The Financial Action Task Force leads renewed global effort to counter terrorist financing

Paris, 14 December - In the light of recent terrorist atrocities the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) today concluded three days of meetings, focussed on combatting the financing of ISIL, their affiliates, and other terrorist groups.  

On the first day of meetings, the FATF and the Egmont Group brought together operational experts from financial intelligence units, law enforcement, security and intelligence agencies, to share information and lessons from the investigation of recent terrorist attacks, including the challenges they face in identifying and cutting off terrorists’ financial support.

The FATF is the inter-governmental body to set standards and promote effective implementation of legal, regulatory and operational measures for combating money laundering, terrorist financing and other related threats to the integrity of the international financial system.

Since 2001, FATF has taken a vigorous approach to ensuring that members have systems in place to combat terrorist financing. In light of the unprecedented threats posed by ISIL, FATF members decided to focus and accelerate our efforts.

The FATF will adapt its strategy in order to better understand and reflect the changing nature of the terrorist financing risks, including by strengthening the existing measures, and enhancing operational information sharing to help counter these risks:

  • Understanding the impact of recent action against ISIL - The meeting reviewed current knowledge on the financing of ISIL. The situation in Syria and Iraq is fast-changing. The sources of funds described in the FATF’s February 2015 report remain relevant. ISIL continues to generate most of its funding within the territory it controls - from the exploitation of oil, gas, and other natural resources; from extortion and theft from local populations; extorting agriculture; and the smuggling of cultural artefacts. 
    In order to develop an up-to-date understanding of the risks and to share that knowledge with the private sector:
    • FATF will, working closely with the UN, the Counter-ISIL Financing Group (CIFG), the Egmont Group, Interpol and other stakeholders,  provide an up-to-date picture of ISIL-related finances to better understand the impact of all the actions taken and the evolving risks. A joint meeting with CIFG will be held in February 2016.
    • FATF will develop up to date terrorist financing indicators to share with the private sector. The FATF will hold a meeting in February to consult private sector representatives on these indicators, and discuss how to enhance information exchange with national authorities.
  • Improving the exchange of information- Better information sharing is required between operational agencies, including domestically between national authorities, internationally between agencies and between the public and private sector. Financial intelligence has played an important role in investigations after attacks. There is an opportunity for it to play an even greater role in helping to hinder terrorist financing and contributing to the prevention and disruption of terrorism. In order to achieve this:
    • The FATF will conduct an immediate analysis across all members in order to review their understanding of the risks, the challenges faced in sharing information, and how countries have responded to those challenges. This will inform future actions to be taken as part of adapting our comprehensive strategy to detect and prevent terrorist financing, and contribute to efforts to degrade and ultimately defeat ISIL as a terrorist organisation.
    • The FATF and the Egmont Group will work together to overcome information sharing obstacles and consider updating the international standards on effective information sharing.
    • The FATF will also take immediate actions to improve information exchange between government authorities, between countries, and with the private sector. For example, FATF calls on all jurisdictions to issue advisories to the private sector on the latest terrorist financing risks as soon as possible and calls on all members to update Interpol’s foreign terrorist fighters database.
  • Strengthening the international standards and their implementation– The FATF Standards are the international benchmark for frameworks for combatting terrorist financing. In order to ensure that these standards are adhered to and that standards keep up with evolving risks:   
    • Based on the FATF’s review of 196 jurisdictions which are members of the FATF’s global network, in February 2016, the FATF will initiate special follow-up measures for countries which have not criminalised terrorist financing or do not apply targeted financial sanctions.
    • In February 2016, the FATF will discuss if there are areas where the FATF Standards can be strengthened, such as better reflecting the United Nations Security Council Resolutions dealing with terrorist financing, including UNSCR 2199.

The FATF President will address the special session of the United Nations Security Council meeting of Finance Ministers in New York on Thursday 17 December, and the FATF will update the G20 in February on further measures to strengthen the combatting of terrorist financing and the implementation of targeted financial sanctions.

For further questions, journalists are asked to contact:, tel.: +33 1 45 24 95 23. 

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