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NCJ Number: 201321 Find in a Library
Title: Legislating Against the Financing of Terrorism: Pitfalls and Prospects
Journal: Journal of Financial Crime  Volume:10  Issue:3  Dated:January 2003  Pages:269-274
Author(s): Kevin E. Davis
Date Published: January 2003
Page Count: 6
Type: Legislation/Policy Analysis
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This document explores criminal legislation against the financing of terrorism that has been enacted in Canada, the United Kingdom, and the United States.
Abstract: Defining terrorism is an extremely difficult task. There are also different ways of describing what it means to finance terrorism. The Financing of Terrorism Convention provides that criminal liability should be imposed upon not only individuals of entities that engage in financing of terrorism but also their accomplices, leaders, and co-conspirators. State parties should take measures to provide for the freezing, seizure, and forfeiture of any funds used for the purposes of financing of terrorism as well as proceeds derived from the commission of financing of terrorism offenses. The Convention defines “financing” to mean providing or collecting funds with the intention or knowledge that they will be used, in whole or part, to carry out terrorist activity. Canada, the United Kingdom, and the United States appear to make it an offense to provide property to terrorists or for terrorist purposes on a commercial basis. The problem is that commercial dealings tend not to involve violence and almost always have a plausible relatively benign motivation--personal gain. This seems rather far removed from the core definition of terrorist activity. In Canada and the United Kingdom, nothing in the way of an overt act need be committed in order to trigger liability under the provisions that concern possessing property for the purposes of terrorism. This raises the concern that such an offense unduly limits individuals’ freedom of thought and expression when they do not act upon illicit intentions. Another concern is that states have adopted legislation that sanctions the financing of terrorists rather than just terrorist activities. Such legislative provisions serve to deter a broad range of dealings with terrorists. It is reasonable to expect international variation in the legislation of financing terrorism. However, international cooperation is often only possible in respect of activities that are proscribed in both the requesting and the requested state. Over the course of time, it is hoped that a body of customary international law concerning financing of terrorism will emerge. 31 references
Main Term(s): Funding sources; Revolutionary or terrorist groups
Index Term(s): Counter-terrorism tactics; Financial aid; International agreements; International terrorism; Subversive activities; Supporters of terrorism; Terrorist group cooperation
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