Terrorist Financing: On Deterring Terrorist Operations in the U.S.

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In September, the Ministries of Interior and Defense announced a reorganization of Operation Sentinelle, which includes the domestic deployment of approximately 7, French army personnel to bolster security at high-threat sites after the January terrorist attacks in Paris. These changes aim to make Sentinelle a more flexible and reactive force, rather than a static deterrent. In October, the interior ministry announced details of a community policing program proposed by President Macron during his presidential campaign. Also in October, France extended border controls in place since November with its Schengen neighbors for an additional six months.

French authorities made multiple terrorism-related arrests and claimed to have thwarted at least 20 specific plots in Police discovered two plots after neighbors reported suspicious behavior to authorities. Most of the arrests involved individuals and groups with direct or indirect links to ISIS. In October, authorities arrested 10 far-right terrorists suspected of planning an attack against politicians, migrants, and mosques. Prosecutors had sought a life term. The setting is difficult. Forty percent of adult Arabs are illiterate, two-thirds of them women. One-third of the broader Middle East lives on less than two dollars a day.

Terrorism and U.S. Policy

Less than 2 percent of the population has access to the Internet. The majority of older Arab youths have expressed a desire to emigrate to other countries, particularly those in Europe. How can the United States and its friends help moderate Muslims combat the extremist ideas? Recommendation: The U. We should offer an example of moral leadership in the world, committed to treat people humanely, abide by the rule of law, and be generous and caring to our neighbors.


America and Muslim friends can agree on respect for human dignity and opportunity. To Muslim parents, terrorists like Bin Ladin have nothing to offer their children but visions of violence and death. America and its friends have a crucial advantage-we can offer these parents a vision that might give their children a better future. If we heed the views of thoughtful leaders in the Arab and Muslim world, a moderate consensus can be found.

That vision of the future should stress life over death: individual educational and economic opportunity. This vision includes widespread political participation and contempt for indiscriminate violence.

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It includes respect for the rule of law, openness in discussing differences, and tolerance for opposing points of view. Recommendation: Where Muslim governments, even those who are friends, do not respect these principles, the United States must stand for a better future. One of the lessons of the long Cold War was that short-term gains in cooperating with the most repressive and brutal governments were too often outweighed by long-term setbacks for America's stature and interests. American foreign policy is part of the message. America's policy choices have consequences.

Analyze This! Money Laundering and Terrorism Financing

Right or wrong, it is simply a fact that American policy regarding the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and American actions in Iraq are dominant staples of popular commentary across the Arab and Muslim world. That does not mean U. It means those choices must be integrated with America's message of opportunity to the Arab and Muslim world.

Neither Israel nor the new Iraq will be safer if worldwide Islamist terrorism grows stronger. The United States must do more to communicate its message. Reflecting on Bin Ladin's success in reaching Muslim audiences, Richard Holbrooke wondered, "How can a man in a cave outcommunicate the world's leading communications society? America does stand up for its values.

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If the United States does not act aggressively to define itself in the Islamic world, the extremists will gladly do the job for us. Recognizing that Arab and Muslim audiences rely on satellite television and radio, the government has begun some promising initiatives in television and radio broadcasting to the Arab world, Iran, and Afghanistan. These efforts are beginning to reach large audiences. The Broadcasting Board of Governors has asked for much larger resources.

It should get them. The United States should rebuild the scholarship, exchange, and library programs that reach out to young people and offer them knowledge and hope. Where such assistance is provided, it should be identified as coming from the citizens of the United States. An Agenda of Opportunity The United States and its friends can stress educational and economic opportunity. The United Nations has rightly equated "literacy as freedom. Unglamorous help is needed to support the basics, such as textbooks that translate more of the world's knowledge into local languages and libraries to house such materials.

Education about the outside world, or other cultures, is weak. More vocational education is needed, too, in trades and business skills. The Middle East can also benefit from some of the programs to bridge the digital divide and increase Internet access that have already been developed for other regions of the world.

Education that teaches tolerance, the dignity and value of each individual, and respect for different beliefs is a key element in any global strategy to eliminate Islamist terrorism. Funds will be spent directly for building and operating primary and secondary schools in those Muslim states that commit to sensibly investing their own money in public education.

Where do terrorist organizations get their money?

Economic openness is essential. Terrorism is not caused by poverty. Indeed, many terrorists come from relatively well-off families. Yet when people lose hope, when societies break down, when countries fragment, the breeding grounds for terrorism are created. Backward economic policies and repressive political regimes slip into societies that are without hope, where ambition and passions have no constructive outlet.

