Unfunding Terror
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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.
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Chapter 4: Al Qaeda’s Global Presence

Jimmy Gurulé


[The ummah] has a duty to maintain the jihad that exists today and to help it with all its might, for this jihad is very dear to us in Palestine, Chechnya, Afghanistan, Kashmir, Indonesia, the Philippines, and other lands of Islam. Osama bin Laden1 Since its inception in 1988, al Qaeda has evolved from a single entity into a global network of like-minded terrorist organizations. Al Qaeda is ‘ “larger, more ethnically diverse, more geographically dispersed, younger, richer, better educated, better led, and more military trained and combat experienced” than other terrorist groups in history.’2 The group’s terror network is comprised of a core group, affiliates, sympathizers and willing partners working in concert for common goals.3 Its ultimate goal is to unite the world’s Muslim population in an Islamic caliphate governed by a radical version of Islamic law.4 Al Qaeda’s global jihad is being fought on multiple fronts by al Qaeda surrogate groups around the world. Al Qaeda’s brigades occupy a realm much larger than the Arabian Peninsula. Bin Laden proudly notes that their terror operations extend ‘from the easternmost point in the Islamic world to its westernmost point, from Indonesia, the Philippines, Bangladesh, India, and Pakistan to the Arab world and finally to Nigeria and Mauritania.’5 Al Qaeda’s affiliated entities are principally located in five regions around the world: the Middle East, Europe, Africa, Southeast Asia, and South Asia.6 Money has been central to the growth and development of al Qaeda’s terror network. Al Qaeda has used its...

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