Fitzpatrick Talks Terror Financing with International Leaders
WASHINGTON, D.C. — Chairman Mike Fitzpatrick (PA-8) delivered the following remarks Tuesday to ambassadors, lawmakers and representatives from over 20 nations at an event focused on the intersection of crime and finance:
“As the United States and its allies pushes back against the tide of terror and extremism that is the enemy of freedom and peace everywhere, it must do so with every tool available — including within the financial system. As such, on March 25th, 2015, the House Committee on Financial Services — of which I am a member — adopted a resolution creating the Task Force to Investigate Terrorism Financing consisting of 12 Republicans and 9 Democrats aimed at examining current U.S. anti-terror financing policy and working to improve U.S.-led efforts to choke off terrorist funding.
Throughout its time, the Task Force enjoyed consistently high member participation and all efforts made by members have been largely bipartisan. This is an area — disrupting terrorist networks, cutting off their financing — that is and must remain free of the politics that too often cloud our work as lawmakers.
As the chairman of this Task Force, I led five hearings on topics ranging from threats to U.S. financial systems to the impact of the Iran nuclear agreement on terror financing around the globe. Additionally, my colleagues and I received countless briefings from experts in and out of the government, including: Treasury’s FINCEN, the FBI’s Terrorism Financing Operations Section, private financial institutions, and several dozen counter-terrorism exports. Included in this information gathering, the Task Force was able to create a bipartisan Congressional delegation, giving members the opportunity to speak with government officials and private sector representatives of our partners in the Middle East and hear their efforts to counter terror financing. This investigation has yielded useful material we can — and must — use to improve U.S. efforts, as well as global cooperation, to counter terrorism financing.
Yet, there is still much to do. What lies ahead is a daunting, but a high-level objective. This is a global problem which requires the cooperative effort of the international community to solve. As legislators, we are entrusted with the protection of our respective nations and will do what it takes to counter this threat on various levels, beginning with the task force investigation and the eventual take down of the networks financing the deadly operations.”
The Fitzpatrick-led Task Force to Investigate Terrorism Financing has held six hearings examining U.S. anti-terror financing policy and current events related to the ability of terrorist organizations to fund their acts.