September 25, the FBI's new Counterterrorism chief John Pistole
and other federal officials sat down with members of the Senate
Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs to discuss
how terror is financed across the world. Today's hearing,
in fact, is the first in a series of hearings that seeks to
identify gaps in banking laws and regulations that might be
addressed by Congress. Assistant Secretary for Economic and
Business Affairs E. Anthony Wayne from the Department of State
and General Counsel David Aufhauser from the Department of
Treasury also testified today.
Director Pistole responded specifically to a number of questions
asked by the Committee.
how the FBI has used its longtime expertise in financial crime
as a proactive means to stop terrorists. Beyond identifying
and stopping terrorist acts of violence, it is "following
the money"--tracking its flow and choking off the financial
support to terrorists that is needed to carry out those acts
of violence. The FBI Terrorist Financing Operations Section
is dedicated precisely to identifying, disrupting, and dismantling
all terrorist-related financial and fund-raising
activities...coordinating and sharing information with U.S.
government and financial sector officials...and using the
FBI's international Legal Attaché network to coordinate
with law enforcement and intelligence agencies around the
that the FBI is working with its partners across the world
to standardize expertise in financial investigations. Investigators
from the FBI and agencies in the U.K., Switzerland, Canada,
Germany, and Europol are now working on each other's forces
to better coordinate joint investigations. FBI specialists
are teaching a terrorist financing/money laundering crimes
curriculum to investigators in 38 different countries--with
subjects like handling evidence in document intensive investigations,
major case management techniques, forensic examination tools,
and methods of terrorist financing.
that the FBI is closely partnered with private industry to
permit real-time reports on suspicious financial transactions,
carefully following all applicable legal procedures in getting
access to the data.
Pistole further addressed proactive FBI projects to identify
potential terrorists and terrorist-related financing activities,
information sharing, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia's efforts
to stop the flow of terror financing, new proposed initiatives,
and other related topics of interest.