Terrorism Finance: Mixed Reviews
Douglas Farah notes that yesterday’s report by the 9-11 Commission gives an “A-minus” to American efforts to staunch the flow of money to terrorists. He thinks there’s some grade inflation here:
[A]cross the civilian and military terrain, I have not talked to anyone who really believes that we now have a handle on terror finance issues, especially the Zarqawi network, or that we have any real metrics for measuring true progress. It is true that there is broad lip service now paid across the Gulf region to the need to deal with terror finance issues, but charities continue to opereate, designated individuals continue to sit on the boards of the charities, offshore structures continue to function unimpeded. While there appear to have been some cash flow problems for the traditional al Qaeda structure, it does not seem those problems represented anything more than a temporary glitch.
Of course, to put things into perspective, we’ve being trying to regulate the flow of money into American political campaigns since 1974 with virtually no success. This task is almost infinitely more difficult.