Global Measures to Counter Terrorism

Global Measures to Counter Terrorism

I. Cutting down on Terrorism Funding

The September 11 terrorists apparently had enough money to make their preparations many months, if not years, in advance. Since, funding is a critical element in recruiting supporters and launching large-scale terrorist operations. Thus the need to dry up terrorist fundraising and money transfers.

The first shot in the war against terrorism was fired on September 24 when President Bush signed an executive order, freezing the assets of 27 terrorists, terrorist organizations, and terrorist financiers associated with al-Qaida and blocks U.S. transactions with such persons or entities, including 39 additional names of persons and organizations known to conduct or financially support terrorism. In addition, the assets of all 22 of the FBI's Most Wanted Terrorists are now subject to this blocking order. A previous Executive Order, in effect since 1995 and renewed each year since, includes such groups as Hizballah and HAMAS, as well as al-Qaida that represent a terrorist threat to the Middle East peace negotiations.

On September 28 the U.N. Security Council unanimously adopted resolution 1373, which is binding on all states under international law, obliging all member states to deny financing, support, and safe haven to terrorists. It will also expand information sharing among U.N. members to combat international terrorism. A Security Council follow-up mechanism has been set up to monitor compliance on a continuous basis.

This effort has already yielded results. The United States has frozen some $4 million and is reviewing many other accounts. Other nations are still seeking to identify terrorist assets that they have pledged to block. In all, 111 nations -- more than half the world -- have acted to choke off the oxygen of money for terrorists, and this is only the beginning.

Using tools like these urges other countries to tighten up their own laws and regulations to curb terrorist fundraising and money transfers. In addition, the administration is making ratification of the 12 U.N. conventions against terrorism a high priority. The conventions form a strong legal framework for fighting terrorism.

II. Utilizing Training Related Programmes

The State Department's Antiterrorism Training Assistance (ATA) program was set up in which foreign security and law enforcement officials is a pillar of this effort. The program not only provides training but also helps promote policies and improve contacts with foreign officials to achieve the counterterrorism goals. More than 20,000 officials have been trained from over 100 countries to date.

A Terrorist Interdiction Program (TIP) was also developed, which utilizes sophisticated computer data base systems and improved communications to help identify potential terrorists who try to cross international borders. This program will be most effective in countries that are major transportation hubs. The Department's contribution to the interagency counterterrorism research and development program, the Technical Support Working Group, also helps to make advances in explosives detection and other areas and bolster cooperative R&D efforts with other key allies.

An increase in awards for the "Rewards for Justice" program was also proposed, which pays up to $5 million for information that prevents a terrorist attack or results in the arrest of a terrorist. This important program saves lives and puts terrorists behind bars.

-Lim Cenyun Rachel, 10S27

No comments: