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 12: Accomplishments, Failures, and Recommendations for Enhancing the Anti-Terrorist Financing Legal Regime

Jimmy Gurulé


Vigorous efforts to track terrorist financing must remain front and center in U.S. counterterrorism efforts. 1 The 9/11 Commission Report: Final Report of the National Commission on Terrorist Attacks upon the United States ‘Al Qaeda, the Taliban, and other terrorist groups continue to have access to the funds they need for active and expanded indoctrination, recruitment, maintenance, armament and operations.’2 Statement of Senator E. Charles Grassley, Hearing of the Senate Finance Committee on Anti-Terrorism Financing: Progress Made and Challenges Ahead (April 1, 2008) GENERAL ASSESSMENT If the success of the legal regime constructed post-9/11 to curtail the financing of terrorism is measured by whether al Qaeda and the Taliban have been deprived of funding and no longer constitute a serious threat to international peace and security, the legal response has been a dismal failure. According to the 2008 Annual Threat Assessment of the Director of National Intelligence (DNI National Threat Assessment), al Qaeda and its affiliates from north Africa to Southeast Asia continue to pose significant terrorist threats to the United States and the international community.3 Al Qaeda has retained a safe haven in Pakistan’s Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA), where a core group of senior al Qaeda leaders has been able to direct the organization’s terrorist operations around the world.4 Further, the 2008 DNI National Threat Assessment ominously warns that al Qaeda is ‘improving the last key aspect of its ability to attack the US: the identification, training, and positioning of operatives for an...

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