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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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MARK PIETH, DANIEL THELESKLAF AND RADHA IVORY - The international counter-terrorist financing regime at the cross-roads 277


MARK PIETH, DANIEL THELESKLAF** AND RADHA IVORY*** The international counter-terrorist financing regime at the cross-roads I. Introduction The counter-terrorist financing regime, as we know it, crystallised around attacks by al-Qaida at the turn of the last century. Led by the United States and its allies in the ‘War on Terror’, the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) passed UNSC Resolution 1267, imposing sanctions on individuals and organisations deemed to be ‘associated with’ Usama Bin Laden, al-Qaida and the Taliban and, under Resolu- tion 1373, called on states to take action against the funds and eco- nomic resources of other terrorists. The Financial Action Task Force (FATF), for its part, declared action in nine areas to form the ‘basic framework’ against terrorist financing and the Egmont Group of Fi- nancial Intelligence Units (FIUs) and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) expanded their mandates to include counter-terrorist financing. In 2002, the UN’s International Convention for the Suppression of the Financing of Terrorism (1999) (Terrorist Financing Convention) also came into force. Professor of Criminal Law, University of Basel, Switzerland. ** Co-Executive Director, Basel Institute on Governance, Switzerland. *** Research Fellow, Basel Institute on Governance, Switzerland. Mark Pieth, Daniel Thelesklaf and Radha Ivory 278 II. The international consensus strained After these initial developments, however, the apparent consensus on terrorist financing began to show signs of strain. Already in 2002, the Wolfsberg Group made it clear that financial institutions faced ‘new challenges’ in identifying the terrorists amongst their customers and distinguishing terrorist transactions from legitimate funds movements, concerns echoed...

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