[dropcap color=”#008040″ boxed=”yes” boxed_radius=”8px” class=”” id=””]F[/dropcap]resh from the success of assassinating Taliban’s Mansour using a drone strike, the Financial Services Task Force to Investigate Terror Financing held a hearing today to explore how the Treasury Department works with relevant agency and law enforcement officials to coordinate the federal government’s efforts to combat all forms of illicit finance.
Today’s hearing, “Stopping Terror Finance: A Coordinated Government Effort,” was the Task Force’s ninth hearing since it was established by the House Financial Services Committee last year.
Rep. Michael Fitzpatrick (R-PA), the Chairman of the Task Force, said, “In order to properly combat the financing of terrorism, government coordination is a necessity. Yet, unbelievably, the federal government does not maintain a single strategic document or interagency implementation plan for combating the financing of terrorism. Today’s hearing will focus on federal efforts to combat terrorism financing and explore ways to fill this current gap.”
Key Takeaways from the Hearing
While anti-terror finance laws and regulations put in place after 9/11 have generally done a good job of pushing a lot of illicit finance from the U.S. financial system, the terrorist threat is constantly evolving and so is terrorists’ ability to finance their operations.
Both Treasury and Congress need to continually evaluate and improve our nation’s ability to starve terrorists of any financial resources they need to carry out their evil attacks.
Better information sharing among government agencies, between the government and financial institutions, and between banks is necessary to root out illicit finance.
Topline Quotes from Witnesses
“As we continue to adapt to ever-evolving threats, we must have the proper legal and regulatory foundation, both in substance as well as process, to ensure that our law enforcement and intelligence professionals, as well as private sector and international partners, have the tools that they need to get the job done. Such a framework must also be appropriately balanced with the legitimate interests of individual privacy and the protection of data.” – Jennifer Shasky Calvery, Director, Financial Crimes Enforcement Network, U.S. Department of the Treasury
“Combating terrorist financing, money laundering and other financial crimes is a top priority for the Treasury Department and the U.S. Government. The Office of Technical Assistance’s Economic Crimes Team is a small but important part of the broader U.S. Government and international effort to build the capacity of developing and transitional countries in monitoring and combating illicit financing through safe, sound, and transparent financial systems.” – Larry McDonald, Deputy Assistant Secretary, Office of Technical Assistance, U.S. Department of the Treasury
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