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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 7: ‘They haven’t gone away, you know’

Nick Ridley


In the United Kingdom in August 1995, Gerry Adams made a jocular remark, ‘They haven’t gone away, you know’. It was stated during tortuous negotiations of the peace process, and made as a reassurance to worried republican residents of Northern Ireland that their would-be IRA protectors had not deserted them. A decade later his words were borne out horribly, in March 2008, when two British servicemen were murdered by the Real IRA and 24 hours later a Northern Ireland police officer was murdered by Continuity IRA. The intense post-2001 intense international activity against al Qaeda has led to the activities of other terrorist groups being underestimated and even overlooked. Chapter 2 described the initial stages of the United States authorities scrutinizing of Arab regimes in 2001 and early 2002, and the adverse reaction. One of the lessons learned from this, according to a US academic, was that ‘the United States should pick its battles carefully’ and not insist on pursuing the funds of all Arab extremist groups other than al Qaeda.1 The United Sates and their allies, in their international efforts against terrorist financing in the decade after 9/11, appear to have taken such advice to extremes. Other terrorist groups did not go away, made headway and carried out their activities, whilst the major efforts of anti-terrorism and anti-terrorist financing were being deployed against al Qaeda and its affiliates.

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