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 11: Private Causes of Action: Using the Civil Justice System to Hold Terrorist Financiers Accountable

Jimmy Gurulé


11. Private causes of action: using the civil justice system to hold terrorist financiers accountable The only way to imperil the flow of money and discourage the financing of terrorist acts is to impose liability on those who knowingly and intentionally supply the funds to the persons who commit the violent acts.1 Boim v. Quranic Literacy Institute (7th Cir. 2002) INTRODUCTION Since the September 11, 2001 terror attacks, one of the U.S. Government’s top goals in the Global War on Terror has been to deprive the terrorists of funding and dismantle their financial networks.2 To accomplish these objectives, the Administration has emphasized criminal enforcement actions and freezing the assets of suspected terrorists and their financial supporters.3 However, civil tort actions that seek large monetary damages provide an invaluable supplement to the criminal justice process and administrative blocking orders. Private lawsuits brought by the victims of terrorism can have a deterrent effect against the donors, corrupt charities, front organizations, financial institutions, and foreign states that provide financial support and services to terrorist organizations.4 While the prospect of large civil monetary judgments may have little or no deterrent value for radical jihadists, the same may not be true of individual donors, charitable organizations and financial institutions that lend financial support or direction to foreign terrorist organizations (FTOs).5 Such individuals and organizations are more likely to have substantial assets in the United States.6 Attachment of those assets pursuant to a civil judgment could make it unprofitable to provide financial assistance...

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