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  • House Hearing Examines Evolution of Terrorist Financing a Decade After 9/11 | Charity & Security Network
    are having far reaching and unintended consequences For example the one size fits all approach to charities taken by the U S alienates certain constituencies and prevents aid from reaching those most in need The restrictions on money transfers is supposed to prevent terrorists from moving money but in places like Minnesota it is instead rendering the Somalia diaspora without viable means to transmit money cheaply and efficiently to relatives since there is no functioning banking system in Somalia More than a dozen Somali money transfer businesses were forced to stop doing business in late 2011 after banks began refusing service fearing they might inadvertently violate anti terror laws Improvements to the CFT regime Eckert says are needed to successfully adapt to the evolving nature of terror finance In particular special effort must be taken to reaffirm support for charitable giving and the government should develop and provide clear guidance to charities clarifying what constitutes financing of terrorism and association Additionally to better understand and assess terrorist financing efforts she also recommends creating improved standards for evaluating CFT initiatives Metrics most commonly associated with terrorist financing the total number of designations and the amount of money frozen are inadequate and can be misleading she said Eckert was joined by Rep Bennie Thompson D MS who said efforts to disrupt financing to terrorist organizations should not cause collateral damage to international charitable organizations Rep Patrick Meehan R PA chairperson of the subcommittee also called for change The U S government may need to recalibrate some of its tactics in order to address remaining vulnerabilities in combating terror financing he said in his opening statement Jonathan Schanzer a former Treasury Department official said successful CFT efforts have driven terrorists away from traditional financial streams We are now victims of our own success Schanzer said adding he predicts the bulk of future terrorist finance to come from money laundering and drug trafficking He criticized the Financial Action Task Force FATF the international consortium that sets money laundering and CFT standards around the world saying the system is full of holes and terrorists predictably gravitate to the areas of weakest authority Click here to find out What is the Financial Action Task Force and Why Nonprofits Should Care Another witness at the hearing Dennis M Lormel President and CEO of DML Associates LLC explained why international CFT efforts need to adapt to meet the latest threats There is a growing and troubling nexus between transnational criminal organizations drug cartels and terrorist organizations he said To meet tomorrow s CTF challenges Lormel said the U S should develop better feedback mechanisms to financial institutions about how terrorists use financial institutions and provide them with typologies that financial institutions could use for transactional monitoring John A Cassara a former CIA officer and Treasury Special Agent described trade based value transfer as the new frontier in international money laundering and counter terrorist finance Trade based money laundering scams take a wide variety of forms For example it

    Original URL path: http://www.charityandsecurity.org/news/Hearing_Examines_Evolution_Terrorist_Financing_Decade_After_9/11 (2016-02-16)
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  • WikiLeaks Exposes Terrorism Funding Sources | Charity & Security Network
    financial support base for al Qaida the Taliban Lashkar e Taiba and other terrorist groups including Hamas The leaked cables reveal a list of diverse methods terrorist outfits use to raise money One network of terrorists in Pakistan smuggling weapons and fighters into Afghanistan to fight U S and Coalition Forces funds their activities through illicit activities including kidnapping extortion bank robbery narcotics smuggling and fraud in the Gulf region The cables also expose the apathy or unwillingness of these states to pursue and stop known sources of significant terrorist financing For example one cable identified Qatar s level of counterterrorism cooperation with the U S as largely passive and officials as hesitant to act against known terrorists out of concern for appearing to be aligned with the U S Do not want appear aligned with the U S I am sure the U S military personal stationed at U S Central Command headquarters at Al Udeid Air Base in Doha Qatar might think that strange This is the same country that the 9 11 Commission Report p 73 said provided a safe haven to Khalid Sheikh Mohammed during the 1990s and news reports indicate other terrorists may have received financial support there after 9 11 Of course foreign funding of terrorism does not mean we can neglect targeting domestic sources of terrorist finance But the information divulged by these leaked cables combined with the fact that less than 2 of the terrorist groups on State and Treasury sanction lists are related to charities can only lead to the conclusion that it is time for the Treasury Department to stop describing charities as a primary source of financial and material support for terrorists Issues Humanitarian Access Material Support Financial Action Task Force FATF Financial Access Peacebuilding Countering Violent Extremism Click

