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Terrorism and the financial sector: are the right prosecutorial tools being used?

Stefan D. Cassella (Deputy Chief, Asset Forfeiture and Money Laundering Section, US Department of Justice)

Journal of Money Laundering Control

ISSN: 1368-5201

Article publication date: 1 July 2004

Abstract

Discusses the range of tools that US prosecutors have available to track down people financing terrorism and confiscating their money. Proposes a basic approach that focuses on more pedestrian offences than those specifically targeted at terrorism. Points out that traditional forensic techniques do not work well in tracking terrorist money, especially as even the attack of September 11 did not involve huge amounts of money (about $500,000). Summarises the statutory tools in the Patriot Act: Section 981(a)(1)(G), Section 2339A, and Section 2339B. Argues that the international money laundering statute 18 USC Section 1956 (a)(2)(A), which makes it a crime simply to send money out the USA in order to promote another crime, is much easier to use: this is attacking reverse money laundering, because it is the destination of the money rather than its origin which is relevant. Mentions also 18 USC Section 1960, which covers domestic as well as international money laundering, and illustrates use of this statute in the case of Yehuda Abraham, who was prosecuted simply for not having a money remitter’s licence in a case involving procurement of missiles.

Keywords

Citation

Cassella, S.D. (2004), "Terrorism and the financial sector: are the right prosecutorial tools being used?", Journal of Money Laundering Control, Vol. 7 No. 3, pp. 281-285. https://doi.org/10.1108/13685200410809995

Publisher

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Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2004, Emerald Group Publishing Limited