|White House Press Release on Terrorist Financing |
White House Press Release on Terrorist Financing
Following President Bush's September 24th Executive Order blocking the flow of money to terrorists and terrorist organizations, the White House has released additional information clarifying his order and laying out the range of additional U.S. actions aimed at disrupting these flows. Source: Washington File (EUR116), U.S. Department of State, Washington D.C., September 24, 2001.
In a September 24 press release, the White House says Bush has ordered the Treasury Department to strike at the financial support structure of terrorists and their organizations by freezing their U.S. assets, blocking their U.S. dealings, and denying access to U.S. markets to foreign banks that refuse to freeze terrorist assets abroad.
The President intents to punish those financial institutions in the United States and abroad that continue to provide resources and services to terrorist organizations, says the press release.
The order, part of a broader strategy for suppressing terrorist financing, aims at disrupting the financial infrastructure of terrorism with terrorists, their associates, and intermediaries as primary targets.
It targets specific terrorists and terrorist organizations, including Osama bin Laden and his organization al-Qaeda, and authorizes the secretaries of the departments of State and Treasury to identify additional individuals and organizations to be added to the list of global terrorists and terrorist organizations.
Following is the text of the White House press release: (begin text)
The White House, President George W. Bush
Office of the Press Secretary, September 24, 2001
Executive Order on Terrorist Financing, September 24, 2001
"We will starve terrorists of funding, turn them against each other, rout them out of their safe hiding places, and bring them to justice." (President George W. Bush, September 24, 2001)
The President has directed the first strike on the global terror network today by issuing an Executive Order to starve terrorists of their support funds.
The Order expands the Treasury Department's power to target the support structure of terrorist organizations, freeze the U.S. assets and block the U.S. transactions of terrorists and those that support them, and increases our ability to block U.S. assets of, and deny access to U.S. markets to, foreign banks who refuse to cooperate with U.S. authorities to identify and freeze terrorist assets abroad.
Disrupting the Financial Infrastructure of Terrorism
- Targets all individuals and institutions linked to global terrorism.
- Allows the Treasury Department to freeze U.S. assets and block U.S. transactions of any person or institution associated with terrorists or terrorist organizations.
- Names specific individuals and organizations whose assets and transactions are to be blocked.
- Identifies charitable organizations that secretly funnel money to al-Qaeda.
- Provides donors information about charitable groups who fund terrorist organizations.
- States the President's intent to punish those financial institutions at home and abroad that continue to provide resources and/or services to terrorist organizations.
The new Executive order broadens existing authority in three principal ways:
- It expands the coverage of existing Executive orders from terrorism in the Middle East to global terrorism;
- The Order expands the class of targeted groups to include all those who are "associated with" designated terrorist groups; and
- Establishes our ability to block the U.S. assets of, and deny access to U.S. markets to, those foreign banks that refuse to freeze terrorist assets.
Blocking Terrorist Assets
- The Order prohibits U.S. transactions with those terrorist organizations, leaders, and corporate and charitable fronts listed in the Annex.
- Eleven terrorist organizations are listed in the Order, including organizations that make up the al-Qaeda network.
- A dozen terrorist leaders are listed, including Osama bin Ladin and his chief lieutenants, three charitable organizations, and one corporate front organization are identified as well.
- The Order authorizes the Secretary of State and the Secretary of the Treasury to make additional terrorist designations in the coming weeks and months.
Other Actions in War on Terrorist Financing
This Executive Order is part of a broader strategy that we have developed for suppressing terrorist financing:
- A Foreign Terrorist Asset Tracking Center (FTAT) is up and running. The FTAT is a multi-agency task force that will identify the network of terrorist funding and freeze assets before new acts of terrorism take place.
- The President, the Secretary of the Treasury, the Secretary of State and others are working with our allies around the world to tackle the financial underpinnings of terrorism. We are working through the G-8 and the United Nations. Already, several of our allies, including Switzerland and Britain, have frozen accounts of suspected terrorists.