Sep 08 2003

SENATE BANKING COMMITTEE ANNOUNCES HEARING ON TERROR FINANCING

Senator Richard C. Shelby and Senator Paul S. Sarbanes today announced that the Senate Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs will conduct a hearing on terror financing on September 25, 2003. This will be the first in a series of hearings focused on ways to improve the detection and prevention of terrorist financing that will take place during the remainder of the Congressional session.

The Banking Committee is concerned with the susceptibility of the Nation’s financial institutions and the global financial system to misuse and abuse by terror organizations and their supporters. The Committee also wants to ensure the effective implementation of regulations meant to counter this vulnerability.

The first hearing will examine the nature and substance of the recent agreement with Saudi Arabia concerning the monitoring and reporting of terror financing. Witnesses will include David Aufhauser, General Counsel, U.S. Department of the Treasury, and officials from the Office of the Coordinator for Counterterrorism, U.S. Department of State, and the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

The Committee is beginning a comprehensive review of all aspects of terror financing. Subjects will include implementation of Title III of the USA PATRIOT Act; methods and means of terror financing; the relationship and cooperation of the various Executive Departments and agencies in countering terror financing; the cooperation of the international community; and, privacy and civil liberties issues. The Committee's year-long study of the financing of international terrorism will produce a report, reflecting its hearings, for release next year.

“The money flow is one of the most critical parts of the international terrorist infrastructure,” the Senators said. “It can signal terrorist threats and alliances and help identify suspects. The government needs to be organized, and functioning appropriately, to deal with the flow of funds to, and among, terrorists.”

The first hearing is scheduled for 10:00 a.m., on September 25th, in Room 538 Dirksen Senate Bldg.