Statement of Richard Newcomb
Senate Committee on Governmental Affairs
"Terrorism Financing: Origination, Organization, and Prevention"
July, 31 2003
STATEMENT OF R. RICHARD NEWCOMB, DIRECTOR
OFFICE OF FOREIGN ASSETS CONTROL
U.S. DEPARTMENT OF THE TREASURY
COMMITTEE ON GOVERNMENTAL AFFAIRS
UNITED STATES SENATE
HEARINGS ON TERRORISM FINANCING: ORIGINATION, ORGANIZATION AND PREVENTION
JULY 31, 2003
Madam Chairman, members of the Committee, thank you for the opportunity to testify on OFAC's efforts to combat terrorist support networks that threaten United States citizens and property worldwide. It's a pleasure to be here. Please allow me to begin with a brief general overview of the problem, as I see it.
Foundations of Terrorist Financing and Support
The threat of terrorist support networks and financing is real, and it has been our mission to help identify and disrupt those networks. The vast majority of the world's Muslims are peaceful, though a committed, vocal, and well-organized minority is competing to mobilize a new generation in the tools and trade of Jihad.
There is much we know about how such radical Islamic terrorist networks were established and still thrive. Wealthy and influential individuals and families based in the Middle East have provided seed money and support to build a transnational support infrastructure that terrorists have used for their purposes. This network, fueled by deep-pocket donors and often controlled by terrorist organizations, their supporters or those willing to look the other way, includes or implicates banks, businesses, NGOs, charities, social services organizations, schools, mosques, madrassas, and affiliated terrorist training camps and safe houses throughout the world.
The terrorist networks are well-entrenched and self-sustaining, though vulnerable to U.S., allied and international efforts applying all tools at our disposal. Looking forward, please allow me to explain how we have come to this view and present the strategy, being implemented in coordination with other Federal agencies including the Departments of Defense, State, Justice, Homeland Security, the FBI, the intelligence community and other agencies, to choke off the key nodes in the transnational terrorist support infrastructure.
OFAC Mission and Experience on Counterterrorism
The primary mission of the Office of Foreign Assets Control ("OFAC") of the U.S. Department of the Treasury is to administer and enforce economic sanctions against targeted foreign countries and foreign groups and individuals, such as terrorists and terrorist organizations and narcotic traffickers, which pose a threat to the national security, foreign policy or economy of the U.S. OFAC acts under general Presidential wartime and national emergency powers, as well as specific legislation, to prohibit transactions and freeze (or "block") assets subject to U.S. jurisdiction. Economic sanctions are intended to deprive the target of the use of its assets and deny the target access to the U.S. financial system and the benefits of trade, transactions and services involving U.S. markets, businesses and individuals. These same authorities have also been used to protect assets within the U.S. jurisdiction of countries subject to foreign occupation and to further important U.S. nonproliferation goals.
OFAC currently administers and enforces 26 economic sanctions programs pursuant to Presidential and Congressional mandates. Active enforcement of these programs is a crucial element in preserving and advancing the foreign policy and national security objectives that underlie these initiatives that are usually taken in conjunction with diplomatic, law enforcement and occasionally military action. In 1977, the Congress passed the International Emergency Economic Powers Act ("IEEPA"), which serves as the primary statutory authority for a Presidential declaration of a national emergency in peacetime for the purpose of imposing economic sanctions.
Many "country-based" sanctions programs are part of the U.S. government's response over time to the threat to U.S. national security and foreign policy posed by international terrorism. The Secretary of State has designated seven countries - Cuba, North Korea, Iran, Libya, Iraq, Sudan and Syria - as supporting international terrorism. Most of these countries are subject to comprehensive economic sanctions, including: Cuba (1963); Iran (1979 and again in 1987); Libya (1986); and Sudan (1997). Comprehensive sanctions against Iraq, originally imposed in 1990, were recently lifted although the national emergency remains in place. Comprehensive sanctions against North Korea, originally imposed in 1950, were lifted in 2000, except with respect to North Korean imports and "Weapons of Mass Destruction" blockings. Syria is not subject to comprehensive sanctions; however, certain financial transactions involving all terrorism list countries including Syria are regulated.
The origins of OFAC's involvement in the fight against terrorism stem from the initial conception of terrorism as being solely state-sponsored. OFAC's mandate in the realm of terrorism was to compile available evidence establishing that certain foreign entities or individuals were owned or controlled by, or acting for on behalf of, a foreign government subject to an economic sanctions program. Such entities and individuals become "specially designated nationals," ("SDNs") and are subject to the same sanctions as the foreign government to which they are related.
