The United States House Financial Services Committee’s Task Force to Investigate Terrorism Financing released the results this week of a two-year investigation into terror financing and the threat it poses to the U.S. financial system.
“Combating terror financing is a significant and often overlooked component of our national security strategy,” Task Force Chairman Mike Fitzpatrick (R-PA) said. “This report signals to the next Congress and Treasury Department that we must continually evaluate and improve our response toward international terror and criminal financing.”
The report uncovered several critical vulnerabilities, including federal information sharing and inter-agency coordination.
The 21-member task force introduced five bipartisan bills aimed at combating the threats identified in its report.
H.R. 5594 would require the president to create and publish, through the Treasury Secretary, a yearly government plan to combat terror financing and money laundering. H.R. 5602 creates more stringent requirements for reporting certain transactions to the Treasury. H.R. 5607 would improve the Treasury’s tools for combating illegal financing. H.R. 5603 is designed to help the U.S. deal with assets related to foreign government corruption, which often enables terrorism. H.R. 5606 seeks to improve the sharing of anti-terrorism information, including between the government and banks.
The task force also put forth several recommendations for additional Congressional consideration. These recommendations include improved interagency coordination, better resource allocation, improved accessibility of anti-terror information, increased attention on helping developing countries fight illegal financing and the reinstatement of the interagency Terrorist Financing Working Group.