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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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YEHUDA SHAFFER - Detecting terrorist financing through financial intelligence: the role of FIUs 41

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YEHUDA SHAFFER Detecting terrorist financing through financial intelligence: the role of FIUs I. Introduction After the attacks of 11 September 2001 (9/11) the international com- munity reached a consensus on the need to enhance global cooperation on counter-terrorist financing (CTF).1 A common definition of ‘terror- ist financing’ had already been agreed upon in Article 2 of the Interna- tional Convention for the Suppression of the Financing of Terrorism.2 The existence of this definition made it possible to avoid the usual debates about the relevance of ‘legitimate’ motives and the difference between ‘terrorists’ and ‘freedom fighters’. Quite simply, it stigma- tises any terrorist activity against civilians, without exceptions. Consequently, the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) declared its existing 40 Recommendations on anti-money laundering (AML) to be effective tools against terrorist financing and made nine further Special Recommendations (Special Recommendations).3 Following the FATF’s lead, in 2003, the Egmont Group of Financial Intelligence Yehuda Shaffer is the founder and director of Israel’s Financial Intelligence Unit, the Israel Money Laundering and Terror Financing Prohibition Authority (IMPA), located in the Ministry of Justice. A lawyer with a Masters in Public Administra- tion (MPA) from the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University, he was previously a senior official in the High Court of Justice Department of the Is- raeli government. 1 UN Security Council Resolution 1373. 2 United Nations, International Convention for the Suppression of the Financing of Terrorism, UN 9 December 1999, available at http://www.un.org/law/cod/ finterr.htm. 3 FATF, Special Recommendations on...

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