Terrorist Financing Task Force Introduces Counterterrorism Strategy

Jun 29, 2016 Issues: Anti-Terrorist Financing

WASHINGTON, D.C.Chairman Mike Fitzpatrick (R-PA), Ranking Member Stephen F. Lynch (D-MA), and Vice Chairman Robert Pittenger (R-NC) introduced a bipartisan package of bills on Wednesday to strengthen our global anti-terrorist financing strategies and activities. 

The bills were introduced by Chairman Fitzpatrick, Ranking Member Lynch, Vice Chairman Pittenger, and other members of the Task Force to Investigate Terrorism Financing.

“Money is like oxygen to terrorists—they cannot survive without it,” Chairman Fitzpatrick said.  The bills we’ve introduced provide a clear blueprint to adapt our fight to further ensure that terror groups, such as ISIS, Hezbollah and Boko Haram are unable to financially support their operations.  The bills are key to a necessary, enhanced strategy against a growing, global threat.”    

“From widening the scope of information FinCEN can collect under geographic targeting orders to incentivizing greater intelligence capacity within our partner states, the Task Force’s package of bills will strengthen our global anti-terrorist financing strategy and improve the tools and safeguards in place so that we can more readily monitor and disrupt the ability of terrorists to finance their operations.  With recent horrific terrorist attacks both on our soil and abroad, the Task Force’s bipartisan package is timely and necessary to ensure that our financial intelligence agencies are able to evolve their capabilities and cut off funding streams for terrorist groups,” said Ranking Member Lynch.  “I thank Chairman Fitzpatrick, Vice Chair Pittenger, and our colleagues on both sides of the aisle for moving this critical bipartisan legislative package forward.”   

“The bills we introduced represent an important step for our government in recognizing the various threats we face from terrorism financing and supporting federal policies intended on stopping the flow of illicit dollars to criminal and terror organizations, alike,” said Vice Chairman Pittenger.

The legislation introduced by the Task Force includes:

H.R 5594: Requiring the President to develop and publish an all-encompassing government strategy to combat money laundering and terrorism financing, promoting coordination among the pertinent federal agencies. 

H.R. 5607: Enhancing a number of tools that the Treasury Department uses in its efforts to combat the financing of terror, money laundering, and related illicit finance.

H.R. 5603: Establishing a payment of rewards to individuals who provide information which leads to the freezing or recovering of funds stolen from developing countries through corruption.

H.R. 5602: Authorizing the Secretary of the Treasury to include all funds when issuing certain geographic targeting orders, including funds involved an electronic fund transfer.

H.R. 5606: Enhancing safe harbor provisions for information sharing among financial institutions and government agencies; broadening the range of suspected illegal activities, while requiring a study to determine the appropriate level of sharing with foreign subsidiaries or headquarters of U.S. banking operations.

Last week, the Task Force held its final hearing of the 114th Congress summarizing a two-year effort to investigate the financial mechanisms that terrorists use to fund their activities.  The 11 hearings covered a wide range of topics, including the current vulnerabilities of the global financial system, trade-based money laundering, assisting the developing world, and the sale and trafficking of illicit goods.  The Task Force will release a report of its findings later this year.