India vows to block terror funds
INDIA: Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said his Government was taking
measures to stop terror groups from covertly raising funds for their
operations on India's sizzling stock markets.
"Whatever precautionary measures are needed to deal with this type of
worries that you have, they will be taken and had been taken," premier
Singh said, without elaborating.
"I do not want to contribute to further turbulence in the (Indian)
stock markets," the premier said on the sidelines of a meeting with his
Italian counterpart Romano Prodi in New Delhi.
The comments came following a warning from Singh's National Security
Advisor M.K. Narayanan that terrorists, including Sri Lanka's LTTE, were
investing in the stock markets to fund their operations.
"Isolated instances of terrorist outfits manipulating the stock
markets to raise funds for their operations have been reported,"
Narayanan said in a speech posted online Thursday.
Narayanan said Islamist militants, who have launched attacks in India
killing hundreds of people, as well as the LTTE had in part funded
activities through legitimate businesses, including restaurants, real
estate and shipping.
"Stock exchanges in Mumbai and Chennai have, on occasions, reported
that fictitious or notional companies were engaging in stock market
operations. Some of these companies were later traced to terrorist
He called for the lifting of "banking secrecy" and the "corporate
veil" in terrorist-related cases to combat the financing of attacks.
An Indian terrorism expert said that while groups had targeted
domestic stock exchanges in the past, using them to fund attacks
appeared to be a new tactic.
"Attacking the stock market, dislocating, that has been tried in the
past," Bahukutumbi Raman, former head of the counter-terrorism wing of
India's overseas intelligence service, told AFP Thursday.
"This kind of thing has not come to light yet. It is a new
development apparently." India has banned a number of terror groups
including the LTTE.
New Delhi, Friday, AFP