Chapter 3: Terrorist Financing
3. Terrorist financing The ‘fog of war’ has long befuddled military and political leaders. Of all the battlefronts in today’s war on terrorism, few are as ‘foggy’ as efforts to combat terrorist financing. Even to those in the midst of the campaign, uncertainty often colours the most fundamental question: are we winning or losing the battle?1 3.1 INTRODUCTION Prior to the terrorist attacks in September 2001 (9/11), terrorist financing could be described as the ‘sleeping giant’ of the international community’s financial crime policies. The United Nations (UN), the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) and the European Union (EU) responded by implementing rules and recommendations aimed at tackling terrorist financing. On 24 September 2001 President George Bush proclaimed that ‘we will starve terrorists of funding’,2 thus instigating the ‘financial war on terrorism’. The then Secretary to the Department of Treasury stated ‘we will succeed in starving the terrorists of funding and shutting down the institutions that support or facilitate terrorism’.3 However, the ‘financial war on terrorism’ was originally instigated by President Bill Clinton in 1998, who acknowledged that attacking the financial assets of al-Qaeda was essential if they were to be punished, after they were found to be responsible for the bombings of the US embassies in Kenya and Tanzania.4 The objective of this chapter is to identify and provide a critique of the antiterrorist financing policies of the international community, the United Greenberg, M., Wechsler, W. and Wolosky, L. (2002) Terrorist financing, Council on Foreign Relations, New York,...
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