Also Looks Into How Terrorist Network Overlap Complicates Efforts to Prevent Flow of Funding
Washington, DC – Just days after American Forces launched a targeted assault that killed Osama Bin Laden, Colorado U.S. Senator Michael Bennet asked nominees for key counterterrorism posts in the Obama Administration how Bin Laden’s death would affect the flow of financing to terrorist groups like Al Qaeda and how terrorist network overlap complicates U.S. efforts to squeeze terrorist fundraising capacity.
In a question to David S. Cohen, nominee to be Under Secretary for Terrorism and Financial Crimes at the U.S. Department of the Treasury, Bennet remarked, “You had said that you had some success interrupting the financial networks that support Al Qaeda and I wonder if you could describe… the effect that Osama Bin Laden’s death might have on that financing if any. And, then, could you give us a sense of how overlapping the networks are for Al Qaeda or Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, Hamas or any other terrorist organization – just an impression of whether you’re seeing… some geographic relationship.”
Mr. Cohen responded by saying that recent successes to stem terrorist financing are the “result of both taking targeted actions against facilitators who are involved in moving money for Al Qaeda as well as very dedicated engagement with our counterparts in the Gulf.” On the question of whether Bin Laden’s death will disrupt future financing, Cohen said that although the development represents a step in the right direction, it’s “by no means an end of the road.” Cohen also said that significant terrorist network overlap does exist and requires a more comprehensive approach to counteract financing for various terrorist factions.
For video of the exchange between Bennet and Mr. Cohen from today’s Banking Committee Hearing, please click here.