President of the United States Message to Senate: International Convention for the Suppression of the Financing of Terrorism (10/12/00)

                         Office of the Press Secretary

       For Immediate Release                             October 12, 2000


     With a view to receiving the advice and consent of the Senate to
ratification, I transmit herewith the International Convention for the
Suppression of the Financing of Terrorism, adopted by the United Nations General
Assembly on December 9, 1999, and signed on behalf of the United States of
America on January 10, 2000.  The report of the Department of State with respect
to the Convention is also transmitted for the information of the Senate.

     In recent years, the United States has increasingly focused world attention
on the importance of combating terrorist financing as a means of choking off the
resources that fuel international terrorism.  While international terrorists do
not generally seek financial gain as an end, they actively solicit and raise
money and other resources to attract and retain adherents and to support their
presence and activities both in the United States and abroad.  The present
Convention is aimed at cutting off the sustenance that these groups need to
operate.  This Convention provides, for the first time, an obligation that
States Parties criminalize such conduct and establishes an international legal
framework for cooperation among States Parties directed toward prevention of
such financing and ensuring the prosecution and punishment of offenders,
wherever found.

     Article 2 of the Convention states that any person commits an offense
within the meaning of the Convention "if that person by any means, directly or
indirectly, unlawfully and wilfully, provides or collects funds with the
intention that they should be used or in the knowledge that they are to be used,
in full or in part, in order to carry out" either of two categories of terrorist
acts defined in the Convention.  The first category includes any act that
constitutes an offense within the scope of and as defined in one of the
counterterrorism treaties listed in the Annex to the Convention.  The second
category encompasses any other act intended to cause death or serious bodily
injury to a civilian, or to any other person not taking an active part in
hostilities in a situation of armed conflict, when the purpose of the act, by
its nature or context, is to intimidate a population, or to compel a government
or an international organization to do or to abstain from doing any act.

     The Convention imposes binding legal obligations upon States Parties either
to submit for prosecution or to extradite any person within their jurisdiction
who commits an offense as defined in Article 2 of the Convention, attempts to
commit such an act, participates as an accomplice, organizes or directs others
to commit such an offense, or in any other way contributes to the commission of
an offense by a group of persons acting with a common purpose.  A State Party is
subject to these obligations without regard to the place where the alleged act
covered by Article 2 took place.

     States Parties to the Convention will also be obligated to provide one
another legal assistance in investigations or criminal or extradition
proceedings brought in respect of the offenses set forth in Article 2.

     Legislation necessary to implement the Convention will be submitted to the
Congress separately.

     This Convention is a critical new weapon in the campaign against the
scourge of international terrorism.  I hope that all countries will become
Parties to this Convention at the earliest possible time.  I recommend,
therefore, that the Senate give early and favorable consideration to this
Convention, subject to the understanding, declaration and reservation that are
described in the accompanying report of the Department of State.

                                   WILLIAM J. CLINTON

    October 12, 2000.

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