Financial Action Task Force Publishes Topologies Report

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Monday, April 1, 2002
Bruce Zagaris
On February 1, 2002, the Financial Action Task Force on Money Laundering (FATF) released its annual Report on money Laundering Topologies 2001-2002. Its seven chapter on specialized topic are taken from case example supplied by FATF members. Two primary sources of financial for terrorist activities are described. The first involves obtaining financial support from States or structures with large enough organizations to be able to collect and distribute the funds to the terrorist organization. The second method for raising funds for the terrorist organizations is to garner them directly from various “revenue-generating” activities. Although these activities may include criminal acts and appear similar to ordinary criminal organizations, terrorist groups may also obtain a portion of their revenues from legitimately earned income. When terrorists or terrorist organizations obtain their financial support from legal sources, detecting and tracing these funds are more difficult. The apparent legal source of the funds may mean that there are few, if any, indicators that would make an individual financial transaction or series of transactions stand out as linked to terrorist activities.