The federal government has been in the fore front of fighting acts of terrorism which has threatened the life of American both at home and diaspora. With high organized terrorist posing increasing levels of threats, the Federal government has committed itself to fight acts of terrorism through all means available. With the understanding that Terrorism cannot continue to thrive without the availability of funds, the federal government has implemented statues and other policies aimed at ensuring the such terrorist groups are not funded (Yager, 2006). With many terrorist using secret means of collecting and moving funds for their activities, the fight against terrorism has turned into financial institutions where the focus has been placed on money laundering. Through this efforts, the federal government can trace funds that are moved or received for the by terrorist.
With many terrorist receiving funds across the world from illegal activities, the federal government is indeed overwhelmed by the manner in which terrorist groups continue to be funded. Terrorist groups such Al Qaeda continue to exist through the ability to move funds through secret means that has remained undetected for a long time (Coolsaet, 2005). Usually, terrorist receive funds from donors who may be witting or unwitting who are sympathetic to the terrorists group, such donors may be organizations or charities (Peeling & Parkman, 2007).
Federal statues addressing Terrorist finances
The issue of terrorist finances did emerge after the September 11 attacks by terrorist on the Twin towers in New York. Apparently, the terrorist who carried out the brutal acts that led to loss of lives, damage to property and paint to the victims had received money to facilitate their operations within the United States. As result of this incident, the Federal government has initiated several statues that are primarily focused in combating terrorist financial activities through any financial bodies within and without the United states.
The federal government has formulated and put into place a number of statues that are aimed at combatting the financing of terrorist. Some of these statues used by the Federal government to combat terrorist financing include:-
i) Those statutes the prohibit the allocation of funds to any terrorism activities ( 18 U.S.C. § 2339C)
ii) Statutes that prevent the allocation of resources or other materials to terrorists and
iii) Statutes that outlaws the provision of resources to any selected terrorist groups (18 U.S.C. § 2339B).
Other statues that help in combating terrorist funding include statute 18 U.S.C. § 1956 which prohibits the
the laundering of governments monetary instruments and statute 18 U.S.C. § 1957, which outlaws the carrying out of financial transactions in property gained from other specified illegitimate activity (Gurule, 2008 ).
Terrorist financing case
There are several case of terrorists being financed which have come to the knowledge of government authorities engaged in combating terrorist funding's. One of such cases is the indictment of an Islamic organization in Kansas city due to its connection with the terrorist groups. In this case, the Islamic American Relief Agency (IARA) an organization bases in the United in conjunction with other former officers were charged with new counts of engaging in monetary which are outlawed for the primary benefit of a U.S. based terrorist named as Gulbuddin Hekmatyar (Jihadwatch, n.d).
The indictment carried out by a jury of judges was an answer to the involvement of the IARA in the monetary transactions which was aimed at assisting terrorists as well as enable the conversion of funds that had been stolen so as to pay the advocacy of a United states congressman done on behalf of charity group. The organization was found to be responsible for the transfer of funds to a terrorist living in Pakistan. This terrorists was believed to be having ties with other terrorist established networks like Al Qaeda. IARA further engaged in money laundering with the help of former congressman and this was an abuse of the tax payers money which were meant for humanitarian purposes. It was therefore agreed by the jury that a superseding indictment be pronounced on the organization as well as all persons involved in the money laundering scheme
Was IARA engaged in criminal activity?
In the case presented above concerning the indictment pronounced on IARA, it is clear that IARA as well the officer mentioned in the case engaged in criminal activities which were contrary to the federal laws as well against statues that had in instituted to combat terrorist funding. The whole engagement of IARA in the funding of terrorist outside the United States is an example of international crime rather than terrorism. The conduct of IARA towards making payments aimed at providing benefit of terrorist is but an international crime since such action was against the efforts of various governments in fighting terrorism. At the same time, actions of IARA promoted instability as the terrorist could attack the targets leading to death and loss of property.
The actions of IARA to funds terrorist in places such as Pakistan and Iraq can however not be termed as terrorism. Terrorism entails the of fear and systematic terror which does not fully qualify to be seen in the above named case. However, its involvement in funding terrorist with many meant for humanitarian aid was against he set international policies regarding money laundering. Furthermore, with terrorist receiving funds, it was more likely that their operations become success against their targets.
Manner of handling the case
Such a case as presented in the AIRA will best be handled by law enforcement rather than the military officer. The need to use law enforcement comes up due to the nature of such transactions which must be looked against laid procedures and statutes. In this regard, the law enforcement team are better placed to track and identify the manner in which such funding's are done in order to prevent future occurrences. Law enforcement are more knowledge and skilled in carrying out such investigations as compared to the military who posses little investigation ability
The individuals indicted in such cases like the former congressman in the AIRA case are entitled to all their rights until they are found guilty where a sentence is pronounced on them. In this way, the individual charged in connection to such operations can have and access their lawyer who can assist them in defending themselves should they be accused falsely or found to have played no role in the named cases.
However, such crimes concerning terrorist financing should be prosecuted by jury who are conversant with the international statutes concerning financing terrorism with emphasis being laid in the speedy prevention of other such occurrences. Guiding the prosecution should be statutes that outline what should be done regarding combating of terrorist activities.