    Original URL path: http://www.charityandsecurity.org/blog/WikiLeaks_Exposes_Terrorism_Funding_Sources (2016-02-16)
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  • New Treasury Rule Improves Access to Lawyers for Listed Charities | Charity & Security Network
    of cases that can take advantage of this rule are as follows Legal advice and counseling on the requirements of and compliance with U S law as long as it does not facilitate transactions in violation of the blocking order Representation of persons named as defendants or parties to domestic U S legal proceedings including arbitration or administrative proceedings Domestic U S legal proceedings to defend interests in property subject to U S jurisdiction Representation before any federal or state agency regarding enforcement of U S sanctions against the client Representation of persons detained within the jurisdiction of the United States regardless of location regarding any charges made against them including detention military commission prosecutions and federal court proceedings and Any other legal services where U S law requires access to legal counsel at public expense 31 CFR 594 506 If the legal issue does not fall into these categories a specific license is still required for payment of attorneys The two approved payment methods are Payment from the client s sources outside the U S Payment from a legal defense fund at a U S financial institution that is subject to reporting requirements Legal payments from sources outside the U S The rules allow representation by a a U S person that is an attorney law from or legal services organization when the funds originate outside the U S provided that the attorney provide Treasury s Office of Foreign Assets Control OFAC with a letter of engagement or intent to engage that specifies the services to be performed signed by the client All funds must come from the client s sources outside the U S The attorneys working under this regulation must submit quarterly reports to OFAC that identify the sources of the funds the amounts given the names of consultants such as expert witnesses or investigators and a general description of the services provided Legal payment from a legal defense fund The regulations allow attorneys to create legal defense funds in a U S financial institution Before payment can be made the following information must be submitted to OFAC A copy of the engagement letter or intent to engage specifying the services to be provided and signed by the client The name of the individual or entity setting up the fund The name of the financial institution where the fund is located and a contact person there The account name and number U S donors may give to the funds but no listed persons or groups may contribute to it The fund must notify the financial institution that it can only be used to pay for services relating to legal representation Report to OFAC must be filed quarterly listing the following Donors and amounts Details of payments made A general description of the services provided Any funds left over at the end of the case or legal representation become the property of the listed group and are blocked unless a license authorizing their release is issued What prompted

    Original URL path: http://www.charityandsecurity.org/news/Treasury_Improves_Access_Lawyers_Charities (2016-02-16)
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  • ACLU and CCR Challenge Constitutionality of OFAC’s Licensing Scheme for Legal Services | Charity & Security Network
    Anwar al Aulaqi was designated as an SDGT on July 16 2010 He is also on a list of suspected terrorists approved for targeted killing by the U S military and the CIA Mr al Aulaqi s father sought assistance from the ACLU and CCR to challenge the constitutionality of the U S government s ongoing targeted killing of his son In order to engage in any transactions with a U S person designated as a SDGT the ACLU and CCR are required by law to apply for a license to provide the legal representation requested by Mr al Aulaqi s father In accordance with OFAC s burdensome procedures the ACLU and CCR applied for a license to represent Mr al Aulaqi s father After waiting ten days for a response to their request ACLU and CCR filed suit to enjoin the U S Treasury from penalizing them for representing their client without a license from OFAC Because of the U S government s past and ongoing attempts their client s son the licensing request was urgent The ACLU and CCR challenged the constitutionality of the licensing process on First and Fifth Amendment grounds and alleged that such requirements violated the separation of powers doctrine Specifically they made the following claims The SDGT regulations are arbitrary and capricious insofar as they prohibits attorneys from providing uncompensated legal services without first obtaining a license from OFAC The SDGT regulations violate the First and Fifth Amendments insofar as they prevent SDGTs who are US persons from obtaining legal representation of their interests in U S Courts The SDGT regulations violate the First Amendment insofar as they impose a licensing requirement on non profit civil liberties organizations seeking to represent clients in litigation The SDGT regulations violate the First Amendment insofar as they

    Original URL path: http://www.charityandsecurity.org/news/ACLU_CCR_Challenge_Constitutionality_OFACs_Licensing_Scheme_Legal_Service (2016-02-16)
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  • Judge Hears Former Charity Heads Appeal in Tax Case | Charity & Security Network
    Court of Appeals held a 75 minute hearing to consider the appeals of three related cases that resulted in two of the men being convicted for tax violations and making false statements to the FBI The attorney for Emadeddin Muntasser Kathleen Sullivan says the evidence linking her client and the conspiracy to fraudulently maintain the charity s tax exempt status is weak The false statement charge for Mr Muntasser is not a slam dunk for government Sullivan said Michael Andrews an attorney for another defendant said his client should not be held accountable for how paperwork was filed years before he joined the charity If he were to be held liable Andrews said it would send an incredibly chilling message to the nation s thousands of small charities What the government seeks to do to impose a rule on penalty of criminal incarceration that if you volunteer you have an obligation to go back and look at the founding documents and see what is declared and also look at any other correspondence to the IRS Andres said Information about each of the convictions being appealed Muhamed Mubayyid was sentenced in June 2008 to 11 months in prison and three years of supervised release for a scheme to conceal information from the IRS three counts of filing of false tax returns and one count of obstruction of the IRS A jury also convicted Mubayyid of conspiracy to defraud and impede the IRS but Judge Dennis Saylor IV of the District of Massachusetts granted his motion for acquittal on that count Also in June 2008 Saylor sentenced Muntasser to a year in prison plus three years of supervised release for making a false statement to an FBI agent that he never traveled to Afghanistan Saylor also granted Muntasser s motion for acquittal

