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9 of 99 DOCUMENTS Copyright (c) 2003 North Carolina Journal of International Law & Commercial Regulation Inc.

North Carolina Journal of International Law & Commercial Regulation Spring, 2003 28N.C.J. Int'lL. & Com. Reg. 605

LENGTH: 27623 words ARTICLE: Can We Buy Peace On Earth?: The Price of Freezing Terrorist Assets in a Post-September 11 World Angela D. Hardister

SUMMARY: ... In the aftermath of the catastrophic attacks of September 11, 2001, the United States found itself in the unique and unenviable position of having to unleash forces to combat the threat of terrorism on all fronts. ... The financial war on terrorism is not a new concept: the Clinton Administration recognized that this financial attack was critical to successfully punishing bin Laden in 1999 after he was found to be responsible for attacks on U.S. embassies in Kenya and Tanzania. ... The issue of freezing assets has become controversial because of the inevitable freeze of charitable assets along with those assets supporting terrorism. ... This distinction between resistance group and terrorist group was Lebanon's most significant consideration in deciding whether to freeze Hezbollah's assets. ... This supports Lebanon's decision because, without a U.N. mandate to freeze assets, Lebanon may contend that Hezbollah is not a terrorist organization, and thus, the group may not be put it on its list. ... Third, Lebanon asserts that the asset freeze order did not flow from a criminal investigation to determine whether Hezbollah was in fact a terrorist organization. ... While more names are being added to the asset freeze lists, it is clear that organizations, such as Hamas and Hezbollah, will not be on the lists of all nations in the war against terrorism.... TEXT-1: [*605] I. Introduction In the aftermath of the catastrophic attacks of September 11, 2001, the United States found itself in the unique and unenviable position of having to unleash forces to combat the threat of terrorism on all fronts. As the search for the terrorists mounted, President George W. Bush promised that our response would not be limited to military retaliation; he threatened financial, economic, and social repercussions as well, nl Specifically, President Bush stated that starving terrorists of funding would be a primary objective of the new war on terrorism. n2 A U.S. government inquiry revealed that at least $ 238,000 was sent into the United States through wire transfers to aid the hijackers in the attacks, which were estimated to have cost around $ 500,000 to carry out. n3 This inquiry illustrates the important role that financial backing plays in terrorist attacks. In his response to the terrorist attacks, President Bush stated emphatically, "money is the life-blood of terrorist operations. Today, we're asking the world to stop payment." n4 As the first step in fighting the financial war on terrorism, President Bush issued an Executive Order on September 24, 2001, freezing the assets of twenty-seven people and groups who were identified as having ties to the al-Qaeda network and whose resources potentially support it. n5 The Order gives the Treasury [*606] Department greater power to identify the support structure of the terrorist organizations and the ability to thwart any U.S. transactions that would