Edited by Brigitte Unger and Daan van der Linde
Chapter 7: Terrorism: causes, effects and the role of money laundering
Since the 9/11 attacks on New York and Washington DC, transnational terrorism has been considered particularly dangerous. The direct and indirect costs of terrorism, ranging from the loss of human lives and assets to reduced growth and life satisfaction, are substantial, making it necessary to fight terrorism with a variety of means at the same time. While eliminating the root causes of terrorism, for example by improving unfavorable socio-economic and politico-institutional conditions which would otherwise make individuals turn to terrorism, appears to be the most promising counter-terrorism strategy, it also takes the longest time to prove successful. In the short run, therefore, other more direct means are needed to tackle the problem. Since running a terrorist organization involves some non-negligible costs (e.g., funds must be raised to maintain the organization), the financing of terrorism has become a new policy focus. Drying out the financial flows from sponsors to terrorist organizations or from an organization’s headquarters to terrorist cells around the world may impede the capacities of terrorist groups to attack.
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