Using Cognitive Prediction to Confront Terrorism Financing

As terrorism evolves, the traditional ways of identifying the finance it depends on are become less and less effective. At a time when CTF and AML regulations are becoming ever more demanding, this is an urgent issue. We argue that it’s time to turn the existing approach to counter terrorist financing on its head and develop “cognitive prediction” models that start by looking at how funds are used.

Traditionally, the approach to dealing with terrorist financing starts by breaking it down into two kinds of needs: supporting organizational costs, and the direct costs of attacks themselves, looking at things like travel, infrastructure, logistics and charitable support on the one hand; and everything from vehicles to surveillance gear and IED components on the other. Then, the traditional approach divides terrorist financing into three categories:

1. The raise: amassing capital for planning and carry out attacks. This is typically funded through charities, criminal activities, legitimate business – even through individuals’ own salaries or welfare.

2. The transfer: moving money. Today there are of course many options for doing this, from FX transactions. FinTech and trade-related transfers through to cash couriers and ‘alternative
remittance systems’ such as hawalas.

3. Use: the final application of the funds. Use case are seemingly limitless, and depend on the nature of the terrorist activity being planned.

Discover how shifting your perspective from raising funds to how they’re used using cognitive prediction is a more effective way to combat terrorist financing.