U.S. House Holds Hearing on Investigating Patterns of Terrorist Financing

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Monday, April 1, 2002
Bruce Zagaris
On February 12, 2002, the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Financial Services Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations convened a hearing on “PATRIOT Act Oversight: Investigating Patterns of Terrorist Financing.” Because of our coverage of the January 29, 2002 hearing of the Senate Banking, Housing and urban Affairs on this same topic, this article only covers information not covered in the Senate hearing. Rep. Michael G. Oxley, Chair of the Committee on Financial Services, opened the hearing, inquiring whether U.S. law enforcement officials, banks and financial institutions would be able to detect the mechanisms whereby transnational terrorist used to finance their operations. Mary Lee Warren, Deputy Assistant Attorney General, Criminal Division, U.S. Department of Justice, testified about the utility of the various provisions of the USA PATRIOT Act. The various law enforcement activities of the Financial Review Group (FRG), an interagency task force supporting the F.B.I’s Counter Txc1errorism Division, the Terrorist Financing Task Force located in the Terrorism and Violent Crime Section of the Criminal Division, were highlighted. Ms. Warren discussed the use of “data mining” and predictive technology to identify other potential terrorists and terrorism financing networks. The Justice Department has increased their training and technical assistance bother abroad and in the U.S. The main utility of the hearing was, like the January 29, 2002 Senate hearing, it focused on the issues of combating financing of transnational terrorism, the new tools of the USA PATRIOT Act and its implementation, and new institutions and techniques of the U.S. law enforcement community in combating financing of transnational terrorism.