Laws of Unintended Consequences: Terrorist Financing Restrictions and Transitions to Democracy
New York International Law Review , Vol. 20, p. 65, 2007
37 Pages Posted: 25 Feb 2007 Last revised: 17 Sep 2015
Date Written: February 12, 2007
Restrictions on funding for terrorist organizations are an important element of a coordinated strategy in the war on terror. However, restrictions of this kind require flexibility, particularly when groups designated as terrorist organizations seek to participate in the electoral process. A rigid, absolutist approach to financing restrictions in this regard may be counter-productive, undercutting the transition to nonviolence within the organization.
A more promising approach views the transition to democracy as a pragmatic undertaking with three components. First, a terrorist group forming a new regime must take meaningful steps to deter all violence against its external adversaries. Second, the group must promote transparency in its finances, perhaps by opening its books to monitors from donor nations. Third, to reciprocate for these measures, the adversaries of terrorist groups should reject targeted killings of terrorist leaders, engage in negotiations for the exchange of prisoners and detainees, and practice proportionate military responses to terrorist violence.
Keywords: National Security Law, Law and Terrorism, International Law
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