The policies that support economic development and reform also have political implications. Economic and political liberties tend to be linked. Commerce, especially international commerce, requires ongoing cooperation and compromise, the exchange of ideas across cultures, and the peaceful resolution of differences through negotiation or the rule of law.

Economic growth expands the middle class, a constituency for further reform. Successful economies rely on vibrant private sectors, which have an interest in curbing indiscriminate government power.

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This can be done by attempting to make transactions appear legitimate, or providing false or misleading details to reporting entities. The way we do that is through preventive and disruptive measures, by using investigative tools to learn as much as we can, as quickly as we can, and then incapacitating a target at the right moment. ISIL has been described as the wealthiest terrorist group in history. One individual was alleged to have been the treasurer and holder of the sandooq. Protecting Charitable Organizations.

Those who develop the practice of controlling their own economic destiny soon desire a voice in their communities and political societies. The United States has been seeking comprehensive free trade agreements FTAs with the Middle Eastern nations most firmly on the path to reform. Both agreements have expanded trade and investment, thereby supporting domestic economic reform.

These models are drawing the interest of their neighbors. Muslim countries can become full participants in the rules-based global trading system, as the United States considers lowering its trade barriers with the poorest Arab nations. Recommendation: A comprehensive U. Recommendation: The United States should engage other nations in developing a comprehensive coalition strategy against Islamist terrorism. There are several multilateral institutions in which such issues should be addressed.

But the most important policies should be discussed and coordinated in a flexible contact group of leading coalition governments. This is a good place, for example, to develop joint strategies for targeting terrorist travel, or for hammering out a common strategy for the places where terrorists may be finding sanctuary. Presently the Muslim and Arab states meet with each other, in organizations such as the Islamic Conference and the Arab League.

A recent G-8 summit initiative to begin a dialogue about reform may be a start toward finding a place where leading Muslim states can discuss-and be seen to discuss-critical policy issues with the leading Western powers committed to the future of the Arab and Muslim world. These new international efforts can create durable habits of visible cooperation, as states willing to step up to their responsibilities join together in constructive efforts to direct assistance and coordinate action.

The Global Terror Threat and Counterterrorism Challenges Facing the Next Administration

Coalition warfare also requires coalition policies on what to do with enemy captives. Allegations that the United States abused prisoners in its custody make it harder to build the diplomatic, political, and military alliances the government will need. The United States should work with friends to develop mutually agreed-on principles for the detention and humane treatment of captured international terrorists who are not being held under a particular country's criminal laws.

Countries such as Britain, Australia, and Muslim friends, are committed to fighting terrorists. America should be able to reconcile its views on how to balance humanity and security with our nation's commitment to these same goals. The United States and some of its allies do not accept the application of full Geneva Convention treatment of prisoners of war to captured terrorists.

Those Conventions establish a minimum set of standards for prisoners in internal conflicts.

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the United States, face global terrorist networks and their affiliates. and our allies and on disrupting and denying their ability to mobilize, finance, travel, that America's critical infrastructure is protected, in order to deter and prevent attacks, enemies are radical Islamist terrorist groups that seek to conduct attacks globally. In this sense, 9/11 has taught us that terrorism against American interests "over there" .. Substantial sums went to finance Islamic charities of every kind. .. They make targets harder to attack successfully, and they deter attacks by making .

Since the international struggle against Islamist terrorism is not internal, those provisions do not formally apply, but they are commonly accepted as basic standards for humane treatment. Recommendation: The United States should engage its friends to develop a common coalition approach toward the detention and humane treatment of captured terrorists. New principles might draw upon Article 3 of the Geneva Conventions on the law of armed conflict. That article was specifically designed for those cases in which the usual laws of war did not apply.

Its minimum standards are generally accepted throughout the world as customary international law.

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Proliferation of Weapons of Mass Destruction The greatest danger of another catastrophic attack in the United States will materialize if the world's most dangerous terrorists acquire the world's most dangerous weapons. As we note in chapter 2, al Qaeda has tried to acquire or make nuclear weapons for at least ten years. In chapter 4, we mentioned officials worriedly discussing, in , reports that Bin Ladin's associates thought their leader was intent on carrying out a "Hiroshima.

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In the public portion of his February worldwide threat assessment to Congress, DCI Tenet noted that Bin Ladin considered the acquisition of weapons of mass destruction to be a "religious obligation.