Tightening the Screws

Staunching the flow of funds to terrorist organizations take more than issuing exective orders. An inside look at a broken process, and how to fix it.

Issue: Winter 2001-2002

Short of the actual use of force, economic sanctions are among the U.S. government's most powerful tools in the war on terrorism. They seek to deprive terrorist organizations of the financial wherewithal to support and conduct operations such as the September 11 attacks on Washington and New York. Well before those events, however, the U.S. government had targeted Osama bin Laden and his Al-Qaeda organization with financial sanctions as part of three separate anti-terrorist programs established since the mid-1990s. This pre-existing anti-terrorist sanctions framework has now been bolstered by a new Presidential Executive Order on Terrorism, as well as by UN Security Council Resolution 1373 calling for similar sanctions by other nations. These new measures add another layer to an already complex system of financial regulations with relevance to U.S. diplomacy.

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