Funds to terrorists still flowing

March 24, 2008 at 1:05 PM
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WASHINGTON, March 24 (UPI) -- Experts say the U.S.-led effort to cut off funding to al-Qaida and other terrorist groups is failing both at home and abroad.

The most serious problems they cite are fractures and mistrust within the coalition of nations the United States needs to stop wealthy donors from providing funds to extremist causes, The Los Angeles Times reported Monday.

"The international cooperation and focus is dropping, the farther we get from (Sept. 11, 2001)," says Michael Jacobson, a former senior adviser in the Treasury Department's Office of Terrorism and Financial Intelligence.

In the Middle East and elsewhere, many countries are resisting U.S. pressures to investigate and identify financiers.

"Al-Qaida, the Taliban and other terrorist groups continue to have access to the funds they need for active and expanded indoctrination, recruitment, maintenance, armament and operations," says Victor D. Comras, a former United Nations terrorism finance official.

A senior State Department official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, told the Times it is nearly impossible to distinguish funds meant for potential terrorism from legitimate transactions.

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