Identification of effectiveness criteria for financial intelligence tools in early detection of terrorist financing activities
Of all the financial intelligence tools, suspicious transaction reporting is the most promising and important for early detection of terrorist financing activities relating to imminent terrorist attacks. However, despite its potential, a number of operational features and their corresponding limitations have made this tool largely ineffective in early detection of terrorist financing activities. Measures taken so far have failed to bring the desired level of effectiveness to suspicious transaction reporting, which necessitates finding criteria that will make suspicious transaction reporting more effective in early detection of terrorist financing activities. In this thesis, effectiveness criteria for suspicious transaction reporting in early detection of terrorist financing activities have been derived in an innovative way by deducing them from the operational features of suspicious transaction reporting and their corresponding limitations. Evaluating the available literature, the findings show that suspicious transaction reporting needs to be redesigned in order to embed the effectiveness criteria. Recommendations for redesigning the suspicious transaction reporting system are provided and include incorporating criminological theories and concepts into the suspicious transaction reporting system; using simulations to test the redesigned system before final commissioning; and ensuring that the effectiveness criteria for suspicious transaction reporting with the effectiveness criteria for early detection of imminent terrorist attacks. Based on the findings, further research is suggested on related topics, such as triangulating the effectiveness criteria, using the effectiveness criteria for developing new financial intelligence tools, and identifying effectiveness criteria for other financial intelligence tools.