20041007 In Hot Pursuit of Terrorist Funds

Why is enforcement so poor? It’s because no matter what legislators and regulators in the USA, UK and most other countries say, it’s almost impossible to identify funds that are on their way to commit crime.

The irony of much recent legal drafting is that laws in many countries now include the offence of funding or being involved in the financial arrangements of an offence as itself being an offence.

When they do so, they put it into laws in the section marked “money laundering.”

And in doing so, they cause a wide range of problems.

I said that terrorism is often funded by the commission of crime, and where it is, then in principle counter-money laundering laws apply.

But if we look at the other ways that terrorism is funded, that of donations and voluntary payments, it is clear that there is a fundamental difference between the financing of future crime and money laundering.