FROM THE OFFICE OF PUBLIC AFFAIRS
U.S. DEPARTMENT OF THE TREASURY
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
September 18, 2001
Treasury Under Secretary Jimmy Gurulé
Thank you for coming today. I'd like to update you on recent activities of the Treasury Enforcement bureaus. Let me be very clear. The Treasury Department is using every tool that we have at our disposal to attack terrorism.
As many of you are aware, last week the Treasury Department announced that the Foreign Terrorist Asset Tracking Center (FTAT) is now up and running. FTAT will be an important tool in our quest to dismantle the terrorist's financial bases and shut down their fundraising capabilities. FTAT differs from traditional law enforcement's use of financial tracking in two critical aspects.
First, the FBI and other law enforcement entities look at financial data as it relates to a specific case - in this instance last Tuesday's horrific attacks.
By contrast, FTAT will be looking at all terrorist organizations world-wide who have been involved with several different terrorist attacks - we seek to create a "big picture" profile of the financial infrastructure of terrorist groups.
Second, we are collecting this information for the express purpose of identifying and disrupting the various sources of funding that these terrorist groups are receiving.
We will be utilizing several different tools to do this. FinCEN, the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network, will be a key player with respect to tracking down any financial link between terrorist groups and legitimate financial institutions. FinCEN collects data under the Bank Secrecy Act and can cross-reference the names of terrorists and terrorist organizations with Suspicious Activity Reports in that database.
Today I am pleased to report that FTAT has begun to create financial profiles of some of those suspected of involvement in Tuesday's attacks.
We will explore the financial relationships that may exist between them and other terrorist entities. We are optimistic that this strategic approach to identifying terrorism's funding sources will expand to include substantial international cooperation.