Authorities to Target Non State Organizations, Individuals and Entities
In January 1995, the President used the IEEPA authorities to deal with the threat to U.S. foreign policy and national security posed by terrorists who threaten to disrupt the Middle East Peace Process. This marked the beginning of the use of IEEPA sanctions authorities to target terrorists, terrorist groups and their sources of fundraising. This action, implemented through Executive Order 12947, opened the door to new programs and expanded the use of economic sanctions as a tool of U.S. foreign policy to target groups and individuals, as well as foreign governments. During the late 1990s, IEEPA authorities were used to issue additional Executive orders imposing sanctions on Al-Qaeda, and Usama bin Ladin. These E.O.s also provide authority to designate and sanction entities or individuals that are owned or controlled by, act for or on behalf of, or that provide material or financial support to Al-Qaeda or Usama bin Ladin.
Following this model, in October 1995, during a speech at a UN 50th anniversary celebration, the President announced the concept of adapting E.O. 12947 to target significant foreign narcotics traffickers centered in Colombia, i.e., the Colombian drug trafficking cartels. That IEEPA program, under E.O. 12978, began with the President identifying four Cali Cartel drug kingpins, and has expanded into a key tool in the fight against the Colombian cartels. As of today, 14 Colombian drug kingpins, 340 entities, and 470 other individuals associated with the Cali, North Valle, and North Coast cartels' and their business empires have been designated as Specially Designated Narcotics Traffickers ("SDNTs") under E.O. 12978.
Building on the successes of the Colombian cartels Program under E.O. 12978, in December 1999, Congress enacted the Foreign Narcotics Kingpin Designation Act ("Kingpin Act"), originally introduced by Senators Coverdell and Feinstein, modeled on IEEPA and OFAC's SDNT program. It provides a statutory framework for the President to impose sanctions against foreign drug kingpins and their organizations on a worldwide scale. Like the terrorism program under E.O. 12947 and the SDNT program under E.O. 12978, the Kingpin Act is directed against the individual or entity and their support infrastructure, not against the countries in which they are imbedded. Since the first list of kingpins was issued under that authority, 38 foreign drug kingpins (these are in addition to the 14 Colombian drug kingpins designated under E.O. 12978), 11 derivative companies, and 15 derivative individuals have been designated.
The Congress, in 1996, passed the Antiterrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act ("AEDPA"). AEDPA makes it a criminal offense to: (1) engage in a financial transaction with the government of a country designated as supporting international terrorism; or (2) provide material support or resources to a designated Foreign Terrorist Organization (FTO).
Currently, 36 FTOs are subject to OFAC-administered sanctions. These FTOs have been designated by the Secretary of State in consultation with the Secretary of the Treasury and the Attorney General. Under the AEDPA and OFAC's implementing regulations, U.S. financial institutions must maintain control over all funds in which an FTO has an interest and report those actions to OFAC. OFAC is the coordination point with State and Justice on FTO designations and also has responsibility for coordinating with the financial community, the FBI, State, and other Federal agencies in implementing the prohibitions of the AEDPA.
Authorities in Response to September 11th
The President harnessed these economic powers and authorities in launching the war against terrorism. In response to the terrorist attacks of September 11, and pursuant to the powers available to the President under IEEPA, President Bush issued Executive Order 13224, "Blocking Property and Prohibiting Transactions with Persons Who Commit, Threaten to Commit, or Support Terrorism" declaring that the acts of grave terrorism and the threats of terrorism committed by foreign terrorists posed an unusual and extraordinary threat to the national security, foreign policy, and economy of the United States. E.O. 13224, as amended, authorizes the Secretary of the Treasury, in consultation with the Department of State, Department of Justice and the Department of Homeland Security, to implement the President's authority to systemically and strategically attack terrorists, terrorist organizations and terrorist support networks.
This order prohibits U.S. persons from transacting or dealing with individuals and entities owned or controlled by, acting for or on behalf of, assisting or supporting, or otherwise associated with, persons listed in the Executive Order. Those designated and listed under the Executive Order are known as "Specially Designated Global Terrorists", or SDGTs. Violations of the E.O. with respect to SDGTs are subject to civil penalties; and if the violation is willful, persons may be criminally charged. The Executive Order also blocks "all property and interests in property of [designated persons] that are in the United States or that hereafter come within the United States, or that hereafter come within the possession or control of United States persons[.]"
