Anti-Terrorist Financing Guidelines: Voluntary Best Practices for U.S.-Based Charities
Since the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, the U.S. Government has launched and maintained a comprehensive campaign against terrorists and their support networks, including the sources and conduits of terrorist financing. Investigations carried out during this campaign have revealed consistent terrorist abuse of the charitable sector through the diversion of charitable funds and services to terrorist organizations such as al Qaeda and Hamas. In response to this threat, and to assist charities in adopting protective measures against terrorist abuse, the U.S. Department of the Treasury (“Treasury”) developed and released in November 2002 the Anti-Terrorist Financing Guidelines: Voluntary Best Practices for U.S.-Based Charities (“Guidelines”). On December 5, 2005, Treasury released a revised draft Guidelines for public comment and requested comments on the revisions.
Treasury received a total of nine submissions during the comment period from a wide range of organizations. Accordingly, along with the Guidelines, Treasury is also issuing a Response to Comments Submitted on the U.S. Department of the Treasury Anti-Terrorist Financing Guidelines: Voluntary Best Practices for U.S.-Based Charities (“Response”). The Response provides a section-by-section analysis of the Guidelines, with corresponding comments and Treasury’s reply.
Treasury, after careful consideration of the submitted feedback, has modified the Guidelines to address the specific concerns of commenters. We believe the updated Guidelines provide valuable recommendations for the charitable sector to consider in adopting practices that better protect it from the risk of abuse or exploitation by terrorist organizations. Although adherence to these Guidelines is voluntary, they do not constitute a legal defense against any civil or criminal liability for violating any local, state, or federal law or regulations. The measures are intended to build upon pre-existing controls and protective measures already in place, and may also assist charities in complying with U.S law such as the OFAC sanction programs.
A copy of the Guidelines will also be published as a notice in the Federal Register.
** NEW **Updated Guidelines
** NEW ** Response