Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senator Catherine Cortez Masto (D-Nev.) urged the Biden administration and our European allies to work together to crack down on the financing of international terrorist organizations, including Hezbollah and Hamas, during a U.S. Senate Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs Committee hearing today.
“We all agree that we need to make sure that Israel, our greatest ally, has the support it needs to defend itself against the threats posed by both Hamas and other terrorist organizations. I’m also concerned about the threat Hezbollah continues to pose against Israel’s security,” said Senator Cortez Masto. “We all know, and we’re hearing from all of you, that much of their support comes from Iran’s state sponsorship of terrorism…I also recognize that Hezbollah and Hamas still receive funding from private donations and organized crime syndicates across the globe.”
“How is the administration working with our European allies to really crack down on the illicit funding of terrorist organizations like Hamas, like Hezbollah…and what more should we be doing,” she continued.
Witnesses outlined numerous steps the U.S. can continue to take to hold terrorists accountable financially, including global sanctioning of Hamas as a terrorist organization and coordinated efforts to track which countries, governments, and banks are diverting money to fund terrorism.
Last week, Senator Cortez Masto wrote a letter asking the Biden Administration to crack down on illicit financing of international terrorism in response reports that Hamas has raised millions in crypto to fund its operations. She has passed into law her bipartisan legislation to combat money laundering and terrorism by bolstering the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) and ensuring it focuses on virtual currencies. She’s also cosponsored the Digital Asset Anti-Money Laundering Act, which would close loopholes in current law and bring cryptocurrency companies into greater compliance with the anti-money laundering and anti-terrorism frameworks that govern much of the financial system.