08.15.16

Peters Cosponsors Measure to Combat Terrorism Financing

WASHINGTON, DC – U.S. Senator Gary Peters (MI) today announced he is cosponsoring the Stop Terrorist Operational Resources and Money (STORM) Act, legislation that creates additional penalties and tools to address foreign governments that are failing to stop terrorism financing.

“Cutting off financing for terrorist groups like ISIS, Hamas, al-Qaeda and Hezbollah is a critical part of the United States’ efforts to combat global terrorism and protect our national security,” said Senator Peters, a member of the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee. “This bipartisan legislation would help improve our country’s ability to work with our allies around the world to crack down on financing for terrorist organizations, effectively weaken their operations and bolster our efforts to fight global terrorism.”

Current efforts to combat terrorism financing are limited and have not kept up with new methods terrorist groups are using to finance their operations. A June 2016 report by the U.S. State Department found that many countries are not implementing adequate counterterrorism finance restrictions, and that current anti-money laundering requirements and U.S Treasury Department efforts cannot capture or combat terrorism financing transactions that are increasingly happening outside of traditional banking and finance systems.

The STORM Act provides the President with additional leverage and tools to pressure and coordinate with countries on their counterterrorism financing efforts. The legislation authorizes the President to designate a country as a “Jurisdiction of Terrorism Financing Concern” if its measures to prevent terrorism financing are inadequate. The legislation also authorizes the President to impose restrictions or enter into an agreement with a country that has been designated as a “Jurisdiction of Terrorism Financing Concern” to assist the country with its counterterrorism finance efforts.

Peters, a member of the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, has made two visits to the Middle East to discuss the ongoing mission to fight ISIS. Earlier this year, Peters traveled to Israel, Turkey and Saudi Arabia to discuss the threat from terrorist groups including ISIS and those countries’ counterterrorism efforts. Last fall Peters met with officials in Iraq, Jordan, the United Arab Emirates and Qatar to discuss ongoing anti-ISIS military operations in Iraq and Syria.