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 5: State Sponsors of Terrorism, Drug Trafficking, and Deep-Pocket Donors

Jimmy Gurulé

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


5. State sponsors of terrorism, drug trafficking, and deep-pocket donors Without state sponsors, terrorist groups would have much more difficulty obtaining the funds, weapons, materials, and secure areas they require to plan and conduct operations.1 Office of the Coordinator for Counterterrorism, U.S. Department of State, April 28, 2006 The Taliban and other insurgent groups operating in poppy-growing regions gain . . . financial support as a result of their ties to local opium traffickers. Drug money is an important source of income, especially at the local level where some Taliban commanders accrue their own operational funding.2 J. Michael McConnell, Director of National Intelligence, February 5, 2008 WHAT IS TERRORIST FINANCING? The magnitude of the threats and acts of international terrorism depends on the financing received by terrorists. Recognizing the importance of stemming the flow of funds to terrorists, international law imposes a duty on States to implement measures to prevent and suppress the financing of terrorism.3 Among other duties, each State is required to enact domestic legislation to make terrorist financing a criminal offense and authorize the freezing of any funds used or allocated for the purpose of committing terrorist acts.4 U.S. domestic law is in accord, criminalizing terrorist financing and authorizing the freezing of terrorists assets.5 However, terrorist financing has multiple dimensions and the implementation of sanctions is required at every stage in the process of funding terrorist activity, including the provision, collection and transfer of terror funds. Under principles of international and U.S. domestic law, a...

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