September 11 - Money Laundering: Banking on terrorism

Money can be as lethal as bullets and explosives.

The World Today Published 1 August 2002 Updated 23 October 2020 4 minute READ

Keith Suter

Director of Studies, International Law Association (Australian Branch)

Governments are now forced to pay more attention to how terrorist groups finance operations. But progress will be difficult. There is only a limited appetite for international cooperation and funds can be raised in apparently innocent ways. They can also be transferred via the world’s second oldest banking system to avoid notice.

Al Qaeda has provided a painful reminder that crime is global but law enforcement is not. Criminal law is still largely a national or local matter while international criminals are often better organised than national governments and their police forces. Criminals can move across borders more easily than police officers, who are restricted in their powers of detection, arrest and detention. There is no international force to arrest wrongdoers and no international prison.

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