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 10: The Law Enforcement Response to Terrorist Financing

Jimmy Gurulé

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


10. The law enforcement response to terrorist financing A central element of our strategy is to identify, disrupt and destroy those organizations that supply the financing that make terrorism possible.1 Attorney General John Ashcroft (2002), announcing indictment of Enaam Arnaout, Director, Benevolence International Foundation [F]oreign organizations that engage in terrorist activity are so tainted by their criminal conduct that any contribution to such an organization facilitates that conduct.2 Anti-Terrorism Effective Death Penalty Act 1996) ANTI-TERRORIST FINANCING STATUTES Congress has enacted significant legislation aimed at cutting off financial aid, assistance, and services to terrorists and terrorist groups. The principal criminal provisions used by the U.S. Department of Justice to prosecute the financiers and financial facilitators of terror are the ‘material support’ statutes, 18 U.S.C. §§2339A and 2339B.3 The material support statutes have been characterized as the ‘antiterror weapon of choice’4 and the ‘cornerstone’ of the Justice Department’s counter-terrorist financing enforcement efforts.5 Sections 2339A and 2339B enable federal prosecutors to punish those who provide ‘material support or resources,’ including money and other financial assistance, to terrorists and designated foreign terrorist organizations (FTOs).6 Section 2339A makes it a crime to provide ‘material support or resources’ ‘knowing or intending’ that they be used to prepare for or carry out statutorily enumerated crimes.7 That is, the statute prohibits knowingly providing material support or resources to facilitate a specified terrorism-related crime, such as a bombing plot.8 By contrast, §2339B punishes whoever knowingly provides ‘material support or resources’ to an...

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