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Counterterrorism SealToday Mike Morehart, Chief of the FBI's Terrorist Financing Operations Section, testified before a House of Representatives' Government Reform Subcommittee on a very specific topic: the who, what, how, and where of U.S. efforts to identify terrorists and terrorist cells by following their money trails...and to stop their plans before the bomb goes off.

We encourage you to read his testimony because it answers, in very specific terms, many of the questions that people are asking and trying to understand.

For example:

  • What specific mechanisms are in place to block terrorist assets worldwide?
  • How do U.S. agencies coordinate their efforts to assist countries whose financial systems are vulnerable to terrorist exploitation?
  • What specific procedures have U.S. law enforcement agencies put in place to focus their investigations, using the universe of financial information?
  • How have specific tools provided in Title III of the U.S.A. Patriot Act (it's "International Money Laundering Anti-Terrorist Financing Act of 2001") assisted the effort to identify previously unknown terrorist cells and seize their assets?

Mike Morehart also addresses the specific taskings of his Terrorist Financing Operations Section--which never takes its eye off money trails. Its mission?

  1. To conduct full financial analysis of terrorist suspects and their financial support structures in the U.S. and abroad.
  2. To enlarge its financial information base through private, government, and international sources.
  3. To directly share and work with the financial information of international law enforcement agencies.
  4. To work shoulder to shoulder on cases with prosecutors; with law enforcement and regulatory communities; and with the intelligence community.
  5. To develop predictive models and conduct data analysis that will lead to the identification of previously unknown terrorist suspects.

He makes no bones about it: "The key to achieving the mission of prevention lies in exploiting financial information to identify previously unknown or undetected terrorists and terrorist cells."

Read his complete testimony for all the details.