The key benefits of counter terrorist financing is to interrupt and avert terrorist activity. Besides preventing terrorist activity, counter terrorist financing is essential to ensuring the stability of financial systems since money laundering geared towards financing terrorist activities threatens their stability. The integrity of any financial system is at risk of not being trusted by the public if it is not able to detect illicit activities.
The Benefits Of Counter Terrorist Financing
There are major drawbacks for society that CTF imposes including the especially reduced lack of privacy or anonymity in financial transactions. CTF policies require anyone using a financial system to disclose their privacy, which enables authorities to detect any suspicious activity including money laundering
Impact on Democracy and Rule of Law
Terrorism also has a negative impact on human rights, democracy, and the rule of law. Counter terrorist financing is at the heart of disintegrating the modus operandi of terrorism groups. Terrorism without its financing isn’t feasible. The terrorism networks will not be able to operate without the funds. Therefore, counter terrorist financing directly goes into tackling the problem of terrorism that extensively undermines the values provided in the Charter of the UN and other international legal instruments. These values include:
- respect of human rights;
- the rule of law;
- rules governing armed conflict and the protection of civilians;
- tolerance among peoples and nations; and
- (v) the peaceful resolution of conflict.
Terrorist attacks directly impact the ability of individuals in the society to appreciate and enjoy some of their basic and fundamental human rights – specifically their rights to life, liberty, and physical integrity. Terrorist activities often jeopardize security and peace, threaten economic and social development, undermine civil society///, and can even go to the extent of destabilizing governments. All these factors negatively impact the ability of individuals in such a society from enjoying their fundamental rights and freedoms.
Counterterrorism fighting goes into the heart of maintaining the foundations of a democratic society including believing in the rule of law while ensuring the dignity and security of human beings everywhere.
CTF polices that seek to combat the flow of funds linked to terrorism further strengthen institutions such as legal enforcement. Because terrorism has close links to illegitimate activities such as money-laundering, transnational organized crime, trafficking in arms, drug trafficking as well as the illegal transfer of biological, nuclear, and chemical materials, empowering the various institutions and bodies that fight terrorism including countering the financial aspect of it promotes the rule of law.
Further, since international legal instruments have provisions then Member States of the UN, for example, should have laws that directly deny terrorists financial support or safe havens while additionally cooperating to bring terrorist suspects before the law. CTF encourages states to cooperate.
In countering terrorist financing, all stakeholders including the legal enforcers are protecting the citizenry directly or indirectly from danger (that includes life, limb, and/or property). This promotes democratic government and strengthens the independence of institutions, law, and policy makers, and it prevents the occurrence of acts that aim to cause terror and fear throughout the population.
Count-terrorist financing as one of the components of fighting terrorism aims to promote peace, human dignity, tolerance, and equality while upholding universal values that go beyond national and individual differences.
Vulnerabilities Of CTF
Since people highly value their privacy, the problem brought forward by CTF policies is a loss to society. The same can be said of the administrative and financial burden involved in following up on the disclosures.
Since law enforcement implements CTF policies and procedures, the process implicitly involves coercion, violence, or threats of violence against individuals, civilians, and private enterprises. This, therefore, raises a moral dilemma since the threat of one group (terrorists) is replaced by the threat of violence by government authorities against everyone who transacts and is involved in business.
Finally, there is the risk of widespread financial surveillance being abused by authorities. Once CTF policies are in place, they can be abused by government authorities on individuals and groups by simply labeling people as “terrorists.” The powers derived from CTF policies could also be used by the government to discriminate against specific sections of the population or to target and persecute legitimate protest movements and political dissidents.
The primary goal of CFT is to disrupt and prevent the occurrence of terrorist activity. Another reason for CFT is that the use of the financial system by criminals engaged in money laundering and terrorist financing may jeopardize the financial system’s stability. If the financial system is unable to detect illegal activities, the public may lose faith in its integrity. CFT also has significant societal costs. The most serious of these is that CFT policies frequently reduce or eliminate privacy and anonymity in financial and other transactions for all members of society.