**Hon. Alfred Sears, M.P.
The Anti-Terrorism Bill 2003 tabled in the Bahamas Parliament will *”provide the necessary framework to prevent terrorists from using our financial system and, in so doing, help to win the fight against terrorism.”*
This, according to Minister Sears, who points out that the legislation criminalises a number of offences, and will allow for the freezing of funds of persons charged – or about to be charged – with terrorist offences.
These offences include:
· the provision of financial or other related services for the commission of terrorists acts;
· the use of property for the commission of terrorists acts;
· the provision, collection or making available of property to commit terrorists acts;
· the knowing entrance into arrangements which facilitate the acquisition, retention or control by or on behalf of another person of terrorist property, by concealment, removal out of the jurisdiction, transfer to a nominee, or any other method;
· the solicitation of support for or giving support to terrorist acts or a member of a terrorist group; or hindering, preventing or interfering with the apprehension of such persons;
· the harbouring of persons omitting terrorist acts;
· the provision of training or instruction to terrorist groups and persons committing terrorists acts.
Speaking on the Bill in the House of Assembly this past week, Minister Sears pointed to United Nations Resolution 1373 adopted in September 2001, post the events of 9/11.
This Resolution was adopted under Chapter VII of the United Nations Charter (concerning threats to international peace and security). It reaffirms unequivocal condemnation of the terrorist attacks and expresses determination to prevent all such acts.
Resolution 1373 also established the Counter Terrorism Committee, comprising all members of the UN’s Security Council. The CTC monitors the implementation of Resolution 1373 by all states, and also has responsibility for increasing the capacity of states to fight terrorism.
UN member states are party to the International Convention for the Suppression of the Financing of Terrorism 1999. All member states have committed to preventing and suppressing the financing of terrorism and to criminalising the wilful provision or collection of funds for such acts. Minister Sears pointed out that the terms of the Resolution also require that *“the funds, financial assets and economic resources of those who commit or attempt to commit terrorist acts, or participate in or facilitate the commission of terrorists acts, and of persons and entities acting on behalf of terrorists, should also be frozen.”*
The legislation positions The Bahamas to be in full compliance with the FATF’s Eight Special Recommendations relating to terrorism financing which, when combined with its Forty Recommendations on anti money laundering, set out the basic framework to detect, prevent and suppress the financing of terrorism and terrorist acts.