Research into How Resources are Acquired, Moved and Used to Support Acts of Terrorism

Patrick O'Halloran, Ali Dizboni, Christian Leuprecht, David Adelstein, Alexandra Green, Matthew Porges

Research output: Book/ReportCommissioned reportpeer-review


The assigned aim of this project is to advance the state of knowledge about resourcing activities in or with connections to Canada that support terrorist threats to Canada and/or to other countries, and ultimately about effective means to address the resourcing process, from prevention and intervention through to prosecution. The general objectives of the project were to analyze cotemporary terrorist resourcing activities with implications for Canadian national security interests and to consider the value of conducting that analysis through the Terrorist Resourcing Model (TRM) lens.
The study was directed to answer six questions related to terrorist resourcing actors, activities, forms and their interconnection, their relative importance, the implications of resourcing for terrorist activities and for means of response, and the relative value of conducting analysis of these activities through the TRM lens, versus a traditional money laundering or terrorist financing lens. Responses to these questions were attained by individual case study analysis of the selected terrorist entities and a subsequent cross-case analysis of all groups.
The Terrorist Resourcing Model (TRM) has five stages or, more appropriately, five activities: acquisition of funds and end-use and exchange goods; pooling or aggregation of those resources; their transmission to a terrorist organization; their transmission to a terrorist or operational cell; and their conversion to goods and services to support the organization’s activities, including for an act of terrorism.
The study consisted of a cross-comparative descriptive and relational analysis using open source resources of five listed terrorist organizations: the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE); Hamas; Al Shabaab (AS); a grouping of Al Qaeda inspired individuals and entities, except Al Shabaab, under the heading “Al Qaeda inspired”; and Hezbollah. The groups were selected for relevance to Canada and anticipated availability of open source data. Data was acquired from Internet searches, with legal documents from particularly useful. The TRM was applied and the project was limited to resourcing activities initiated in Canada between 2001 to 2015 and only tracked the movement of resources to our border.
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationCanada
PublisherTSAS: Canadian Network for Research on Terrorism, Security & Society
Number of pages91
Publication statusPublished - 2016
Externally publishedYes

Publication series



  • security
  • counterterrorism
  • terrorist resourcing


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