Terrorist financing

Terrorist financing means the provision or collection of funds, directly or indirectly, to commit a terrorist offence. Financing or attempting to finance a terrorist group or an individual terrorist is punishable.

Financing of terrorism paves the way for terrorist activities. Financial support for a terrorist group or a terrorist maintains and, at worst, facilitates terrorist activities. Financial support makes it possible to prepare a terrorist offence, receive training, recruit others or facilitate travel for the purpose of committing a terrorist offence. By combating terrorist financing, it is possible to identify networks or persons contributing to terrorist activities and, consequently to prevent and detect other terrorist offences. This is why the fight against terrorist financing is important.

Since the financing of terrorism has an international dimension, the authorities must operate across borders. National and EU-level legislation lay the foundations for the authorities’ activities. The rapid and comprehensive exchange of information play a key role in cooperation between the authorities. 

The Financial Intelligence Unit of the National Bureau of Investigation is tasked with combating terrorist financing, and it serves as the national contact point for international cooperation between the FIUs. Terrorist financing is investigated and analysed by the Unit’s Terrorist Financing and Freezing of Funds Team. The Team’s work is based on information received from obliged entities and other authorities as well as on the findings of its own analysis work.

The Finnish Security and Intelligence Service gathers information on the provision or collection of funds for terrorist purposes, and detects and prevents terrorist financing offences. In this work, it works closely with other authorities and, for example with banks in Finland and abroad.
In recent years, new forms of money remittance have become more common. People who send money to conflict zones are constantly looking for new efficient and anonymous forms and services of money remittance.

Examples of the new forms of money remittance include virtual currencies and alternative payment transfer services such as mobile transfers. Alternative payment transfer services are used independently or alongside traditional services. The new forms of money remittance make it significantly more difficult to monitor the funds intended for the purpose of terrorist financing.

Terrorist assets may be frozen

Finland has in place a system of administrative freezing of funds. The purpose of the freezing of funds is to prevent a person, group or entity, i.e. the object of a decision to freeze funds, from using their assets for terrorist acts or for an attempted offence or preparation of an offence.

The National Bureau of Investigation makes the decision to freeze funds. Decisions are published in the Official Gazette. The National Bureau of Investigation maintains a public list of decisions to freeze funds. The list can be ordered from the registry of a police department or the National Bureau of Investigation. 

Provisions on administrative freezing are laid down by law.

Act on the Freezing of Funds with a View to Combating Terrorism 325/2013 (Finlex)

Financial Action Task Force on Money Laundering (FATF) – Basic information on terrorist financing
FATF Strategy on Combating Terrorist Financing

The EU Terrorism Situation and Trend Report (TE-SAT) 2021 (Europol)