Terrorism financing and money laundering: two sides of the same coin?

Author:Frederic Compin
Position:Classe Préparatoire DCG, Lycéee Robert Doisneau, Corbeil-Essonnes, France and Sciences Humaines, Centre Pierre Naville, Université d’Evry Val d’Essonne, Evry, France
Pages:962-968
SUMMARY

Purpose The purpose of this paper is to analyse how terrorism financing can be assimilated with money launderning when the amounts ofmoney involved differ so markedly. Not only is the cost of financing terrorist attacks minimal compared to the huge sums often at stake in financial crimes, but also the psychological profile of terrorists, who are reclusive by nature, contrasts starkly with ... (see full summary)

 
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Terrorism nancing and money
laundering: two sides
of the same coin?
Frederic Compin
Classe Préparatoire DCG, Lycéee Robert Doisneau, Corbeil-Essonnes,
France and Sciences Humaines, Centre Pierre Naville,
Université dEvry Val dEssonne, Evry, France
Abstract
Purpose The purpose of this paper is to analyse howterrorism nancing can be assimilated with money
launderning when the amounts ofmoney involved differ so markedly. Not only is the cost of nancing
terrorist attacks minimal compared to the huge sums often at stake in nancial crimes, but also the
psychological prole of terrorists, who are reclusive by nature, contrasts starkly with that of nancial
criminals, who are usually fully integrated members of society. When terrorism nancing is equated with
money launderingthis represents a utilitarian approach in thatit facilitates the creation of a security strategy
and sties criticism of criminogenic capitalismthat turns a blindeye to tax evasion.
Design/methodology/approach The analysis is conceptual,focussing on the assimilation of terrorism
nancing with money laundering. There is an interview with a French magistrate, specialized in the ght
against corruptionand white-collar crime, and data have been collected from internationalorganizations and
scholarlyarticles.
Findings The ght against money laundering and money dirtying has clearly sparked numerous
controversies around evaluation, scope, criminal perpetrators and a lack of vital cooperation between
administrativeand judicial services.
Social implications This paper raises questions about the reasons behind the linking of money
laundering and money dirtying by statesand players in public international law and why the ght against
money laundering is very much overshadowed by their focus on terrorist nancing in dealing with the
growing threatof Islamic State, otherwise known as ISIS or ISIL,in the Middle East and West Africa.
Originality/value The paper enables the reader to raise the questionof similarities between the ght
againstmoney laundering and the ght against terrorism nancing.
Keywords Tax evasion, Money laundering, Tax avoidance, Terrorism nancing, ISIS, Money dirtying
Paper type Viewpoint
Chomskys (2001) response on thenight of 9/11 is very relevant when attempting to answer
the question posed by the title of this paper:
The September 11 attacks were major atrocities [...] As to how to react, we have a choice. We can
express justied horror; we can seek to understand what may have led to the crimes, which
means making an eort to enter the minds of the likely perpetrators.
These two premises lead us to question the natureand effectiveness of the ofcial discourse
and institutional response whichcombats current threats by linking money laundering and
terrorism nancing, a discourse which predominated during the Bush administration. Has
this common misconceptioncontributed to the ideological extension of a mistruth?
Indeed, concocting plausible lies to win over publicopinion is reminiscent of the rhetoric
of present-day policymakersand economic players. Michael Lewis (1990) in Liars Poker, his
JFC
25,4
962
Journalof Financial Crime
Vol.25 No. 4, 2018
pp. 962-968
© Emerald Publishing Limited
1359-0790
DOI 10.1108/JFC-03-2017-0021
The current issue and full text archive of this journal is available on Emerald Insight at:
www.emeraldinsight.com/1359-0790.htm

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