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Terrorist Financing

Terrorist Financing published on

Authored by National Commission on Terrorist Attacks

After the September 11 attacks, the highest-level U.S. government officials publicly
declared that the fight against al Qaeda financing was as critical as the fight against al
Qaeda itself. It has been presented as one of the keys to success in the fight against
terrorism: if we choke off the terrorists’ money, we limit their ability to conduct mass
casualty attacks. In reality, completely choking off the money to al Qaeda and affiliated
terrorist groups has been essentially impossible. At the same time, tracking al Qaeda
financing has proven a very effective way to locate terrorist operatives and supporters
and to disrupt terrorist plots.
As a result, the U.S. terrorist financing strategy has changed from the early post-9/11
days. Choking off the money remains the most visible aspect of our approach, but it is not
our only, or even most important, goal. Ultimately, making it harder for terrorists to get
money is a necessary, but not sufficient, component of our overall strategy. Following the
money to identify terrorist operatives and sympathizers provides a particularly powerful
tool in the fight against terrorist groups. Use of this tool almost always remains invisible
to the general public, but it is a critical part of the overall campaign against al Qaeda.
Moreover, the U.S. government recognizes appropriately, in the Commission staff’s
view that terrorist-financing measures are simply one of many tools in the fight against
al Qaeda.

Publication Date:
Jun 16 2014
1500207802 / 9781500207809
Page Count:
Binding Type:
US Trade Paper
Trim Size:
8.5″ x 11″
Black and White
Related Categories:
Political Science / Political Freedom & Security / Terrorism


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