Finding terrorists’ funds calls for careful targeting and better coordination.
The theft of $50 million from the Northern Bank in Belfast at the end of last year is believed to be the work of the Provisional Irish Republican Army. Efforts to recover the money reveal a massive money-laundering operation that is reported to involve an attempt to buy a bank in Bulgaria with an east European crime syndicate.
This reinforces the belief that terrorists and organised criminals have become inextricably linked and that money ﬂows between the two sectors as they pursue their different goals. Tracking and stopping the money trail have become key parts of worldwide counter-terrorist strategies. Arguably only arresting or disrupting the operatives and planners is higher on the law- enforcement agenda.