On 27 March, over 160 officials, including judges and prosecutors, from 57 jurisdictions as well as relevant international organisations participated in a workshop focused on improving terrorist financing prosecutions. The event was hosted by the Israeli government, in Tel Aviv, Israel.
The successful prosecution of those involved in terrorist financing is an essential component of an effective counter-terrorist financing system. However, the assessments of countries’ efforts to combat money laundering and terrorist financing reveal that many have faced challenges in prosecuting terrorist financing activity when it has occurred.
One of the priorities during the Unites States Presidency of the FATF is to improve countries’ capacity to prosecute terrorist financing cases. This builds on outcomes from the FATF’s global outreach programme to judges and prosecutors to identify common challenges and best practices in in investigating such cases. The June 2018 FATF President’s Paper – Anti-money laundering and counter terrorist financing for judges and prosecutors, identified a number of core elements of effectiveness for terrorist financing prosecutions. These include:
- the value of parallel financial investigations to ensure that all relevant actors in the terrorist network are discovered
- the availability and admissibility of evidence, including the challenges related to the use of classified information
- the use of special investigative techniques, including wiretaps or intercepting social media communications
- the balance between allowing time to collect terrorist financing activity to continue to gather evidence, and the disrupting the activity to present a possible attack.
The discussions provided valuable input into FATF’s ongoing work to facilitate co-operation between all agencies involved in counter terrorist financing activities and improve the capacity of countries to combat terrorist financing.