Thursday, March 16, 2017

Follow the Money

The Cipher Brief runs a column on the "hawala networks" by which third-world people move money around the globe. This isn't exactly a new idea, we've known for some years they are used by terrorists to keep a record of their finances out of the hands of government anti-terror investigators "following the money." The author concludes with this quote:
“In short, there is no regulatory solution for hawala networks and our adversaries understand this,” explains John Cassara, Cipher Brief expert and former Special Agent at the U.S. Treasury Department.“

“Osama bin Laden once referred to taking advantage of ‘cracks inside the Western financial system.’ The hawala system isn’t a crack, it’s a canyon,” he concluded.
Why not declare them illegal, or alternatively, impose upon them the same elaborate record-keeping requirements faced by banks? Driving them underground seems a good first step; if halawa was illegal it would facilitate getting permission for wiretaps and other comm intercepts.