Money Transfers Could Face Anti-Terrorism Scrutiny
Ellen Nakashima writes in The Washington Post:
The Obama administration wants to require U.S. banks to report all electronic money transfers into and out of the country, a dramatic expansion in efforts to counter terrorist financing and money laundering.
Officials say the information would help them spot the sort of transfers that helped finance the al-Qaeda hijackers who carried out the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks. They say the expanded financial data would allow anti-terrorist agencies to better understand normal money-flow patterns so they can spot abnormal activity.
Financial institutions are now required to report to the Treasury Department transactions in excess of $10,000 and others they deem suspicious. The new rule would require banks to disclose even the smallest transfers.
Treasury officials plan to post the proposed regulation on their Web site Monday and in the Federal Register this week. The public could comment before a final rule is published and the plan takes effect, which officials say will probably not be until 2012.