Counter Terrorism Financing: A Redundant Fragmentation?

New Journal of European Criminal Law, Vol. 6, Issue 3, 2015

24 Pages Posted: 8 Nov 2015

See all articles by Colin King

Colin King

The University of Sydney

Clive Walker

University of Leeds - Centre for Criminal Justice Studies (CCJS)

Date Written: November 1, 2015


A double fragmentation is reflected in the growth of two distinct regimes to respond to the financing of illicit activities. On the one hand are anti-money laundering (AML)/proceeds of crime (PoC) policy and legislation which, in their current guise, can be traced back over four decades. While AML/PoC were in full swing when the hour of need arrived in 2001, CTF has emerged as a distinct field, with a rival degree of complexity and feeble distinct impact. In this way, doubts about the whole strategy of AML/PoC and their usefulness as a ploy for the prevention, disruption, conviction, or punishment of crime do not rule out a read across to CTF because corresponding doubts are harboured, especially if the reading across can improve the chances of success. The core objective for this article is to explore whether this fragmentation was inevitable and should be maintained today. Has the time arrived instead for consolidation? In order to answer these questions, the article will first analyse the background and history of how CTF was developed as an addition to AML/PoC and how it was not incorporated within its predecessor. This initial survey will lead into the second part of the article in which there is reflection on the core characteristics of CTF – its ‘DNA’ – and whether they mark it out as a ‘closed system’ which cannot receive meaning from AML/PoC. The survey forces the recognition of some true distinctions, though not to the extent of confirming autopoetic systems in operation. In the third part of the article, factors of confluence should equally be examined – whether there are strategic and operational imperatives which should press towards confluence rather than dissonance. The conclusion seeks to reflect on the relationship between CTF and AML/PoC, bearing in mind that these are categories which operate primarily not as academic constructs but as formulations which determine personal lives and professional actions.

Keywords: terrorism; counter terrorism financing; asset freezing; sanctions; money laundering; proceeds of crime; UNSCR; UN; FATF; organised crime; financing; confiscation; globalisation; policymaking; funding; property; national security

JEL Classification: K10, K14, K33, K19, K30, K33, K42, N40, K4, K42

Suggested Citation

King, Colin and Walker, Clive, Counter Terrorism Financing: A Redundant Fragmentation? (November 1, 2015). New Journal of European Criminal Law, Vol. 6, Issue 3, 2015, Available at SSRN:

Colin King

The University of Sydney ( email )

University of Sydney
Sydney, NSW 2006

Clive Walker (Contact Author)

University of Leeds - Centre for Criminal Justice Studies (CCJS) ( email )

Leeds LS2 9JT
United Kingdom
44 (0) 113 3435022 (Phone)
44 (0) 113 3435056 (Fax)


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