Credit cards make it easier to access, distribute funds, experts say
By Jeremy Simon
Terrorists are increasingly turning to credit cards, according to an expert on terrorist financing.
Credit cards serve two key terrorist functions, providing both operational funding and as a means of distributing money to group members. “Credit card exploitation and fraud has become a growth industry for terrorists,” writes IPSA International’s Dennis Lormel in a September 2008 white paper entitled, “Terrorism and Credit Card Information Theft.” Lormel is a managing director with investigative consulting services provider IPSA. According to Lormel: “Credit card information theft and fraud represents a lucrative funding stream for terrorists and consequently poses a serious threat to our national security.”
While Lormel writes that there is no exact data on the amount of credit card use by terrorists, there are “ample” reports showing that terrorists do rely on credit card information in helping to reach their goals.
Terrorist reliance on credit cards appears to be on the rise. “I think it’s taken an upward path over the last few years,” Lormel says via phone, meaning “a limited number of people can do an incredible amount of damage.”
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