G7 to focus on transnational criminal organizations, aviation infrastructure security, terrorist financing

The G7 released a special statement on financial crime, promising to re-double its efforts from the last 12 months on ending financial crime, in particular terrorist financing and international money laundering involving transnational criminal organizations. Every year there is a commitment to these goals but this time, the G7 has promised to turn their statements “into [...]

The CIA on terrorism and tech

On June 16, 2016, the Director of the CIA testified before the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence in respect of the Islamic State (ISIS), terrorism and technology generally. Here is an executive summary: The CIA said there there has never been a time when there is such a “dizzying” array of national security issues and [...]

The $200 million a year refugee smuggling operation in Libya

A $200 million a year business and growing  The EU – Turkey deal to close the borders of the EU to refugees and migrants has shifted the human smuggling routes back to Libya. The focus back to Libya means ISIS’ large source of terrorist financing from this activity is flowing again, which may also facilitate [...]

A banker’s update on terrorist financing and money laundering from the US Committee on Homeland Security

Summary of the Updates The US House Committee on Homeland Security released a number of updates and received testimony on the status of terrorist financing, terrorism and money laundering in the last few weeks with some interesting developments relevant to banks in terms of changes in terrorist financing typologies that should be added to anti-money [...]

Summary of the 2016 US Threat Assessment

The Worldwide Threat Assessment of the US Intelligence Community (the “Report“) prepared by the Director of National Intelligence on February 9, 2016, is a very interesting read from a counter-terrorism perspective, and essential reading for any bank in respect of assessing client and regional risks. Generally, the Report is dead on in respect of the [...]

Canada and the fake refugee passport issue

Fake refugees — A crisis within a crisis It seems to becoming clear that it is not reasonably possible to rely on the identity documents of any persons who claim Syrian or Iraqi refugee status from 2014 onwards, the time in which the Islamic State acquired the capacity to create authentic passports. Since at least [...]

New US law brands journalists and humanitarian aid workers as terrorist risk

In this story in Quartz, we explore how a new US law, HR158, the Visa Waiver Program Improvement Amendment Act 2015, will result in journalists and humanitarian aid works, and many others being branded a terrorist risk for visiting Iraq, Syria, Iran and the Sudan, and how the new law will affect the ability of [...]

US approves law limiting access to the US for people who visited or are from Iran, Iraq, Syria & Sudan

A “Terrorist Risk” Following the terrorist attack in San Bernadino on December 2, 2015, an 11-month-old relatively dormant bill to amend an American law to impose visa restrictions on select foreign nationals entering the US gained traction when it was rapidly enacted in the US. US Bill H.R. 158, the Visa Waiver Program Improvement Act [...]

Is there a terrorism risk for Canada in accepting 25,000 refugees?

Terrorist risks for refugees There appears to be a debate that has the potential to escalate in this country in respect of whether there are risks for Canada in taking in 25,000 Syrian refugees. No decision is ever risk-free. The decision to accept Syrian refugee is no different – it is not risk free. But [...]

A difficult issue facing the refugee crisis – the fake Syrian refugee and its terrorism and money laundering concerns

Complicated Growing Use of Fake Syrian Passports According to several recent news reports, many, many refugees and migrants entering, or who have entered, the EU are doing so with false Syrian passports, creating what may be the biggest mass fraud of our time and the largest money laundering activity by sheer volume. In addition to [...]