The PATRIOT Act, passed in October 2001, amends IEEPA to provide critical means and authority to OFAC to counter terrorist financing. The Act has enhanced OFAC's ability to implement sanctions and to coordinate with other agencies by clarifying OFAC's authorities to block assets of suspect entities prior to a formal designation in "aid of an investigation." This critical authority helps prevent the flight of assets and prevents the target from engaging in potential damaging behavior or transactions.
Prior to the passage of the PATRIOT Act, OFAC was wary of relying on classified information under IEEPA programs, because, unlike the Antiterrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act of 1996, IEEPA did not contain a provision explicitly authorizing submission of classified information to a court, in camera and ex parte, upon a legal challenge to a designation. The new PATRTIOT Act authority has greatly enhanced our ability to make and defend designations by making it absolutely clear that OFAC may use classified information in making designations without turning the material over to an entity or individual that challenges its designation.
Rolling FTO's into SDGT's Makes War on Terrorist Infrastructure Global
On November 2, 2001, the U.S. took a significant step in the War on Terrorism when the Secretary of State, in consultation with the Secretary of the Treasury and the Attorney General, utilized the new authorities in E.O. 13224 to designate 22 Foreign Terrorist Organizations (FTOs) as Specially Designated Global Terrorists (SDGTs). This action expanded the War on Terrorism beyond Al-Qaeda and the Taliban and associated individuals and entities to include Hamas, Hizballah, the FARC, the Real IRA and others. As then recognized by the State Department, this action created a truly global war on terrorism and terrorist financing and demonstrated our commitment to continue and expand our efforts against all terrorist groups posing a threat to the United States, our citizens, our interests, and our allies. Currently, there are 36 FTOs which are also designated as SDGTs.
To date, the U.S. has designated 281 individuals and entities as SDGTs pursuant to E.O. 13224. 202 of these entities are associated with either Al-Qaeda or the Taliban which provides the basis to notify these names to the UN for listing pursuant to United Nations Security Resolutions (UNSCRs) 1267, 1333, 1373, 1390 and 1455. The United States has worked diligently with the UN Security Council to adopt international resolutions reflecting the goals of our domestic executive orders and providing the mechanisms for UN member states to freeze terrorist-related assets.
Using Designation Authorities in Cooperation with International Partners
The emerging international threat of Al Qaeda in the 1990s necessitated OFAC's participation in the U.S. government's focus on developing information and strategies against terrorist financing and infrastructures. In that context, it was clear that the cooperation of foreign governments, including Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and the UAE, would be critical in impeding the flow of funds to terrorists.
Having developed an understanding of how terrorist support networks operate, we began direct engagements with allies. For example, in June 1999, an OFAC delegation met with Finance Ministry, Intelligence and Law enforcement officials in Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and the UAE. The purpose of the trip was to find answers to certain questions we were unable to resolve to our satisfaction and to put officials on notice that cooperation on these issues was critical. We were clear that U.S. interest in these issues would continue.
In these meetings and others held subsequently in the region, we shared information and asked questions. Through the discussions, we identified areas where we could work together. These areas included strengthening the weak regulatory authorities over financial institutions and discussing the possibility for creating new oversight for charities. These proposals were met with assurances of cooperation, but we understood that getting assistance on these issues would be a serious challenge because it represented a change in policies and structures within governments and societies.
Importantly, in efforts to crack down on support for terrorists and terrorist fundraising, we have always made clear the intent of the U.S. government to deal with these issues cooperatively. A key element of our strategy and engagement was to take open, decisive action with host governments against several high impact targets. The designation and blocking of assets of high-profile supporters of terrorist groups could deter others, forcing key nodes of financial support to choose between public exposure of their support for terrorist activity or their good reputation. We believed this approach could also be effective against banks, business, NGOs and other institutions.
We traveled to Saudi Arabia again in January 2000. The purpose was again to communicate that the U.S. wanted to work with Saudi officials jointly in efforts to crack down on support for terrorists and terrorist fundraising. At the time however, we did not have many of the tools necessary to sufficiently back up threats with action; especially, in cases where the target was assessed as intransigent. This is the strategy that has been in place since September 11th as one of the means of deterring and disrupting terrorist financing. The tools Congress and the President have given us since September 11th have enhanced our ability to deliver this message and carry out this strategy.
