AUSTRAC: Terrorism financing in Australia 2014

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Foreword

Terrorism financing poses a serious threat to Australians and Australian interests at home and abroad. At its most damaging, it can fund the activities of domestic extremists, including attacks on Australian soil. More commonly, terrorism financing raised in Australia can help sustain terrorist groups overseas and support foreign attacks and insurgencies.

Terrorism financing also poses a threat to the credibility of Australia’s financial institutions and financial system. Even an unwitting association with terrorism financing involving small amounts of money could damage the reputation of Australian financial institutions, companies and not-for-profit organisations and harm Australia’s global image.

The extent of terrorism financing in Australia is much smaller than money laundering. Both crimes employ similar techniques to conceal financial transactions, although terrorism financing usually involves smaller amounts of money. This fact makes it more difficult for both authorities and industry to detect suspicious transactions among the significant volume of legitimate transactions that occur every day.

No government, however well equipped, can tackle terrorism financing alone. AUSTRAC and its domestic partner agencies rely on partnerships with industry and the Australian community to help uncover and report suspicious activity.

Cooperation with industry and international counterparts helps deepen Australia’s understanding of current and emerging illicit financial activities. This strengthens our ability to combat terrorism financing and ultimately protect the wider community against the threat of terrorist activity in Australia and abroad.

AUSTRAC has produced this public Terrorism financing in Australia 2014 report to strengthen the nation’s defences against terrorism financing by improving industry and public awareness of the risks. The report uses real cases and intelligence to present a consolidated picture of Australian terrorism financing risks, vulnerabilities and methods.