Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Fight Terrorism Without a Gun

When it's not working on revamping regulation of financial products and markets in the U.S., the Treasury Department is quietly fighting terrorism. Yesterday, the Senate Finance Committee held a hearing to gather information about the progress Treasury is making in tracking and disrupting terrorists' financial support networks.

The Treasury Department Office of Terrorism and Financial Intelligence (TFI), formed in 2004, gathers and uses financial intelligence to identify individuals, charities or other groups that help channel money to terrorist groups. Stuart Levey, undersecretary for TFI reported that it has made "significant progress" in exposing terrorist networks by following the money. TFI has designated about 50 charities worldwide as terrorism supporters and increased awareness among charities of the possibility that they may be used as conduits to support terrorist. TFI works through the Financial Action Task Force (FATF), an inter-governmental body whose purpose is the development and promotion of national and international policies to combat money laundering and terrorist financing.

The photo is U.S. Army Spc. Brian Stubbs of Apache Troop, 1st Squadron, 33rd Cavalry Regiment, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 101st Airborne Division, searching a home during a downpour in Sadr City, Iraq, April 30, 2006. Army photo by Staff Sgt. Russell Lee Klika.

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