The countering of terrorism and terrorist financing has been a priority for the international community ever since the terrorist attacks on the United States in September 2001.
More recently, the emergence of new terrorist groups in the Middle East and events such as the November 2015 terrorist attacks in Paris have led to an increased focus on counter-terrorism measures by the United Nations and the Financial Action Task Force. Areas of particular concern at present are the number of individuals from Europe and elsewhere travelling to Iraq and Syria to join terrorist groups as foreign fighters, and the increased use by terrorists and their supporters of new information and communication technologies (in particular, the internet, for the purposes of recruitment and incitement to commit terrorist acts as well as for the planning and preparation of their activities). Specific concerns in relation to funding involve kidnap and ransom, oil revenues and the smuggling of cultural artefacts.
Against that background, the international community has stressed the need for vigilance. This does not only apply to financial services businesses but extends to any businesses offering services that might be relevant to the activities referred to above such as travel agents, internet service providers, those working in the oil industry and antique dealers.
- There are comprehensive counter-terrorism measures in place under the Terrorism and Crime (Bailiwick of Guernsey) Law, 2002. These measures are in addition to the sanctions measures referred to above and the specific regimes relating to Afghanistan and Al-Qaida.
- Guernsey remains committed to playing a full part in the international fight against terrorism and terrorist financing. While the risks posed to the Bailiwick in this area are considered to be very low, it is important that all businesses and individuals are alert to the issues referred to above and the applicable legal framework. In 2015 the Policy Council (the predecessor to the Policy & Resources Committee) therefore issued an Advisory Memorandum on the implementation in Guernsey of various UN measures relating to terrorism and terrorist financing, which is available to download here [263kb]. This Advisory Memorandum is of wide application, extending beyond areas confined to financial services businesses and NPOs.
- The Financial Action Task Force has published two typologies papers that address the financing of Islamic State and Levant and emerging terrorist financing risks generally. Both are available on the FATF website.
- HM Treasury has issued a guidance note for NGOs about operating within the UK's counter -terrorism legislation which is relevant for other sectors. This is neither applicable in Guernsey nor binding on Guernsey's authorities but Guernsey's counter-terrorism legislation mirrors that of the UK in most areas. In addition, HM Procureur (the Attorney General) has confirmed that prosecution decisions in Guernsey would be made following a similar approach to that referred to in the guidance note. It is also important to be aware that much of the UK's counter-terrorism legislation has extra -territorial effect and applies to the actions of British nationals wherever they are in the world. The guidance note is available to read by following this link.
- Further information on terrorist financing, including case studies and typologies, is available on the website of the Guernsey Financial Services Commission and on the website of the Guernsey Registry for charities and NPOs.
- For information on sanctions against the financing of terrorism please follow this link.