According to the opening statement that was issued by Dennis Moore, this hearing was the third in a series of hearings that had been planned for the purpose of discussing the vital issue of combating terrorism financing and also all activities that amount to money laundering. Moore said that year, 2010, they had also met for the hearing of numerous oversight reports by the Government Accountability Office (GAO) and the Treasury Department Inspector General, in this hearings, he reminds the subcommittee that they were focused on examining FinCEN’s (Financial Crimes Enforcement Network) with regard to suspicious activity reports, anti-money laundering , Bank Secrecy Act, among other issues. Therefore, it is evident that, from Moore’s opening statement, the US government is carrying out all measures possible to be able to curtail any forms of terrorism acquiring finances. It aims at reviewing the monetary controls, disclosure and the approach on decision making so as to enable charities and all the law abiding citizens receive adequate due process. However, in this hearing, the topic of review takes back the house to the initial stage of curbing this menace; finding out exactly how the terrorist have evolved and managed to alter or improve on their techniques so as to avoid the current efforts that the government of United States is making to prevent the flow of money to the terrorist.
In this subcommittee, it also consisted of very informative witnesses who had been previously served as diplomats for the US government in various parts of the world. One of these witnesses is Mr Victor D Comras who is the special counsel of the Eren Law firm and also a former UN international monitors overseeing implementation of Security Council’s laws (Terrorist Financing Hearing, 2010). In his statement, Mr Comras expressed important views that concerns the United Nation and other International organisations efforts in joining hands to curtail any instances of terrorist financing. According to Mr Comras, the reason why terrorism activities thrives in the Middle East while the US is spending billions of dollars trying in vain to prevent the transfer of money for funding terrorist activities is largely because of inefficiencies in international counterparts financial grid. He quotes the $106 Million that the terrorist group, Taliban, received in the year 2009 from its overseas donors. He unveils that through Hamas and Hezbollah and also through links with groups such as the Muslim Brotherhood Network, money laundering activities are made possible since it has criminal gangs which operates in the Latin America border, Southeast Asia and also in West Africa, Nonetheless, irrespective of the efforts that the agencies in the US undertake, some international financial systems seems to frustrate our efforts. An article by Gilmore on Dirty money: the evolution of international measures to counter money laundering and the financing of terrorism also confirms that there have been an emergence of overseas banks which are home grown underfunded and under-regulated organisations possessing the characteristics of informal money transfers. These financial structure greatly creates avenues that enables the financing of terrorism activities. In fact, these financial structures are normally situated in areas where recruitment for terrorism activities is rampant. Therefore, due to this drawbacks the great strides that the government of US takes in the quest to prevent money laundering and other terrorism financing activities, overseas monetary institutions fails them.
Another method of transfer of finances to fund terrorism is through legally running banks and charitable organisations. This article explains that, no amount of regulation would matter in a situation whereby a bank is willing to assist in the funding of terrorist activities (Terrorist Financing Hearing, 2010). For instance, many American that were victims of terrorism are putting much efforts to hold institutions such as the Arab bank with the belief that it is liable for what can be considered to being death insurance for the Hamas to Hamas militants (Win, & Liu, 2012, p322). In addition, through the use of charitable organisations such as the Holy Land Foundation which raised $12 million for the Hamas, has proven that terrorist are able to organise themselves and raise funds for acts of terrorism in the guise that the money is meant for humanitarian purposes. Another tested method of financing terrorism according to the hearings from this article is that of the use of the underground banking system, specifically through the Hawala system. Through the arrest of Mohammed Younis, who is alleged to have assisted in the failed financing of the Times Square bombings, by acting as a Hawaladar is a great reminder of how imperative the issue of financial investigation is in our desire to end this menace.
In conclusion, this article outlines various measures that a business or organisation should uphold so as to help the government to curb the issue of financing terrorism activities. Various acts such as the PATRIOT Act, business holdings and other financial organisations should know their clients better. The law enforcers ought to communicate with the regulators and the banks so as to ensure that any forms of illegal funding and money laundering is detected by all parties involved in this endeavour. In addition, all the house of representatives and the witnesses that appeared in this September 28, 2010 hearing unanimously agreed that the FinCen has not been acting up to standard. A lot of improvement with regard to its analytical capability, interface with the law enforcement and also through foreign cooperation is required. Generally, the current trends in financing terrorism activities as explained in this hearing revolves around the use of religion-based charitable organisations, unscrupulous financial structures and through technological money laundering among other forms of money transfers.
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Perl, R. (2006, July). Trends in terrorism: 2006. Library of congress Washington dc
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