Lashkar and Jaish continue to spread terror: Shah

Updated on Nov 19, 2022 05:29 AM IST

Union home minister Amit Shah on Friday condemned countries that shelter terror groups and their leaders, saying protecting a terrorist was equivalent to promoting terrorism, in what was seen as an indirect reference to Pakistan and China.

Union home minister Amit Shah chairing the first session on ‘Global Trends in Terrorist Financing and Terrorism’ on the occasion of 3rd 'No Money for Terror' Ministerial Conference, in New Delhi on Friday. (ANI/ PIB)
Union home minister Amit Shah chairing the first session on ‘Global Trends in Terrorist Financing and Terrorism’ on the occasion of 3rd 'No Money for Terror' Ministerial Conference, in New Delhi on Friday. (ANI/ PIB)
ByNeeraj Chauhan, New Delhi

Union home minister Amit Shah on Friday condemned countries that shelter terror groups and their leaders, saying protecting a terrorist was equivalent to promoting terrorism, in what was seen as an indirect reference to Pakistan and China.

Addressing the first session of the No Money for Terror Conference in New Delhi, Shah also said that Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) and Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM), both based in Pakistan, continued to spread terror and expressed concern over the growing influence of al Qaeda and the Islamic State (IS) in the South Asian region.

“Terrorism is, undoubtedly, the most serious threat to global peace and security. But I believe that the financing of terrorism is more dangerous than terrorism itself, because the means and methods of terrorism are nurtured from such funding. Furthermore, the financing of terrorism weakens the economy of countries of the world,” he told the gathering of delegates from 77 countries and 16 international agencies.

Shah said that in the last few years, India succeeded in cracking down on terror financing, based on six pillars: Strengthening the legislative and technological framework; creating a comprehensive monitoring framework; actionable intelligence sharing mechanism and strengthening of the investigation and police operations; provision for confiscation of property; preventing misuse of legal entities and new technologies and establishing international cooperation and coordination.

“We have seen that some countries protect and shelter terrorists. Protecting a terrorist is equivalent to promoting terrorism. It will be our collective responsibility that such elements never succeed in their intentions,” the home minister said.

“India condemns terrorism in all its forms and manifestations. We believe that no reason can justify an act, such as taking innocent lives. I express my sympathy for the victims of terrorist attacks all over the world. We should never compromise with this evil,” he added.

Shah said the regime change in Afghanistan after withdrawal of American troops last year and the growing influence of al Qaeda and IS have emerged as a significant challenge to regional security, making terror financing more serious.

“Three decades ago, the whole world has had to bear the serious consequences of one such regime change, the result of which we all have seen in the horrific attack of 9/11. In this background, last year changes in the South Asian region are a matter of concern for all of us,” Shah said. He was likely hinting at the withdrawal of Soviet Union troops from Afghanistan in 1990s, which plunged the region into turmoil and led to the rise of the Taliban.

He specifically named the LeT and JeM for spreading terror and sought action against terror safe havens. “We should never ignore terrorists’ safe havens or their resources. We also have to expose the double-speak of such elements who sponsor and support them,” the home minister said.

Shah further said that the threat of terrorism “cannot” and “should not” be linked to any religion, nationality or group. “We also recognise that the threat of terrorism cannot and should not be linked to any religion, nationality, or group. To confront terrorism, we have made significant progress in fortifying the security architecture, as well as the legal and financial systems”.

He said terrorists were constantly finding new ways to carry out violence, radicalise youth and raise financial resources and gave example of the darknet, which is being used to spread radical content and conceal such identities.

Underlining why there was a need to develop a common international strategy to deal with terrorism, Shah said, “Today, terrorists and terrorist groups understand the nuances of modern weapons and information technology, and the dynamics of the cyber and financial space very well, and use them. This transformation of terrorism from ‘dynamite to metaverse’ and ‘AK-47 to virtual assets’ is definitely a matter of concern for the countries of the world. And we all have to work together to formulate a common strategy against it.”

The home minister, during a bilateral meeting with Bangladesh’s home minister Asaduzzaman Khan on the sidelines of conference, raised the issues of attacks on temples and minorities in Bangladesh as well as border management, according to a senior officer, who didn’t want to be named.

At least 450 delegates from 77 countries other than India and 16 multilateral agencies such as Interpol, Financial Action Task Force (FATF) and Europol are attending the conference. Delegates are expected to discuss global trends in terror financing, terrorism, the use of social media, the dark web for funding terror organisations, and the nexus between terrorists and organised crimes. 

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