    Original URL path: http://www.charityandsecurity.org/news/Judge_Hears_Former_Charity_Heads_Appeal_Tax_Case (2016-02-16)
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  • Former Head of Missouri Charity Pleads Guilty to Violating Sanctions Against Iraq | Charity & Security Network
    13 2004 Sentencing has not been scheduled but Hamed faces up to 20 years in prison and 1 5 million in fines The charity and other defendants are still awaiting trial Hamed is the third defendant to plead guilty in the case In Dec 2009 charity fundraiser Ahmad Mustafa pleaded guilty to illegally transferring money to Iraq and former IARA board member Ali Mohamed Begegni pleaded guilty to a role in the conspiracy on April 6 It is unclear from media reports if the charity is represented by counsel during these proceedings Two defendants are still waiting for their trials to begin including former U S congressman Mark Siljander R MI According to prosecutors Siljander is accused of taking 75 000 from a U S Agency for International Development grant that IARA was supposed to have used for relief projects in Mali Prosecutors said the money was to help remove the charity s name from a U S Senate Finance Committee list of organizations that allegedly supported terrorism Issues Humanitarian Access Material Support Financial Action Task Force FATF Financial Access Peacebuilding Countering Violent Extremism Click Here For More Issues Solutions Principles to Guide Solutions Models to Draw On Proposed Solutions

    Original URL path: http://www.charityandsecurity.org/news/IARA_Former_Head_guilty_Violations (2016-02-16)
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  • Commentary: Insight into Treasury's View of Terrorist Finance from FOIA Docs | Charity & Security Network
    in the Biheiri case Judge Ellis this guy may be a terrorist buy you haven t proved it and similar prosecutions that were unsuccessful or where the defendant was convicted of a crime not connected to terrorism The material cites news articles many that are several years old In some cases allegations in these articles have been refuted or have been proven unreliable by the passage of time For example Operation Green Quest which launched raids on a number of organizations in Northern Virginia and elsewhere has led to no prosecutions or other enforcement activity Most observers including the Senate Finance Committee have concluded that Green Quest was barking up the wrong tree A fair process would re evaluate material on the basis of new information and purge outdated and disproved information Treasury fails to do this One egregious example of their failure in this regard is their continued reliance on articles published in USA Today that have been admitted to be fabricated and withdrawn from the archive by the publisher The material does not redact names of non designed organizations The listing of these organizations including some of the unindicted co conspirators in the Holy Land case creates a cloud over these organizations The package engages in bait and switch on terrorism As the prime example for support of terrorism by charities and other entities they cite a 2003 German report on the activities of an NGO in Bosnia during the 1990s The report concludes that some money donated to the organization may have gone to support the Bosnian government and even to procure military equipment While providing military equipment may have violated both the Arms Embargo on the Former Yugoslavia as well as the NGO s charter providing Bosnians with the means to protect themselves against genocide can hardly be equated with supporting terrorism Both Bob Dole and Newt Gingrich called for lifting the embargo and arming the Bosnians The US looked the other way while Iran armed the Bosnians under the guise of humanitarian relief In fact some observers cite a Dutch report in support of the notion that the US encouraged and supported the procurement of arms through Islamist Arab and other Middle Eastern sources The German report uses a six degrees of separation analysis to assert a connection person A or organization B is a defendant in the 9 11 lawsuit or has been designated years after the Bosnian War therefore organizations to which they contributed must be terrorist organizations Furthermore other Muslim organizations that make donations must also be part of the conspiracy The report concludes that the fact that donations to the NGO came from the entire Muslim world and from many different banks suggest s an internationally acting financial structure and a terrorist network An alternative explanation for this phenomenon would be that Muslims throughout the world moved by the sight of civilians being massacred and besieged and compelled by religious obligation donated freely and generously in support of their Bosnian brothers

    Original URL path: http://www.charityandsecurity.org/blog/belew_NYT_FOIA_Docs (2016-02-16)
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  • Court Rules Government Must Demonstrate Scholar Knowingly Supported Terrorism | Charity & Security Network
    1 300 to a Swiss based charity Association de Secours Palestinien which the Treasury Department later classified as a terrorist organization for financially supporting Hamas Subsequently he had his visa revoked in 2004 and was denied one in 2006 The three judge panel of the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit unanimously ruled that the government was required to confront Ramadan with the allegation against him and afford him the subsequent opportunity to demonstrate by clear and convincing evidence that he did not know and reasonably should not have known that the recipient of his contributions was a terrorist organization The panel sent the case back to the lower court for a determination on whether Ramadan had been confronted with the allegation and given an opportunity to deny it The ACLU attorney who argued the appeal Jameel Jaffer said he was pleased with the decision and its finding that in this case the government simply has not offered a constitutionally adequate justification for its actions Issues Humanitarian Access Material Support Financial Action Task Force FATF Financial Access Peacebuilding Countering Violent Extremism Click Here For More Issues Solutions Principles to Guide Solutions Models to Draw On Proposed Solutions

    Original URL path: http://www.charityandsecurity.org/news/Court_Rules_Government_Demonstrate_Scholar_Knowingly_Supported_Terrorism (2016-02-16)
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