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Countering Terrorist Financing

The practitioner’s point of view

Edited By Mark Pieth, Daniel Thelesklaf and Radha Ivory

Terrorists need money to commit acts of violence and sustain their operations. Measures to combat terrorism therefore aim to prevent terrorists from raising, moving and using funds or other assets. The effectiveness – and the fairness – of these measures were considered at the second ‘Giessbach’ seminar on counter-terrorist financing (CTF) organised by the Basel Institute on Governance in October 2008.
This book contains essays presented at the seminar written by practitioners and academics with extensive experience in the field of CTF. The authors offer a diversity of views on the domestic, regional and international initiatives aimed at detecting terrorist funds in the financial system, preventing terrorists from moving their money via alternative financial channels and facilitating the recovery of terrorist assets. The editors conclude with in-sights into the ongoing challenge of making CTF measures both effective and legally sustainable in the lead-up to Giessbach III in December 2009.


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Preface There appears to be widespread consensus concerning what a terrorist act actually is, the most common definition being a deliberate attack on civilians or civilian property with the aim of intimidating ordinary people or pressurising a state or international organisation into acting in a certain way or refraining from action. The urgency and intensity of the terrorist threat is evident for all to see and states are regularly reminded of the need for counter-terrorism measures and international cooperation in this field. Concerns about terrorism have generated concerns about the fi- nancing of terrorism. The financing of terrorism is a global phenome- non that not only threatens security but also compromises the stability, transparency and efficiency of financial systems, thus undermining economic prosperity. The fight against terrorism and its causes and financing is now viewed as a collective responsibility on the part of all members of the international community and participants in the public and private sectors. The global agenda to curb the financing of terrorism calls for a cooperative approach among many different international bodies. Ef- forts to standardise the international response to the financing of ter- rorism have been led by the Financial Action Task Force on Money Laundering (FATF). Its 9 Special Recommendations on Terrorist Fi- nancing serve as the international framework for efforts in this area. In its efforts to counter terrorism, the United Nations Security Council has imposed a number of obligations on UN member states. These include targeted financial sanctions against individuals and entities...

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