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The fight against terrorism financing

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Don’t Follow the Money. The Problem With the War on Terrorist Financing (Foreign Affairs, July-August 2017)

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In the first days of the “war on terror,” before the United States had launched air strikes against the Taliban or Special Forces raids on Osama bin Laden’s compounds, President George W. Bush signed Executive Order 13224. The presidential decree, which dates from September 23, 2001, targeted al Qaeda’s money by “prohibiting transactions” with suspected terrorists. “Money is the lifeblood of terrorist operations,” Bush said at the time. “We’re asking the world to stop payment.” Five days later, the UN Security Council followed suit, calling on states to “prevent and suppress the financing” of terrorism in its first substantive resolution since the 9/11 attacks.

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Looking in the wrong places (The Economist, Oct 25, 2015)

Hindering flows across international financial networks is costly and does not stop terrorists’ primary activity

UNDER the scorching sun in Egypt’s inhospitable Sinai peninsula, security forces last month drew a tight cordon around terrorist suspects holed up in caves on Halal Mountain, hoping to starve them out. The authorities have been on high alert after several terror attacks, most recently in the Red Sea holiday town of Sharm el-Sheikh, where scores of tourists and locals were killed in July.

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