Terrorist money laundering

How does a terrorist get money?

Money Laundering

Who is doing the financing for the terrorists?

Terrorists need financing so they can commit crimes. A terrorist can be a single individual or a group. The finance operation can include organizations, partnerships and trusts. The Office of the Superintendent of Financial Institutions (OSFI) is the institution that monitors terrorists groups and listed persons in Canada.

You can find a list of terrorist persons and groups on both the OSFI website and the United Nations website.

Who is funding terrorists?


How do terrorists move the money around?

Terrorists are clever. They will use different ways to move the money around including:

  • Alternative remittance systems such as "Hawala" and "Hundi" which are unregulated and undocumented.
  • Charities - often it is a charity that has connections in under-developed parts of the world where there is little or no welfare. Though it appears to be perfectly legitimate it is a source of financing to recruit and fund terrorist attacks.
  • Couriers who carry cash - this can be smuggled across the borders.
  • Financial services - banks, insurance, etc.
  • Goods through the trade system - trade financing - as terrorists buy into businesses the opportunity for trade financing is growing.


Sometimes the funds being used are money that has been collected from a charity or a government subsidy. There are many apparently legitimate sources including business that provide income to the terrorists through employment, social welfare programs and savings. Terrorists can and will take longer to access funds. Commonly it is smaller amounts deposited on a regular basis by Smurfs.

What if I am too afraid to report a suspicious transaction?

I am afraid of reporting a terrorist

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