One of the crucial points in the idea of terrorism is the way of how terrorists move and raise their money to promote their activities and achieve desirable results. Al-Qaeda, a famous Islamist military organization, has a number of funding methods such as hawala, financial institutions, and cash couriers.
Hawala is used as a link between brokers, who work around the whole world. Small amounts are usually transferred (about $1000) immediately and based on trust (Combs, 2003).
It is difficult to track as many members involved in a single operation: one broker gets money, sends it to a broker in another city using passwords, and repeats the system to confuse anyone, who can follow the process. The service is not expensive and proves that trustful relations are important for the Islamic people and can create a solid basis even for financial operations.
Cash couriers are used to promoting secure funding of terrorism. These are the people from al Qaeda with poor background knowledge, language skills, or documentation problems, who do not have an idea of what they are doing and the purposes of their actions. They get money and transfer it directly to a sender.
Financial institutions are also used by terrorists to meet their funding goals. There are the cases when al Qaeda used banks to move their money without giving clear information. Though there were corrupted representatives, who could facilitate the transactions, al Qaeda leaders allowed organizing a number of transactions by means of small banks and huge corporations.
Methods of Other Terroristic Groups
Money laundering is a method of funding terrorism that is characterized by a possibility to transfer millions of dollars in a single transition or several operations. It has a positive aspect, an ability to be fair with other people – to pay salaries for all workers involved in such kind of activity and pay taxes.
Unfortunately, such method faces much pressure from the authorities. Charitable funding is a method used by many terroristic groups like Hamas. “Zakat” is a powerful religious obligation by means of which wealth is taken as a portion of charity to sanctify people. Terrorists share millions through such organizations and try to use them for their own good.
Narco-terrorism is a new type of revenue source based on the drug trade. Terrorists use drugs to cover their costs on terrorism, get vast profits, and make their activities more popular in certain circles. It was an easy task to find a connection between drugs and terrorism and improve the quality of each type of business by financing them in the same way and spend less money on their organization.
Tactics Used by al-Qaeda and Hamas
Hamas and al-Qaeda are the two popular terrorist organizations with a number of the same issues. Certain issues distinguish these two organizations. First, their tactics differ in their creation backgrounds. Al-Qaeda was created as an idea to resist all possible anti-Islamic forces. It was an open gathering of people with the same opinions. Hamas had more military-based tactics and was organized to contradict the rules offered by the Israel soldiers.
Hamas did not want to promote religion as the main thing in life. It was more important to use power as a means of survival. Another issue is based on political support. Al-Qaeda seems to be closer to society, and Hamas is known by its strong political support. Finally, Hamas prefers to use rocket attacks, achieve the desirable goals, and destroy everything on its way, and al-Qaeda is famous due to its suicide bombings and air attacks to show the whole world its attempts and intentions.
Combs, C.C. (2003). Terrorism in the 21st century. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall.