud.
Terrorists are increasingly using hard to track tools like prepaid cards, virtual currencies and crowdfunding operations to raise, collect and transfer funds anywhere in the world.
Both Canadian and international sanctions have helped obstruct direct financial connections between Canada and designated groups and individuals active in certain conflict zones, such as Syria and Iraq.
“However, indirect financial connections to these jurisdictions still exist and continue to present a high risk for the Canadian financial system’s exposure to terrorist financing activity,” said the report.
It added, “Daesh, AQ and Hizballah continue to be the main concern. Their financial capacity allows them to carry out attacks, recruit and pay members, provide weapons and training, and maintain communications networks to disseminate propaganda. Even though Daesh in Syria and Iraq has been weakened, the group continues to have significant financial resources that allow it to fund and direct attacks in unstable regions such as Afghanistan and sub-Saharan Africa”.
Canada has taken sincere measures to keep a track on individual and groups involved in terror activities.
Since the release of the 2017 Public Report on the Terrorist Threat to Canada, the government listed Islamic State Khorasan Province (ISIS-K) as a terrorist entity pursuant to the Criminal Code.
Formed in 2015, the group is an officially recognised affiliate of Daesh and is based in the Afghanistan-Pakistan region.