print-only banner
The White House Skip Main Navigation

Campaign Against Terrorism: A Coalition Update

Last Chapter  |  Table of Contents  |  Next Chapter  ]

5. Financial Actions

One of the most important aspects in the War on Terrorism is the fight to stop the financing of terrorist organisations.

This fight is difficult, terrorist organisations not only derive funding from general crime but they mask themselves as legitimate businesses and even charities.

Coalition countries have demonstrated their resolve to tighten up regulations and block loopholes.

The Americas


  • The U.S. government is taking action to freeze terrorist bank accounts and disrupt fund-raising and recruitment.
  • Since Sept 11 U.S. has now "designated" 189 individuals, organisations and financial supporters of terrorism pursuant to Executive Order 13224.
  • Since September 11th, $104.8 million has been blocked. $34.2 million in the U.S. and $70.5 million overseas.
  • The US has not just acted against the Al Qa’ida network. For example, on February 26, the US acted against ETA, the Basque Terrorist organisation.


"Our crackdown on terrorists is blind to nationality and origin. Rather, it’s a net that is being cast on all terrorist parasites that threaten our allies and our national security. By taking this action we join many nations to act forcefully against such terrorists."

US Treasury Secretary, Paul O’Neill, February 26, 2002


  • Mexico is presently completing the constitutional procedures to become a party to the International Convention for the Suppression of the Financing of Terrorism and is studying the legislative reforms that will be required in order to make the financing of terrorism an autonomous offence.
  • It is preparing a series of draft amendments to the Federal Penal Code, the Federal Code of Criminal Procedure and the Federal Organised Crime Act in order to provide the necessary legal means for the effective suppression of this crime.



  • More than 200 bank accounts containing more than $4 million total have been frozen as part of financial sanctions against terrorist networks.
  • The Federal Criminal Police Office has set up an independent unit responsible for the surveillance of suspicious financial flows.
  • Among the measures to prevent money laundering are the use of electronic data processing systems to ensure that banks are properly screening their clients and business relationships and the requirement that banks set up internal security systems.


  • In the fight against the financing of terrorism and in co-ordination with international partners, the UK has circulated a list of 46 organisations and 16 individuals to financial institutions requiring that assets belonging to them be frozen.
  • The Proceeds of Crime Bill was introduced at the House of Commons on 18th October 2001 and contains measures to remove illegally gained assets from criminals, including terrorists.


"The ready supply of finance is the lifeblood of modern terrorism. Those who finance terrorism are as guilty as those who commit it. UK domestic controls of terrorist financing are already among the best in the world, but we will do whatever is necessary to deprive terrorists of the funds they rely on. Just as there is no safe haven for terrorists there is no safe hiding place for their funds."

UK Finance Minister, Gordon Brown, 2 November 2001

  • Backed by UN Security Council Resolutions 1373 which criminalizes the financing of terrorism and 1390 which orders the freezing of the funds of the Taliban, Osama bin Laden and individuals and entities associated with him:
    • over 200 countries and jurisdictions have expressed support for the fight against terrorist financing. Some 150 countries have issued orders to freeze terrorist assets.
    • since 11 September over $100 million of terrorist funds has been frozen world-wide
    • UK Government has co-operated fully in taking simultaneous freezing action with the US
    • UK’s many investigative and law enforcement agencies are actively engaged in the fight against terrorism – in particular by disrupting and cutting off the finances of terrorist organisations
    • UK Government has introduced a range of new powers to enable the swift and effective freezing of assets
    • Since 11 September, the UK Government has ordered the freezing of assets of over 200 individuals and over 100 organisations
    • UK Government is working actively to ensure that the bulk of the $100 million frozen under the Taliban regime is returned to the new, legitimate Government of Afghanistan
    • Technical assistance is critical to implementing effective anti-terrorist controls in winning over governments and peoples



  • Turkey has comprehensive legislation to combat terrorism and is fully committed to the measures taken in the international fight against terrorism.
  • The authorities are working closely with international authorities on measures to freeze assets of terrorist organisations.


  • In recent years, the central Government of China has promulgated a series of laws and regulations concerning money-laundering.
  • In September 2001, the People’s Bank of China set up a special anti-money-laundering task force charged with the unified leadership and deployment of anti-money-laundering operations throughout the Chinese banking system.
  • Efforts are also being stepped up to revise regulations governing cash management and to set up a system to report suspicious cash transactions; a centre for overseeing financial transactions and payments to prevent money-laundering is under active development


"We are determined to fully implement the anti-terrorism measures under the relevant Resolutions of the United Nations Security Council. Hong Kong will spare no effort to prevent and suppress terrorist financing, and will continue to strengthen preventive measures and law enforcement in this regard both domestically and internationally through its Presidency of the Financial Action Task Force on Money Laundering."

Spokesman for the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, 06 March 02



  • The authorities have acted to exert greater control on foreign-exchange bureau’s linked to the Al-Barakat organisation, the major remittance company in Somalia.

Last Chapter  |  Table of Contents  |  Next Chapter  ]