Securities Industry News reports today (by subscription only) on a current review by the Financial Action Task Force of US efforts to disrupt and prevent money-laundering and terrorism finance activities. The results of this review should provide an important and independent assessment of post-9/11 initiatives to combat these activities.
The article also does a good job of clarifying the relationship between money laundering (AML) and terrorism finance (CTF) activities:
[FATF executive secretary Alain] Damais made a distinction between the AML and CTF efforts. “One of the main differences is that money-laundering concerns taking criminal assets and making them appear to have legitimate origins,” he said. “Terrorist financing involves funding criminal activity, which can be financed through criminal assets or with assets that are not of criminal origin. The techniques used in detecting the flows of the money are actually very close. Both of them call for the attention of financial institutions, which are the eyes and the ears of the system. They are the ones who can see the money flows and sound warnings.”
For more on this subject, read the FATF’s country assessment guide, the 9/11 Commission’s staff monograph on terrorism finance and the Council on Foreign Relations’ 2004 report on terrorist financing.