U.S. Senators Mitt Romney (R-UT), Mark R. Warner (D-VA), Mike Rounds (R-SD), and Jack Reed (D-RI) have introduced a significant bipartisan piece of legislation aimed at intensifying the United States' fight against terrorism.
The proposed bill, known as the Terrorism Financing Prevention Act, seeks to broaden the scope of financial sanctions to encompass all U.S.-designated Foreign Terrorist Organizations (FTOs), including groups like Hamas, and foreign entities that assist them.
This move represents an expansion of existing sanctions that, until now, were primarily focused on the terrorist group Hezbollah, following the passage of the Hizballah International Financing Prevention Act in 2015. The new bill aims to adapt U.S.
sanctions policy to more effectively target the evolving methods of financing terrorism, including the use of cryptocurrencies.
A Unified Response to Emerging Threats
The senators emphasized the urgency and necessity of this legislation in light of recent events and the changing landscape of terrorist financing.
Senator Romney highlighted the October 7 attacks on Israel by Hamas as a driving factor behind the bill. “The October 7 attacks on Israel perpetrated by Hamas have made it more urgent and necessary for the U.S. to counter the role that cryptocurrency plays in the financing of terrorism," Romney stated.
He stressed that the legislation would empower the Treasury Department with additional resources to counter terrorism and address emerging threats involving digital assets. Senator Warner voiced his support for the bill, noting its importance in enhancing national security.
“The Terrorism Financing Prevention Act will make sure that the Treasury Department has the tools necessary to enforce our sanctions against Hamas and other terror groups,” he said. Echoing these sentiments, Senator Rounds emphasized the critical role of the Treasury in combating modern threats.
“The Terrorism Financing Prevention Act takes commonsense steps toward rooting out terrorism by sanctioning foreign financial institutions and foreign digital asset companies that assist them in committing these heinous acts,” Rounds remarked.
Senator Reed underscored the importance of protecting the U.S. financial system from terrorist organizations. “With this bill, we are forcing foreign financial institutions and foreign crypto firms to choose between doing business with terrorist organizations or maintaining access to the U.S. financial system,” Reed stated.