Terrorist Financing

Terrorist Financing

The Failure of Counter Measures

Nick Ridley

For over a decade international efforts by law enforcement, government and financial regulatory authorities have been deployed in combatting terrorist financing, in good faith and with dedication beyond reproach. This book surveys the methods of financing of numerous terrorist groups and organisations – including the Chinese and Asian dimension – and considers why ultimately international efforts to combat the financing of terror are failing. Nick Ridley expertly illustrates the scale of the problem by first outlining the strategies of anti terrorist financing, the pre and post 9/11 differences in scope and extent of terrorist attacks, the financial support and the national and international efforts to implement and carry out countermeasures. He then goes on to set out a detailed analysis of the apparent failure of such counter measures to date.

Chapter 1: Terrorist financing, hitherto neglected

Nick Ridley

Subjects: law - academic, finance and banking law, terrorism and security law, politics and public policy, terrorism and security


Terrorist groups or organizations have been described as needing three essential components: men, money and munitions. The men – and women – of the organizations are prominent, if not in revealing their individual identities then in the actions they perpetrate and the public statements they circulate and their attempts to establish an empathy with certain sections of the population affected by their actions. The munitions used by the organizations are prominent in that they are the instruments which destroy buildings, damage and ruin businesses and severely wound and kill individuals by explosive impact tearing human bodies apart. The money is less high profile, and has received less attention, vigilance and counter measures. Nonetheless, it was and remains essential in order for terrorism to be perpetrated. Terrorist attacks are deemed to be inexpensive to carry out. The paradigm, or model, of inexpensive terrorism has derived from the fact that relatively simple devices, such the devices attached to the suicide bomber, or improvised explosive devices (IEDs) are indeed inexpensive to manufacture. This has proved to be entirely correct when dealing with structured organizations, such as the Palestinian organizations of the 1970s and the Algerian organizations of the 1980s, and is demonstrated in both eras by the comparative indifference of the Provisional IRA (PIRA) to outlay and expenses.

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