Post 9-11 Efforts
After the 9-11 attacks, President Bush rallied the international community to unite in the war on terrorism. The international community, including our allies in the Persian Gulf, joined us and have committed to fully cooperating on all fronts against Al-Qaeda and its supporters. On a regular basis, for example, the United States works cooperatively with Saudi authorities on issues relating to the war on terrorism. In some areas, cooperation is routine and systematic; in other areas, especially those touching on aspects of terrorist financing and infrastructure, which touches on all aspects of government, coordination is more complex.
Following up on our previous trips and other U.S. efforts, OFAC visited Saudi Arabia and several other states in the region in December 2001 and January 2002. In Saudi Arabia, we met with an inter-agency delegation to discuss terrorist financing and to explore areas of mutual concern. Specifically, we discussed some possible joint U.S.-Saudi public actions to deny individuals and entities we suspected were supporting terrorism access to international financial markets and to prevent U.S. and Saudi citizens from having dealings with them. We also discussed Saudi efforts to strengthen regulatory oversight of charities and other charitable fundraisers, and steps taken by the Saudi Arabian Monetary Authority (SAMA) to tighten-up banking controls and improve compliance efforts.
In addition, we held meetings with a small group of private Saudi citizens and leaders of the Jeddah Chamber of Commerce (JCCI). The purpose was to explore the charitable giving practices amongst its membership and encourage actions that would ensure that charitable funds are not ultimately channeled to terrorist activity. Later in January 2002, the JCCI announced that a task force would be set up to develop a comprehensive financial and administrative system for the nation's charities.
On March 11, 2002, Treasury Secretary O'Neill and Saudi authorities announced the joint designation of the Somalia and Bosnia-Herzegovina offices of the Al Haramain Foundation, a Saudi-based NGO with offices throughout the world. In addition to on-going law enforcement and intelligence cooperation, this effort marked an expansion of U.S.-Saudi cooperative efforts to act against the terrorist support networks. Based on evidence that these two branch offices were providing support to Al-Qaeda, these entities were forwarded to the UN Sanctions Committee for inclusion under the UNSCR 1333/1390 list.
In May 2002, an OFAC delegation returned to Saudi Arabia to continue the on-going dialogue on issues related to terrorist finance and infrastructure. During this trip, we were informed that the Saudi Government planned to significantly enhance its oversight of charitable organizations to prevent their exploitation by supporters of terrorism. Several months later, on September 6, 2002, the United States acted again with Saudi Arabia and jointly referred to the UN Sanctions Committee Wa'el Hamza Julaidan, an Al-Qaeda co-founder who was a leader of several terrorist-affiliated NGOs.
In October 2002, Saudi authorities announced that a full review was conducted of its charitable organizations and issued new guidelines, including one which mandates reporting to the Saudi Foreign Ministry of all charitable activities outside of Saudi Arabia. Shortly thereafter, on December 3, 2002, Saudi authorities publicly announced the establishment of a High Commission for oversight of all charities. Saudi authorities also reported that a process was being developed to establish operational procedures to track all donations to and from charities.
In addition to these actions, SAMA enhanced its scrutiny of the financial system. As part of this effort, in February 2003, SAMA reported that it had launched a program to train judges and investigators on legal aspects of terrorist financing and money laundering, international requirements for financial secrecy, and methods followed by criminals to exchange information.
Effect of May 12, 2003 Riyadh Attacks
On May 12, 2003, homicide bombers affiliated with Al-Qaeda struck three residential compounds in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, killing thirty-four including nine Americans. Saudi authorities responded with new resolve in fighting the war on terrorism and carried out a number of actions to capture, kill or arrest suspected terrorists operating in Saudi Arabia.
Marking a recognition of the seriousness of the challenges on terrorist finance and infrastructure issues, Saudi authorities announced that charitable organizations would no longer be authorized to provide funds outside of Saudi Arabia other than through highly-controlled and government supervised channels. Additionally, Saudi authorities announced that Al Haramain was closing operations in as many as ten countries outside Saudi Arabia. The U.S. continues to monitor the status of these announced efforts and to express our critical interest in cooperating to maximize possibilities for effectiveness.
In June 2003, Saudi authorities announced that SAMA distributed a circular to all banks and financial institutions in Saudi Arabia requiring the full and immediate implementation of nine new policies and procedures applicable to charitable and welfare institutions. The new rules include requirements that all accounts of a single organization be consolidated into one account, that depositors provide banks with sufficiently verifiable identification, and that cash withdrawals be strictly prohibited.
