The Legal Response to the Financing of Global Terrorism
Chapter 11: Private Causes of Action: Using the Civil Justice System to Hold Terrorist Financiers Accountable
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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