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 8: Domestic Asset Freeze

Jimmy Gurulé

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


Today, we have launched a strike on the financial foundation of the global terror network. . . . We will direct every resource at our command to win the war against terrorists, every means of diplomacy, every tool of intelligence, every instrument of law enforcement, every financial influence. We will starve the terrorists of funding. President George W. Bush, September 24, 2001, announcing Executive Order 13224 EXECUTIVE ORDER 13224 Overview The centerpiece of the U.S. Government’s strategy to deprive al Qaeda and its global network of the funding needed to plan and launch deadly terrorist strikes is to freeze the assets of terrorists, terrorist-related entities, and also their financial supporters and sympathizers. The domestic authority to block terrorist funds derives from Executive Order (E.O.) 13224 issued by President George W. Bush on September 23, 2001.1 A few days after al Qaeda terrorists hijacked four American commercial jetliners and used three of them as missiles against the World Trade Center twin towers and the Pentagon,2 President Bush invoked his authority under the International Emergency Economic Powers Act (IEEPA).3 The IEEPA authorizes the President to declare a national emergency ‘to deal with any unusual and extraordinary threat, which has its source in whole or substantial part outside the United States, to the national security, foreign policy, or economy of the United States’4 The President determined that the grave acts of terrorism and threats of terrorism committed by foreign terrorists, including the terrorist attacks in New York, Washington, D.C., and Pennsylvania on September...

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