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Reading: Tracking Terrorist Finances: The ‘Swift’ Program and the American Anti-Terrorist Finance Regime

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Tracking Terrorist Finances: The ‘Swift’ Program and the American Anti-Terrorist Finance Regime

Author:

David B. Bulloch

Vrije University, Amsterdam, NL
About David B.
The author has studied American politics, international relations, and terrorism, and was previously an archival intern at the Richard M. Nixon Presidential Library in Yorba Linda, California. He holds a B.A. in Political Science from California State University Fullerton (2009), and a Research LL.M. specializing in the ‘Law and Politics of International Security’ from VU University Amsterdam (2011).
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Abstract

This article examines the political and legislative history of a formerly classified anti-terrorist finance program initiated in the days after 9/11 that subpoenaed millions of financial records from the Belgian-based Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunications (SWIFT) without the knowledge of European authorities. The European outrage in response to its public disclosure in 2006 — and the subsequent struggle to generate support for the continuation of the program — has been interpreted by many as further evidence of a strategic divide concerning American and European efforts to thwart terrorism. This research will investigate the dramatic changes to the American anti-terrorist finance regime after 9/11, and will demonstrate that the European reluctance to cooperate with this program represents a fundamental disagreement concerning the prioritization of privacy rights rather than an unwillingness to take the steps necessary to combat the financing of terror.

How to Cite: Bulloch, D.B., 2011. Tracking Terrorist Finances: The ‘Swift’ Program and the American Anti-Terrorist Finance Regime. Amsterdam Law Forum, 3(4), pp.74–101. DOI: http://doi.org/10.37974/ALF.203
Published on 01 Sep 2011.
Peer Reviewed

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