Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senators Marco Rubio (R-FL), Bob Casey (D-PA), Johnny Isakson (R-GA), and Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) today introduced the Stop Terrorists Operational Resources and Money (STORM) Act of 2017, legislation which would provide the president additional leverage in penalizing foreign governments that fail to shut down terrorist financiers and facilitators.
The STORM Act would authorize the president to designate a country that is not adequately combating terrorism financing as a “Jurisdiction of Terrorism Financing Concern.” This designation triggers a range of penalties or requires that the country enter into a capacity building agreement with the U.S. government to improve their ability to end terrorist financing.
“If we want to defeat ISIS and other terrorist groups, we must cut off the money they use to plot and carry out attacks,” said Rubio. “This legislation will help ensure terrorist financiers are ultimately shut down and penalized for funding violence and bloodshed against innocent people.”
“We cannot allow terrorist organizations, particularly ISIS, to continue operating throughout the world” said Casey. “Cutting off the money that terrorist groups use to pay fighters’ salaries, buy weapons and IED components and control territory is essential to the strategy to degrade and ultimately defeat these groups.”
“Cutting off financial resources from terrorist groups is essential in our efforts to degrade and defeat them,” said Isakson, a member of the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations. “This bill will enable the United States and our partners to crack down on those involved in financing the Islamic State and other terrorist groups, effectively adding another tool to our fight against terrorism.”
“We need to use all our financial tools to target the resources of terrorist groups and those who bankroll them,” said Warren. “This bill enhances those tools and boosts the capabilities of our allies to combat the financing of this global threat.”
Under current law, the U.S. has limited leverage to penalize a foreign government for allowing terrorist financiers to operate using its jurisdiction. The STORM Act will strengthen the president’s tools to ensure all foreign partners are investigating and prosecuting terrorist financiers in the most effective way possible. It also authorizes sanctions on foreign banks that do business with ISIS and requires the State Department to report to Congress and the American people on countries’ effectiveness at stopping terrorist financiers.