Table of Contents

Research Handbook on International Law and Terrorism

Research Handbook on International Law and Terrorism

Research Handbooks in International Law series

Edited by Ben Saul

This Handbook brings together leading scholars and practitioners to examine the prolific body of international laws governing terrorism. It exhaustively covers the global response to terrorism in transnational criminal law, the international law on the use of force, international humanitarian law, international human rights law, the law of State responsibility, the United Nations Security Council, General Assembly, UN specialised bodies, and regional organisations. It also addresses special legal issues in dealing with terrorism such as gender, religion, victims of terrorism, weapons of mass destruction, and customary law.

Chapter 7: The international law on terrorist financing

Ilias Bantekas

Subjects: law - academic, human rights, public international law, terrorism and security law, politics and public policy, human rights, terrorism and security


The financing of terrorism gained prominence at the international level only in the mid-1990s, at a time when the alleged state sponsors of terrorism, namely Libya, Syria, Sudan and Iran, effectively stopped financing terrorist groups to commit acts of terrorism, although Iran still finances Hezbollah. All of these nations were under unilateral and Security Council sanctions throughout the 1980s and 1990s as a result of their association with terrorist groups. This typology of state-sponsored terrorism was intended primarily to agitate political foes (Libya) or further political aspirations in particular regions (Syria and Iran in respect of Shi’ite influence in the Middle East). Despite the lack of a definitive international instrument to combat the financing of terrorism – other than by a Security Council Resolution – a few nations adopted legislation that not only criminalized such financing but black-listed the organizations themselves, both recipients and donors. The most prominent example is the Anti-Terrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act 1996 (AEDPA) which was used as a vehicle by the US Government to list certain organizations as designated terror organizations, further facilitating the freezing and seizure of terrorist assets. Although many other nations adopted legislation freezing terrorist assets, the AEDPA did not serve as a blueprint.

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