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 9: International Asset Freeze

Jimmy Gurulé

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


[T]he financing of terrorism is a matter of grave concern to the international community as a whole.1 Convention for the Suppression of the Financing of Terrorism, December 9, 1999 THE INTERNATIONAL LEGAL DUTY TO FREEZE TERRORIST-RELATED ASSETS In response to the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks and the growing prevalence of terrorist activities around the world, the international community has devised and implemented a global legal framework to freeze the funds and other assets of individuals and groups who finance acts of terrorism. The U.N. Security Council has played a critical leadership role in developing, revising, strengthening and implementing the legal regime.2 The Security Council has adopted numerous resolutions imposing important duties on Member States to prevent and suppress the financing of terrorism.3 Among other things, these resolutions require countries to ‘freeze without delay’ the funds, financial assets and economic resources of Osama bin Laden, members of al Qaeda, the Taliban and persons and entities associated with them.4 The international economic sanctions regime established by these resolutions is ‘the sole vehicle for truly global action against the twin threats of Al-Qaida and the Taliban.’5 The 1999 International Convention for the Suppression of the Financing of Terrorism (Terrorist Financing Convention), also recognizing the need for the world community to work in concert to deprive terrorists of funding, complements the work of the Security Council.6 The Terrorist Financing Convention is supported by 132 signatories, including the United States.7 Among other important duties, it requires parties to the Convention to enact domestic...

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