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This workbook teaches researchers, analysts and practitioners how different sorts of terrorist and violent extremist actors utilise financial technologies and cryptocurrencies to finance their operations. The process of terrorist adoption of financial technologies is spelled out for various organisations and can assist analysts to estimate whether and when a group or terrorist actor would embrace a financial technology or cryptocurrency. The workbook also includes terms that may be used to search information holdings for terrorist adoption of cryptocurrencies or financial technologies, offering early warning of terrorist adoption.

• Most terrorist organisations, cells and individuals gradually embrace new technology, tactics, strategies and processes. Finance is more confined by external constraints than other areas of potential innovation and adaptation, hence few organisations or entities actually innovate in finance. • Most terrorist actors are bound by financial and economic institutions, making terrorist financing difficult to innovate. Structures control them. Thus, terrorist fin

ance patterns and approaches are better regarded as adaptation and learning rather than innovation.

• When economic and financial systems evolve, most terrorists adapt to new financing methods. Terrorists employ financial technologies and cryptocurrencies when they are convenient and widely used. Until then, motivated individuals or cells can innovate, but groups or more established cells or organisations seldom adopt new financing methods early.


This material is based upon work supported by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security under Grant Award Number 20STTPC00001-01-00. The views and conclusions contained in this document are those of the authors and should not be interpreted as necessarily representing the official policies, either expressed or implied, of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.

Copyright ICSR 2023