Tricky to track terrorist cash
Reports suggest Canada struggles to pursue illicit money used to finance terrorism activities
Apr 21, 2008 04:30 AM
The Canadian Press
MONTREAL–Canada's spy agency has been forced to junk its approach to terrorist financing as clandestine groups both here and abroad learn to skirt the law-enforcement initiatives set up after Sept. 11, 2001.
Intelligence assessments obtained by The Canadian Press suggest officials have been operating in the dark when it comes to tracking funds earmarked for terrorism.
Canada's ability to trace money has been taken to task by the Financial Action Task Force, an international body that deals with threats to financial systems.
In a February report, the group found "serious issues" with the Financial Transactions and Reports Analysis Centre of Canada, or Fintrac, the federal body that traces illicit cash transfers.
Charities are a particular area of concern for Canadian investigators, who note that legitimately raised funds can end up financing terrorist activities.
While government officials disguised the scope of the problem, the Financial Action Task Force report said charities figure in more than a third of Fintrac disclosures related to suspected terrorist financing.