To implement these new rules, SAMA reported that it intends to verify compliance through on-site inspections by SAMA officials, receipt of regular compliance reports, and certification by external auditors. The new rules take into account the Saudi Banking Control Law, SAMA's regulations, the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) 40 Recommendations, the FATF 8 Special Recommendations on Terrorist Financing, and applicable UN Security Council resolutions.
The United States supports all efforts reported by Saudi authorities to improve efforts to prevent the flow of charitable funds to terrorist activity. Joint efforts, including the designation of senior Al-Qaeda leadership based in Saudi Arabia like Wael Hamza Julaidan, demonstrate the willingness of Saudi authorities to cooperate on high impact financing and infrastructure targets. These actions by Saudi authorities present the U.S. with opportunities to cooperate in improving, verifying, and evaluating progress. We must continue to engage Saudi authorities in areas where we believe improvements can be made, and continue to demonstrate that we are steadfast in our determination to eliminate the threat posed by the terrorist networks.
As efforts to improve oversight of charities continue, we believe we should seek to cooperate closely in three key areas: (1)-programmatic: (2) personnel; and (3) financial. Specifically, it is critical that we continue to follow up with Saudi authorities to measure whether 1) the true goals and objectives of charities are what they purport to be; 2) whether leadership and staff are appropriately vetted and not committed to any dual-purposes; and 3) whether the means that are used to raise and move funds are transparent.
Additionally, we must continue our dialogue with wealthy individuals, families and merchants to ensure that they are taking all necessary precautions to prevent charitable donations from supporting terrorist activity. In instances where we have strong reason to believe that some elements are not doing enough, we must pursue more stringent measures, which we believe, may force others to become more vigilant in ensuring that funds are not provided for terrorist activity. Looking forward, Saudi Arabia and other important partners continue to indicate their willingness to cooperate in joint efforts, and we remain committed to ensuring that maximum efforts are made to achieve tangible results.
Multilateral Actions Against Al-Qaeda and other Terrorist
Reflecting the broad range of mechanisms by which terrorist groups, particularly Al-Qaeda, receive financial and other material support, OFAC has effectively implemented the President's designation authority against a variety of targets. These range from using targeted economic sanctions to disrupt the terrorist financing operations of an international "hawala" network as well as a more traditional banking network, to disrupting the activities of several key NGOs in supplying financing and other services to Al-Qaeda. Information available to the US Government indicates that these actions have disrupted Al-Qaeda's support network and OFAC continues its efforts to plan, prepare and implement actions, which will impact on the ability of terrorists and their networks to provide material, financial and logistical support for future terrorist strikes. For examples of some of these actions, please see Appendix 1.
Due to the transnational nature of the terrorist infrastructure, support and cooperation with our allies is a critical part of making U.S. designation actions successful. By developing and establishing authorities and procedures for entities associated with Al-Qaeda and the Taliban to be submitted to the UN, we have begun to institutionalize on a global scale the importance of sanctions as a critical tool against the terrorist support networks. We continue to work with our allies in making designations against Al-Qaeda's infrastructure that may be notified to the UN.
Towards a Strategic Effort and "Key Nodes" Approach
Over the next six to twelve months, OFAC is seeking to significantly expand its efforts and the impact of the implementation of the President's authorities under E.O. 13224 by adopting a more systematic approach to evaluating the activities of major terrorist organizations in various regions. This approach will focus on identifying "key nodes" that sustain the abilities of terrorist organizations to remain operational, despite successful actions by the U.S. and its allies to capture, kill and arrest terrorist cell members, leaders and operational planners.
In furtherance of this end, OFAC initiated a collaborative effort with the Department of Defense to develop information and strategies against terrorist financing and infrastructure. Before OFAC's secure facility was operational, DOD agencies to include the Office of Naval Intelligence (ONI), in addition to the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FINCEN), generously provided space and support to OFAC personnel that was critical to OFAC efforts immediately following the 9-11 attacks. Since this time, OFAC staff have continued liaison relationships with several DOD agencies and combatant commands. As a result of this effort, OFAC has gained wider access to information and expertise critical in carrying out the President's authorities under EO 13224.
Specifically, in October 2002, OFAC began a joint project with the U.S. Pacific Command (USPACOM) and other DOD elements that identified terrorist support networks in Southeast Asia and selected key nodes, or priority targets, in these networks. The project's geographic scope included four countries - Indonesia, the Philippines, Malaysia and Singapore - and eight terrorist or Islamic extremist groups. The project focused special attention on Jemaa Islamiyah (JI), the Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG), and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF), because of their relative importance in the region and threat to U.S. interests.
