Recommendation 5: Terrorist financing offence

Countries should criminalise terrorist financing on the basis of the Terrorist Financing Convention, and should criminalise not only the financing of terrorist acts but also the financing of terrorist organisations and individual terrorists even in the absence of a link to a specific terrorist act or acts. Countries should ensure that such offences are designated as money laundering predicate offences.


A. Objectives

1. Recommendation 5 was developed with the objective of ensuring that countries have the legal capacity to prosecute and apply criminal sanctions to persons that finance terrorism. Given the close connection between international terrorism and, inter alia, money laundering, another objective of Recommendation 5 is to emphasise this link by obligating countries to include terrorist financing offences as predicate offences for money laundering.

B. Characteristics of the terrorist financing offence

2. Terrorist financing offences should extend to any person who wilfully provides or collects funds by any means, directly or indirectly, with the unlawful intention that they should be used, or in the knowledge that they are to be used, in full or in part: (a) to carry out a terrorist act(s); (b) by a terrorist organisation; or (c) by an individual terrorist.

3. Criminalising terrorist financing solely on the basis of aiding and abetting, attempt, or conspiracy is not sufficient to comply with this Recommendation.

4. Terrorist financing offences should extend to any funds, whether from a legitimate or illegitimate source.

5. Terrorist financing offences should not require that the funds: (a) were actually used to carry out or attempt a terrorist act(s); or (b) be linked to a specific terrorist act(s).

6. Countries should ensure that the intent and knowledge required to prove the offence of terrorist financing may be inferred from objective factual circumstances.

7. Effective, proportionate and dissuasive criminal sanctions should apply to natural persons convicted of terrorist financing.

8. Criminal liability and sanctions, and, where that is not possible (due to fundamental principles of domestic law), civil or administrative liability and sanctions, should apply to legal persons. This should not preclude parallel criminal, civil or administrative proceedings with respect to legal persons in countries in which more than one forms of liability is available. Such measures should be without prejudice to the criminal liability of natural persons. All sanctions should be effective, proportionate and dissuasive.

9. It should also be an offence to attempt to commit the offence of terrorist financing.

10. It should also be an offence to engage in any of the following types of conduct:
(a) Participating as an accomplice in an offence, as set forth in paragraphs 2 or 9 of this Interpretive Note;

(b) Organising or directing others to commit an offence, as set forth in paragraphs 2 or 9 of this Interpretive Note;

(c) Contributing to the commission of one or more offence(s), as set forth in paragraphs 2 or 9 of this Interpretive Note, by a group of persons acting with a common purpose.

Such contribution shall be intentional and shall either: (i) be made with the aim of furthering the criminal activity or criminal purpose of the group, where such activity or purpose involves the commission of a terrorist financing offence; or (ii) be made in the knowledge of the intention of the group to commit a terrorist financing offence.

11. Terrorist financing offences should apply, regardless of whether the person alleged to have committed the offence(s) is in the same country or a different country from the one in which the terrorist(s)/terrorist organisation(s) is located or the terrorist act(s) occurred/will occur.