Document Type

Response or Comment

Publication Date


Publication Information

17 Transnat'l Law. 113 (2004)


According to the FBI, the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks against the World Trade Center and the Pentagon that claimed the lives of 2,973 innocent civilians required as much as $500,000 to stage. At the time, al Qaeda, the jihadi terrorist organization responsible for the mass killings, was operating on an annual budget between $30 and $50 million. However, despite the obvious fact that terrorists need money to support their terrorist operations and organizational infrastructure, prior to 9/11, preventing the financing of terrorism was not a priority for the United States or international community. Moreover, a comprehensive legal framework to deprive terrorists of funding had not been developed.

Unfunding Terror: The Legal Response to the Financing of Global Terrorism examines the legal framework that evolved immediately following the 9/11 terrorist attacks. The principal legal components of that strategy include: (1) freezing the assets, both domestically and internationally, of terrorists, terrorist organizations, and their sympathizers; (2) implementing regulatory measures to prevent terrorists from using the financial system as a conduit to facilitate terrorist financing; (3) the development of international standards to prevent the financing of terrorism; (4) criminal enforcement actions against terrorist financiers and their front entities; and (5) private civil causes of actions against the financial aiders and abettors of terrorism. The book further analyzes whether the legal response has been effective in disrupting and depriving al Qaeda, Taliban, and affiliated terrorist organizations of funding, identifying important successes as well as failures and shortcomings. Finally, Unfunding Terror proposes several recommendations to strengthen the legal framework to deny terrorists the money needed to wage a global jihad, acquire weapons of mass destruction, and launch a terrorist attack on the scale of what occurred on September 11.


Commentary. Symposium: Bordering on Terror: Global Business in Times of Terror: The Legal Issues



To view the content in your browser, please download Adobe Reader or, alternately,
you may Download the file to your hard drive.

NOTE: The latest versions of Adobe Reader do not support viewing PDF files within Firefox on Mac OS and if you are using a modern (Intel) Mac, there is no official plugin for viewing PDF files within the browser window.