"Cutting off terrorists' funding is essential to deterring terrorist operations. The USA PATRIOT Act expanded the ability of law enforcement and intelligence agencies to access and share financial information regarding terrorist investigations, but terrorists may have adjusted their activities by increasing use of alternative financial mechanisms." - Why GAO Did This Study, Terrorist Financing This report originally issued by the U.S. General Accounting Office finds that terrorists use many alternative-financing mechanisms to earn, move, and store assets. They earn assets by selling contraband cigarettes and illicit drugs, by misusing charitable organizations that collect large donations, and by other means. Topics in TERRORIST FINANCING include: * Terrorists use of various alternative financing mechanisms and the extent of use * Key U.S. government entities responsible for deterring terrorist financing * Challenges that impede U.S. monitoring of terrorists' use of financing mechanisms * U.S. Agency comments and evaluations, including conclusions and recommendations for U.S.Executive Action In conducting this review, the General Accounting Office examined and interviewed officials from U.
S. agencies, including the Departments of Justice, the Treasury, Homeland Security, State, and Defense, as well as form the intelligence community. Also information was assessed information provided from various non-governmental organizations, industry and charitable associations, researchers in the field, and the United Nations.