WASHINGTON, D.C. – The House Financial Services Committee voted unanimously Tuesday to reauthorize the bipartisan Task Force to Investigate Terrorism Financing led by Chairman Mike Fitzpatrick (R-PA) and Ranking Member Stephen F. Lynch (D-MA).
“As we’ve seen in recent days and weeks, the threats posed by terrorist organizations like ISIS – as well as lone actors – is real and evolving. It is my goal to advance upon the findings from our previous work to discover additional ways Congress may better assist our intelligence, law enforcement, and defense communities to cut off funding streams to terror groups seeking chaos and destruction. To this end, I am confident we can succeed together,” said Congressman Fitzpatrick. “I’d like to thank Chairman Hensarling Ranking Member Waters and my colleague Mr. Lynch for working to reestablish this important task force and reaffirming this committee’s determination to use its role to address the dangers of terrorism.”
“Following the recent horrific terror attacks on our soil and abroad, it is vital to continue the work of the Task Force to Investigate Terrorism Financing. By working closely with FinCEN and other financial intelligence agencies, the Task Force can identify ways to evolve our capabilities to monitor and disrupt the flow of funding to terrorist organizations around the world,” said Congressman Lynch. “I am very pleased that Chairman Hensarling, Ranking Member Waters, and the Committee as a whole recognized the need to renew the Task Force. I look forward to continuing to work with Congressman Fitzpatrick on a bipartisan basis to improve our strategy to target the global threat of ISIL and other extremist groups by halting their funding sources.”
The initial six months of operation of the Task Force shed significant light on multiple issues with regards to counter threats finance and anti-money laundering initiatives.
- The discovery of the various revenue streams ISIL utilizes to fund its terror operation and the ways in which the U.S. may effectively counter them – such as continuing to target ISIL oil infrastructure, work with regional allies to close porous borders, and to better police the travel of foreign fighters.
- Building consensus on the need for greater information sharing throughout the financial system and between government agencies, as well as an increased integration of government databases.
- Agreement that Congress needs to act on beneficial ownership and to provide the appropriate agencies with sufficient resources to address current challenges.
Building on these previous findings, a new session of the Task Force to Investigate Terrorism Financing will take a much closer look at several topics, such as trade-based money laundering, terror funding streams from Latin America, and developing our regional partners’ capabilities to combat terror financing.