Financiers of terror: A coterie of ghosts


 By Halima Imam

We often attribute terror to suicide bombings, beheadings, and radical groups, although terrorism is much more than that and all kinds of groups carry out the act of terror. In 1996 the United Nations formed its own ad hoc committee to draft an official explanation of the term terrorism and that took ten years. Terrorism is one word that is notoriously hard to explain; in fact the US government has more than twenty definitions for it.

A mix of all the explanations gives us something that could pass for a definition, which is terrorism, is violence or the threat of violence against non-combatants or civilians, usually motivated by political, religious or ideological beliefs. Terrorism is not organized crime because it is politically or socially motivated, terrorists seek media attention and terrorists always desire government attention too. Terrorists are not mentally ill people and they do not carry out their activities in isolation, they are usually a group of blood thirsty non-conformists.

Terrorists come out merciless, waving death and brutal punishment to anyone who gets in their way. They are a death cult reigning terror on any and everyone. Barbarism, savagery and pain radiates with them. A militant army often domiciled in forests, covering a vast territory and establishing their control. Bombs explode with bullets painting the air. Those who make it out without losing their lives can only scramble for sanctuary. Women and children are usually the most vulnerable and make up more of the casualties.

Countries accuse one another of being state sponsors of terrorism with strong denials spat right back. People killed in their numbers with death becoming a norm, kidnapping a lucrative business and banditry a daily affair, some governments however sit pretty like a ‘princess having a tea party’.  Money is a prerequisite for terrorism to thrive, terrorists need guns, vehicles and bombs to operate but yet they live in camps constructed in the heart of forests and most outskirts of cities. Their supplies must come from ‘Genie in Aladdin’.

Terrorism has made the death of loved ones just another statistic. People live in constant fear from the threat of boko haram and bandits of Northern Nigeria to Muaskar Anole, Lord’s Resistance Army, Al Shabab, Allied Democratic Forces, Ansar Dine, ISIS, Al Qaeda, Lashkar-e-Jhangvi, Aun Shinrikyo, Combat 18 etcetera. There are thousands of militant organizations around the World that are hell bent on taking lives and destroying property.

Terrorist organizations continue to spring up and thrive globally. A former governor of Borno State Nigeria had said that the weapons that these terrorists’ possess seem to be more sophisticated than those the military have, yet ‘no one seem to bankroll them’. Terrorist whose only known craft is destruction have in their possession hard currency when arrested or killed when many innocent people can’t feed properly in a day even after leaving their houses to search for a means of livelihood.

These anti-social, evil and blood thirsty elements obviously have people and organizations throwing millions their way. Such terrible people with whatever motivation are also out to wreak havoc.  They seek to destabilize the status quo and steal the peace. They are also a cult of misfits with deep pockets and misplaced priorities. They are either in government or ordinary citizens, top business moguls or some rich kid who inherited wealth. Whoever the financiers of these terrorist organizations are, they have one thing in common which is, they are enemies of humanity, cold hearted murderers and a bunch of ‘lily livered’ lot who do not have the guts to air their grievances.

Terrorist have mastered the art of warfare and ordinary civilians who are often their targets can never be prepared for them. Listening to story’s from the middle East to Asia, Africa and all the other parts of the World leaves one heartbroken. Millions of people either made internally displaced or refugees, left to beg for survival. A tale of sadness and pain resonates globally as we see terrorists carry out their evil craft against their fellow man. Images that hunt our dreams at night, videos that make our stomach turn,  and breaking news that leaves a sour taste in our mouth.

Governments around the World have to rise up to terrorists, they must keep the promise they made to the people, an oath of the protection of lives and properties. Intelligence agencies will now have to be one step ahead, the people are fighting too many ‘battles’ on multiple fronts, from covid to climate change, and terrorism just like every other social problem must be given utmost priority. The military must up their game, it’s time to display might and they must be in the fore. Techies have to come up with such technology that entraps terrorists.

The fight against terrorism is one that we must all confront hand in hand. It is a menace that has taken our fellow men in their millions. Those who sponsor terrorism might appear like dark shadows in the night but soon their luck will run out and just like ‘a golden fish’, they will have no hiding place. The blood that they shed and the pain they cause is one too many and soon the evil that men do wouldn’t just live after them, it is coming for them in the here and now.

Halima Imam

Founder (Climate Action Team)

Twitter: sadee_eemam

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