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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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RADHA IVORY - Recovering terrorist assets in the United Kingdom: the ‘domestication’ of international standards on counter-terrorist financing 243

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RADHA IVORY Recovering terrorist assets in the United Kingdom: the ‘domestication’ of international standards on counter-terrorist financing I. Introduction Though states have long recognised their common interest in combat- ing ‘terror’ as a form of political communication, ideological and po- litical divisions prevented a united and comprehensive international response to terrorism for most of the 20th Century. International action on terrorism was characterised by disagreement over the initial ques- tion, ‘Who is a ‘terrorist?’, quite apart from the issue of what should be done to prevent and suppress terrorist acts.1 The collapse of political bipolarity reignited concerns about ter- rorism at the end of the Cold War, concerns apparently confirmed in the East African embassy bombings in 1998 and the attacks on the World Trade Centre and the Pentagon in the United States (US) on 11 September 2001 (9/11). These events seemed to produce a new sense of unity on counter-terrorism, particularly on counter-terrorist financ- ing. States expressed their common resolve through a United Nations (UN) convention on terrorist financing, targeted sanctions from the UN Security Council (UNSC) and ‘special recommendations’ from the Financial Action Task Force (FATF). Research Fellow, Basel Institute on Governance, Switzerland. 1 Sean Anderson and Stephen Sloan, Historical Dictionary of Terrorism (Scare- crow Press, London 2002), 6–10. There is, perhaps, no greater evidence of this than the lack of a unified convention on terrorism and universal definition of ‘terrorism’ under international law. Radha Ivory 244 The resulting ‘soft’ and ‘hard’ international standards required states...

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