Senate Bill to Combat ISIS Targets “Jurisdictions of Terrorism Financing Concern”

On February 13, 2017, Senator Bob Casey (D-PA) introduced in the Senate the “Stop Terrorist Operational Resources and Money Act” (the “STORM Act”). The purpose of the STORM Act is to “establish a designation for jurisdictions permissive to terrorism financing, to build the capacity of partner nations to investigate, prosecute, and hold accountable terrorist financiers, to impose restrictions on foreign financial institutions that provide financial services for terrorist organizations, and for other purposes.”

The STORM Act would permit the President to designate a country as a “Jurisdiction of Terrorism Financing Concern” upon determining that “government officials know, or should know, that activities are taking place within the country that substantially finance the operations of, or acts of international terrorism by, foreign terrorist organizations.”

Upon designating a country as a Jurisdiction of Terrorism Financing Concern, the STORM Act would require the President to, after submitting a report to relevant Congressional committees identifying a designated country and explaining the basis for the determination, “take one or more actions to limit military and technology exports, cut or suspend development and security assistance, and suspend credit, procurement, and contracting by federal agencies with respect to such country.

Importantly, the STORM Act identifies, as one of the criteria the President may evaluate in designating Jurisdictions of Terrorism Financing Concern, the adequacy of a country’s anti-terrorism financing laws and enforcement capabilities. In addition the STORM Act would amend the Foreign Assistance Act of 1961 to include the provision of assistance to foreign countries to “counter financial crimes and material support to terrorism.”

As of March 13, 2017, the STORM Act had three co-sponsors: Senators Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), Marco Rubio (R-FL), and Johnny Isakson (R-GA). The STORM Act is available here.

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