Sunday, June 15, 2008

Credit Card fraud used to fund Terrorist Organization

Here is an example of cyber crime being used to fund terrorism. Fortunately, the person behind this is now behind bars.

The Sri Lanka Ministry of Defence website reported:

The mastermind behind the international credit card fraud for funding the LTTE terrorist organization has been arrested by the Special Task Force (STF) personnel while conducting a search operation in the Wellawatta area on Friday, June 13.

The suspect Anandan, alias Neshanadan Muruganandan, was in a super luxury apartment in Wellawatta at the time he was arrested by the special police team, sources said. He had a large number of Personal Identification Numbers (PIN) and bank receipts issued by both local and foreign banks, amounting to a massive sum of money, over Rs. 100 million, in his possession when he was arrested.

This isn't the first time a tie between payment (credit/debit) card fraud and funding terrorism has been suggested. In the past, it's been widely reported that Al Qaeda training manuals teach their minions to use credit card fraud as a way to survive in foreign lands.

There has also been speculation that organized crime and terrorists mingle in the underground economy when it suits their needs. In another story, also found on Sri Lanka's Ministry of Defence site, it mentions that 130,000 passports were stolen and that some of them were provided to the highest bidder (Al Qaeda).

Also mentioned in the interesting story is other ways this terrorist group, the Tamil Tigers, obtain their funding.

While I doubt organized criminals, and or terrorists are going to admit they are taking advantage of stolen personal and financial information in public, it could be a bigger problem than we realize (?).

Here in the West, Suad Leija and her husband have been trying to get this message out to everyone on their site (Paper Weapons). If you are interested in understanding how paper (and sometimes plastic) weapons might be used by people with twisted political objectives, I highly recommend visiting their site.

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Shawn Mosch said...

Attacks like the one on Christmas Day by the Nigerian man are also a sign that internet scams are funding terrorist.

If we really want to fight terrorist, let's cut off their money supply by cracking down on internet scams.

Shawn Mosch
Co-Founder of Scam Victims United