29 October 2022

We must starve terrorists of money and tech, Cleverly tells UN meeting

29 October 2022

Countries must work together to fight online terror and cut terrorists’ resources to prevent deadly attacks, Foreign Secretary James Cleverly told a United Nations meeting in India.

Speaking at the UN Security Council counter-terrorism committee in New Delhi on Saturday, he urged allied states to tackle terror groups’ exploitation of technological advances.

We must starve terrorists of the finances and emerging technologies that they would use to do us harm

Mr Cleverly said: “Within the space of just two decades, terrorists have gone from circulating crackly voice recordings from the depths of Tora Bora, to global online recruitment and incitement campaigns, to livestreaming attacks.

“And online incitement and radicalisation of vulnerable people in far-off countries, who have then gone on to use simple rental vans as weapons of terror.

“So we must continue to work together to fight terrorist ideologies online.”

Nations must “starve terrorists of the finances and emerging technologies that they would use to do us harm”, the Cabinet minister said.

“The internet has also given terrorists groups murky new routes to conceal their finances and sustain their activities,” Mr Cleverly said, adding that Britain is working with allies to tackle illicit finance, push tech companies to crack down on extremist content, and challenge propaganda by so-called Islamic State.

The UK is also funding new technologies to counter drones being used to inflict terror and destruction, such as those employed to target critical infrastructure and civilian targets in Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

The Foreign Secretary said he had a “positive and productive meeting” with India’s minister of external affairs Subrahmanyam Jaishankar.

“We discussed collaboration on trade, investment, defence & security to improve the lives and livelihoods of our citizens,” he said on Twitter.

It comes after Prime Minister Rishi Sunak told his Indian counterpart Narendra Modi he hopes to make “good progress” on finalising a new trade deal, after the Government missed the Diwali deadline for striking an agreement set by Boris Johnson.

The Department for International Trade had sought to play down suggestions of a breakdown in negotiations in the wake of Home Secretary Suella Braverman’s controversial remarks about Indian migrants in the UK overstaying visas.

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