Resources

Mapping Listed Terrorist Groups and Humanitarian Crises

Date: 
July 10, 2013
 

The U.S. government maintains two lists containing entities (State’s Foreign Terrorist Organizations (FTO) & Treasury’s Specially Designated Nationals (SDN)) it believes engage in terrorist activity. It is illegal to provide these groups with material support which is defined broadly in the law to include tangible goods like food or clothing, medical services, and training in conflict mediation. 

But the laws designed to starve the terrorists also make it nearly impossible for humanitarian actors to reach or offer assistance to civilians living in territory controlled by a blacklisted group. That means that in conflict zones or natural disaster areas where these groups are active, providing medical services or distributing non-medicinal necessities such as clean water, tents, blankets, food can be prohibited.

Problems with Humanitarian Access Persist in Syria

Date: 
July 10, 2013

July 2013

Syria - Background

Since the start of the Syrian uprising in March 2011, a mostly peaceful mass street protest has transformed into a destructive and deadly civil war pitting the Free Syrian Army (FSA) against the Alawite-dominated security forces of President Bashar al-Assad.  With the conflict raging across much of the country and difficulties getting international aid to civilians inside Syria, the humanitarian situation is described as “catastrophic” and continues to deteriorate at a rapid pace.

Handbook Explores Different Approaches to Peacebuilding

Date: 
June 20, 2013

“In order for peacebuilding to be successful,” the ACCORD Peacebuilding Handbook says, “there is a strong need to understand local contexts and to develop strategies that address root causes of conflict.”  Released in April 2013, the Handbook provides an introductory look at the various actors involved in and phases of peacebuilding efforts and identifies different approaches that practitioners have used in recent history when trying to end conflicts nonviolently. “As can be expected from such an ambitious undertaking, a large variety of peacebuilding tasks are conducted at different levels (grass-roots, sub-national, national and international) and at different stages of a conflict-to-peace spectrum (pre-conflict through to post-conflict environments),” it says. The African Centre for the Constructive Resolution of Disputes (ACCORD) is a conflict management organization based in Durban, South Africa, and has worked with former President Nelson Mandela in facilitating the role of civil society in the peace process in Burundi.

How the FATF Is Used to Justify Laws That Harm Civil Society, Freedom of Association and Expression

Date: 
May 16, 2013

The Financial Action Task Force (FATF) is an intergovernmental policy making body that sets counter-terrorist financing and anti-money laundering (CFT/AML) standards used in nearly 180 countries. Jurisdictions undergoing the FATF’s compliance evaluation process are strongly encouraged to introduce specific laws and financial regulations, including Recommendation 8 (R8), on the operations and activities of non-profit organizations (NPOs), or risk serious economic consequences that could affect foreign aid, remittances, and trade.[1]  

UN Counterterrorism Framework: Key Programs and Tools

Date: 
May 1, 2013

Terrorism has been on the modern international agenda since 1934, when the League of Nations discussed a draft convention for the prevention and punishment of terrorism. More recently, the United Nations (UN) has introduced a number of robust sanctions and anti-terror programs. These initiatives make up the bulwark of the UN’s efforts, but many were created with little transparency and are routinely criticized for violating fundamental norms of due process and insufficiently respecting human rights.  Other tools, like the UN Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy, call on all UN members to undertake measures against terrorism, but to do so “in accordance with the Charter of the UN and the relevant provisions of international law, including international standards of human rights.”

The purpose of this document is to provide basic information about the major pieces of the UN Counterterrorism framework, including UN Security Council Resolutions and the UN Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy.

Need to Update Treasury’s Terrorist Listing and Delisting Procedures

Date: 
April 26, 2013

 

The U.S. terrorist listing process is designed to cut off funding to terrorists by freezing their funds and banning financial transactions with them. The President designates terrorist groups by Executive Order and authorizes the Treasury Department to list others that support them.   A lack of clear standards, transparency and oversight of the list  has raised serious concerns over the due process rights of those listed and the accuracy of the list itself.

Click Here for a PDF Verison of this Factsheet

DOJ Inspector General Report on FBI’s Anti-Terrorist Financing Efforts

Date: 
April 7, 2013

In March 2013, the Department of Justice Inspector General (IG) released an audit of the Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI) and the DOJ’s National Security Division collaborative efforts to counter terrorist financing (CFT).  Along with making an unsupported claim that terrorists commonly use donations to charities as a revenue source, the audit touches on areas of the FBI and DOJ’s CFT efforts that are less commonly reported on, including the terrorist designation process and interagency Terrorist Financing Working Group.  It lays out eight recommendations for improvement, including identifying ways “that the FBI could strengthen its terrorist financing program through improved case management practices” and more specialized training for senior staff positions.

DOJ Inspector General Report on FBI’s Anti-Terrorist Financing Efforts

Date: 
April 7, 2013

In March 2013, the Department of Justice Inspector General (IG) released an audit of the Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI) and the DOJ’s National Security Division collaborative efforts to counter terrorist financing (CFT).  Along with making an unsupported claim that terrorists commonly use donations to charities as a revenue source, the audit touches on areas of the FBI and DOJ’s CFT efforts that are less commonly reported on, including the terrorist designation process and interagency Terrorist Financing Working Group.  It lays out eight recommendations for improvement, including identifying ways “that the FBI could strengthen its terrorist financing program through improved case management practices” and more specialized training for senior staff positions.

Paper: Is the U.S. Undermining International Humanitarian Law?

Date: 
February 4, 2013

Often treating standards found in international law as an inconvenience and impediment since 9/11, the United States is undermining the foundations upon which international humanitarian law (IHL) rests, according to a November 2012 paper by Morris Davis of Howard University.  Undermining International Humanitarian Law examines the development and the objectives of modern IHL, particularly the ones designed to limit the effects of war on civilians and other non-combatants. He argues that the U.S.’ failure to continue to meet these humanitarian obligations over the last decade is weakening the country’s legal and moral authority, and argues that the U.S. should reaffirm its commitment to IHL to achieve its goal of peace and security.

Holy Land Foundation Case Summary: Controversial “Material Support” of Terrorism Trial Results in Long Sentences for former Charity Officials

Date: 
October 9, 2012

Holy Land Foundation for Relief and Development (HLF) was the largest Islamic charity in the U.S. until the Bush administration shut it down three months after 9/11. HLF had been legally operating for over a decade before its designation and closure in December 2001. Its former officials were convicted of providing material support for terrorism on retrial in November 2008, and received sentences ranging from 15 to 65 years.

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