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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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HENRIETTE HAAS - Systematic Observation as a tool in combating terrorism 59


HENRIETTE HAAS Systematic Observation as a tool in combating terrorism I. Profiling and case analysis in counter-terrorism Preventing and responding to the financing of terrorism often seems like the proverbial search for a needle in a haystack: how to distin- guish terrorists from other banking customers and prevent terrorist money from being used to fund an attack? Time and again people put their hopes in psychological profiles of terrorists and the possibility of thus identifying leads and suspects. Yet, psychological research on known terrorists has established no distinct personality profile for the future terrorist (AIVD 2002). While some terrorists were criminals before they found a political excuse for their behaviour, others were misguided young people, searching for individual identity and mean- ing. Their vulnerability to manipulation and exploitation was related to their personal histories and cannot be generalised. At the wrong moment, they fell prey to indoctrination by a militant group (AIVD 2002, Manningham-Buller 2006). The same holds true for sympathis- ers and extremists who support terrorist activities ideologically, finan- cially or logistically. Other terrorist cells, usually very small ones, are started by self-motivated violent extremists, who find information on modus operandi on the Internet. For those radicalised individuals, propaganda on thousands and thousands of extremist webpages cre- ates a sense of belonging to a ‘global Jihad movement’, independent of personal background and social environment (Deutsches Bundes- ministerium des Inneren 2008: 204). Senior Lecturer in Forensic Psychology, University of Zurich, Psychological Institute, Methodology Division, Switzerland ( Henriette Haas 60...

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