terrorist financing

Terrorism financing came into limelight in the United States after the terrorist attacks in the United States on the 11th September in 2001. The US Government passed the USA PATRIOT Act to, among other reasons, attempt thwarting the financing of terrorism (CFT) and anti-money laundering (AML) making sure these were given some sort of adequate focus by US financial institutions. The act also had extraterritorial impact and non-US banks having correspondent banking accounts or doing business with US banks had to upgrade their AML/CFT processes. The Patriot Act has generated a great deal of controversy in the United States since its enactment. Initially the focus of CFT efforts was on non-profit organizations, unregistered money services businessess (MSBs) (including so called underground banking or ‘Hawalas’) and the criminalisation of the act itself. The Financial Action Task Force on Money Laundering (FATF) made nine special recommendations for CFT (first eight then a year later added a ninth). These nine recommendations have become the global standard for CFT and their effectiveness is assessed almost always in conjunction with AML. The FATF Blacklist (the NCCT list) mechanism was used to coerce countries to bring about change.