The assumption that states can and ought to stop the flow of funds to terrorist organizations deserves greater scrutiny. Potential benefits obtained by disrupting financial networks may not decrease the intensity of attacks, even as they weaken terrorist organizations. The anti-money laundering model currently applied by the UK and US has proven counter-productive, undermining the states' counterterrorism efforts. The erosion of individual rights incorporated in the regime risks leaking into criminal law, thereby altering basic constitutional entitlements. Efforts to prevent extremists from obtaining funds may have a devastating affect on social services in poor regions and impede the development of civil society and "state building." What is intriguing about ATF is that it evokes many of the same issues that arise in other areas of counterterrorism. Whether and how to surmount them remains less than clear.
This event is a collaborative effort between CISAC and European Forum.