Unfunding Terror

Unfunding Terror

The Legal Response to the Financing of Global Terrorism

Jimmy Gurulé

The book begins with a discussion of how shutting down the pipelines of funding is as important as dismantling the terrorist cells themselves. Next, the book covers the various means and methods used by terrorist groups to raise money, and examines how money is transferred globally to finance their lethal activities. The principal components of the legal strategy to disrupt the financing of terrorism are then discussed and evaluated. Unfortunately, the author concludes that the legal regime has met with mixed results, and finds that the sense of urgency to deprive terrorists of funding that existed following 9/11 has since dissipated. As a result, international efforts to freeze terrorist assets have dramatically declined. Moreover, the US Department of Justice has suffered several embarrassing and disappointing legal defeats in prosecuting major terrorist financiers. The author provides numerous recommendations to Congress, the Executive Branch, and the UN Security Council for strengthening the legal regime to deny terrorists the money needed to wage global jihad, acquire weapons of mass destruction, and launch another terrorist attack on the scale of 9/11.

Chapter 3: Al Qaeda’s Call to Jihad

Jimmy Gurulé

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


[J]ihad is an individual duty when an enemy attacks Muslim countries . . . To kill the Americans and their allies – civilians and military – is an individual duty incumbent upon every Muslim in all countries . . . so that their armies leave all the territory of Islam, defeated, broken, and unable to threaten any Muslim. Osama bin Laden1 The global fight against al Qaeda has been characterized as ‘the defining conflict of the early 21st century.’2 Some observers describe al Qaeda’s ‘holy war’ against America and its allies as representing an ‘existential struggle’ against non-Islamic societies and values;3 others, including Osama bin Laden himself, have said it reflects a ‘clash of civilizations.’4 Whatever description is most appropriate, it is clear that al Qaeda is waging a global campaign of terror unfettered by nationality, ethnicity, age, race, or gender. Its operations have targeted thousands of people, military and civilian, in deadly attacks around the world. ‘Killing and dying for Allah are viewed as the highest form of sacrifice.’5 All targets are considered legitimate if seen to be in opposition to al Qaeda’s fundamentalist interpretation of Islam. This ideology further rejects compromise, embraces martyrdom and demands complete victory.6 Effectively, bin Laden’s message is this: you are either a believer or a non-believer, a righteous Muslim or an infidel.7 With this message, bin Laden has inspired a movement that is intent on targeting the ‘non-believing’ world in the name of Islam.8 Al Qaeda is not simply a politically motivated terrorist...

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