Theresa May has revealed plans to help cut funding to terrorist groups like Islamic State (IS) by preventing insurance companies from inadvertently reimbursing ransom charges.
The UN estimated that IS received £28m in ransom payments over the last 12 months. The UK government takes a traditional stance of refusing to pay ransoms as it can encourage terrorism, and the Terrorism Act 2000 forbids financing terrorist groups.
However, there is a loophole in the bill that May wants to close.
There is no suggestion any UK insurance companies are helping to reimburse ransom money, but there is no law explicitly banning insurance companies from reimbursing payments, even if there is a suspicion that it could be a claim for a payment that met a terrorist demand.
Ms May said, “Our position is clear. Ransom payments to terrorists are illegal under UK and international law. Agreeing to meet the demands of barbaric groups like ISIL [an alternative name for IS] would only put many more lives at risk. These measures will ensure the UK remains at the forefront of global efforts to put an end to the practice.”
This comes alongside new controversy over internet providers and whether they should collect data and supply it to the government to help locate people who are a threat.
With changes being enforced or pushed to be enforced in the data, internet and insurance industries, the effects of terrorist groups like IS are being felt wide and far.