For JI, which subsequently carried out the Bali bombings and has strong ties to Al-Qaeda, the project identified the key leaders, fundraisers, businessmen, recruiters, companies, charities, mosques, and schools that were part of its support network. Thus far, we have imposed sanctions against two of these key nodes, and are coordinating action against several others.
This process is the model that OFAC is seeking to continue and expand in collaborative efforts with DOD agencies including ONI and the combatant commands. Next week, I will be visiting USEUCOM headquarters and meeting with the Chief of Staff, to lay the groundwork to continue a joint project including USEUCOM and OFAC Officers. We also hope to begin projects with the Central (USCENTCOM) and Southern (USSOUTHCOM) Commands shortly thereafter. Working with DOD Commands and other DOD agencies provides OFAC and its DOD partners a force multiplier that brings together a variety of counterterrorism tools and resources to enhance opportunities for future efforts.
Taking a regional approach along with the various command's areas of responsibility, the effort will seek to identify and isolate key nodes in the transnational terrorist support infrastructure in the respective areas of responsibility. This approach seeks to provide the opportunity to cripple an entire organization at one time through OFAC's implementation of the President's authority in coordination with possible actions of other U.S. departments and agencies and in cooperation with our allies.
We have already taken steps to implement this approach in some regions. OFAC analysts are currently working with DOD agencies, including analysts from the Office of Naval Intelligence (ONI), to fully identify the terrorism support infrastructure in the Horn of Africa. In this region, shipping and related drug smuggling activities appear to be strengthening the terrorist networks in this area. Working with ONI provides OFAC the opportunity to work with analysts with unique expertise in areas otherwise less accessible to OFAC.
In the Southern Command area of responsibility, Narco-Terrorists in Colombia are one of the major targets. On October 31, 2001, three Colombian guerrilla-terrorist organizations that had previously been determined to be Foreign Terrorist Organizations - the FARC (Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia), the AUC (United Self-Defense Forces of Colombia) and the ELN (National Liberation Army) - were added to the list of global terrorists under E.O. 13224. On June 1 of this year, President Bush named two of those organizations - the FARC and the AUC - as foreign drug kingpins under authority of the Foreign Narcotics Kingpin Designation Act, thus, effectively recognizing them as narco-terrorists.
Although the structure, goals, and international ties of these groups are significantly different from those of the Islamic extremist terrorist organizations linked to Al-Qaeda and Hamas, these Colombian narco-terrorist organizations are still dependent upon cash or other media of exchange, such as drugs-for-guns, to sustain their guerrilla and paramilitary forces. Thus, although their key nodes may be more difficult to isolate in a meaningful sense for the effective application of OFAC's economic sanctions, they are not immune. We expect that some aspects of these organizations and their support structures will be found to be susceptible to OFAC actions.
For a description of the graphical representations of a key nodes approach that could be applicable to a terrorist support network in any region, please see Appendix 2.
The funds necessary for a terrorist organization to carry out an attack often are minimal, but the support infrastructure critical for indoctrination, recruitment, training, logistical support, the dissemination of propaganda and other material support requires substantial funding. The President's powers under IEEPA, E.O. 13224, as well as other legislation provide the United States with authorities that are critical to attacking the unusual and extraordinary threats posed by the transnational terrorist support networks. OFAC's effectiveness in implementing these authorities requires strong coordination with other U.S. departments and agencies and support from U.S. allies.
Terrorist organizations including Al-Qaeda, Egyptian Islamic Jihad, Jemaa Islamiyah, Al-Ittihad Al-Islamiyya, Hamas, Hizballah and others rely on their infrastructure for support and to shield their activities from scrutiny. The secretive nature of their activities and their frequent reliance on charitable, humanitarian, educational and religious cover are vulnerabilities OFAC can exploit by making designations under E.O. 13224. Decisive action against high impact targets deters others, forcing key nodes of financial support to choose between public exposure of support for terrorist activity or tarnishing their reputation, to the detriment of their business and commercial interests.
Looking forward, OFAC seeks to continue coordinating with other U.S. agencies as efforts are expanded to impede the activities of terrorist organizations. By duplicating the approach to Southeast Asia in coordination with USPACOM, we plan to identify and isolate key nodes in the transnational terrorist support infrastructure through a regional approach reflecting the areas of responsibility of the military commands. This approach seeks to enhance the coordination of OFAC's actions with those of other U.S. departments and agencies and in cooperation with allies.
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