On 9/11 Anniversary, Trump Administration Unveils New Sanctions Related to Terror Financing


Sadly, it doesn’t cover funding to UAE designated terror groups CAIR, ISNA, MAS, et al.

Trump Administration Unveils New Sanctions Related to Terror Financing

Expansion of counterterrorism powers comes on eve of 18th anniversary of Sept. 11 attacks

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, left, with Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin on Tuesday, said new powers created by an executive order by President Trump bolster authorities created in the wake of the Sept. 11 attacks.

By Ian Talley, Wall Street Journal Sept. 10, 2019:

WASHINGTON—The Trump administration unveiled new counterterrorism powers on the eve of the 18th anniversary of the Sept. 11 attacks and imposed sanctions on dozens of individuals and entities allegedly involved with terror groups.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said on Tuesday that the new powers created by an executive order by President Trump bolster authorities created in the wake of the attacks. The administration said the changes represent the most significant expansion of counterterrorism powers since they were originally ordered by then-President George W. Bush in the days after the World Trade Center and Pentagon were struck.

The U.S. Treasury and State Department blacklisted dozens of people, currency-exchange houses and companies allegedly associated with U.S.-designated terror groups, including Hamas, al Qaeda, Islamic State, Hezbollah and the Quds Force of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps.

Besides cutting off the targets’ access to the U.S., the sanctions also mean any individual or company doing business with them also risk being cut off from the world’s most powerful economy.

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, who appeared with Mr. Pompeo at a press briefing, said the modernized counterterrorism executive order helps the administration target the financial networks used by terror groups.

“These new authorities will allow the U.S. government to starve terrorists of resources they need to attack the United States and our allies, and will hold foreign financial institutions who continue to do business with them accountable,” Mr. Mnuchin said.

Many of the targets of Tuesday’s sanctions are companies that exchange one currency for another as part of an alleged attempt to hide the intended source and intended terror-financing recipients. Those exchange houses, U.S. officials and terror experts say, are key conduits for financing Hezbollah, Hamas, the IRGC and other groups.

Under the new powers, any foreign financial institution that is found to have conducted terror-linked transactions risks losing access to the dollar and the world’s most important financial system, a sanction that has often spelled the end of financial institutions.

Many of the targets also have operations in Turkey, highlighting a major concern among U.S. officials that lax financial and corporate oversight by the government in Ankara has allowed terror financing and evasion of sanctions to proliferate in the country. The Turkish Embassy in Washington didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.

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