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Terrorist Financing

The Failure of Counter Measures

Nick Ridley

For over a decade international efforts by law enforcement, government and financial regulatory authorities have been deployed in combatting terrorist financing, in good faith and with dedication beyond reproach. This book surveys the methods of financing of numerous terrorist groups and organisations – including the Chinese and Asian dimension – and considers why ultimately international efforts to combat the financing of terror are failing. Nick Ridley expertly illustrates the scale of the problem by first outlining the strategies of anti terrorist financing, the pre and post 9/11 differences in scope and extent of terrorist attacks, the financial support and the national and international efforts to implement and carry out countermeasures. He then goes on to set out a detailed analysis of the apparent failure of such counter measures to date.
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Chapter 3: International efforts, international barriers

Nick Ridley


So much for the major terrorist groups and their financing methods. It is time to consider and analyse the reasons why the international counter measures to such financing have been unsuccessful to date. The first of the three main reasons is the inherent legal difficulties involved in anti-terrorist financing measures. Part of this is the difficulty caused by a lack of an accepted and internationally codified definition of terrorism. Without this, any offence of terrorist financing is rendered even more difficult to prove. During the late twentieth century, the lack of a coherent and comprehensive definition of terrorism hampered both strategic analysis and the formulation and enactment of anti-terrorist financing legislation. In the immediate reaction to 9/11, there was an opportunity to promulgate a unified definition as a basis, when international governments, law enforcement and regulatory agencies were focused against a threat that had apparently assumed proportions hitherto unknown and unforeseen. However, paradoxically, the 9/11 crisis necessitating such focus and such frenzy of international interface was the very reason why no such legal definition was forthcoming.

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