Does the Current Strategy to Counter Terrorist Financing Work?

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This webinar discussed a new RUSI Occasional Paper considering responses to terrorist financing in the two decades following 9/11.

Since 9/11, targeting the finances of terrorist actors has been a central element of the global counterterrorism landscape. Indeed, the first public shot fired by George W. Bush in his ‘War on Terror’ was a financial measure in the form of Executive Order 13224, announcing a strike on ‘the financial foundation of the global terror network’ intended to ‘starve the terrorists of funding’.

Yet nearly 20 years on – and despite a series of other political leaders calling for terrorist financing to be ‘cut off’ – that clearly defined objective remains elusive. The ‘global terror network’ and its ‘financial foundation’ has turned out to be a patchwork of multiple networks of various actors, including emerging or resurging threats, and diverse funding methods.

The counterterrorist financing regime, as conceived after 9/11, was structured with the specific risk posed by Al Qa’ida in mind – the risk landscape has evolved, but has the global response to terrorist financing adapted likewise?

This webinar discussed new RUSI Occasional Paper, ‘A Sharper Image: Advancing a Risk-Based Response to Terrorist Financing’, considering how – after two decades – responses to terrorist financing have (or have not) evolved to remain aligned with the diversification of terrorism risk, the increasing role played by the private sector, and whether the global response to terrorist financing as envisioned following 9/11 is still relevant.

  • Professor Jimmy Gurulé, Professor of Law at Notre Dame Law School and (inter alia) former Under Secretary for Enforcement at the US Treasury Department, which included responsibilities over OFAC and FinCEN, and developing the US Government's first CTF strategy;
  • Tom Keatinge, Director of RUSI’s Centre for Financial Crime & Security Studies and co-author of this new paper;
  • Rachel Love, Associate, Group Integrated Intelligence and Investigations, Financial Crime & Compliance, Standard Chartered Bank; Formerly with the UK’s Joint Terrorism Analysis Centre;
  • Andy McDonald, former Head of Specialist Investigations and Head of UK National Terrorist Financial Investigation Unit, Metropolitan Police.

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