Sinema Introduces Bill to Cut Off Weapons Financing to Rogue States, Terrorist Organizations

Bipartisan bill pushes government to improve strategies to stop dangerous and illegal transactions that finance weapons of mass destruction

To improve America’s response to the threat of weapons proliferation, Congresswoman Kyrsten Sinema (AZ-09) introduced new bipartisan legislation today aimed at enhancing the federal government’s ability to stop the financing of rogue states, transnational criminal organizations, and terrorist groups. The bill helps financial institutions, the intelligence community, and law enforcement to identify and stop transactions linked to weapons proliferation.

“To keep Arizona families safe, our national security strategy must continually adapt to evolving and emerging threats,” said Congresswoman Sinema. “That requires tough, smart approaches that hit criminals, terrorists, and rogue regimes like North Korea and Iran where it hurts: the pocketbook. We worked across the aisle on this bill that encourages new strategies that make it harder for America’s enemies to get their hands on the world’s most dangerous weapons.”

When banks encounter suspicious activity associated with weapons proliferation, they file reports with the Treasury Department’s Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN). While these Suspicious Activity Reports (SARs) have been utilized in individual criminal and civil prosecutions, FinCEN could do more to analyze suspicious patterns of activity, better understand how terrorist organizations and rogue states finance weapons of mass destruction, and provide key insights to financial institutions.

Sinema introduced the Improving Strategies to Counter Weapons Proliferation Act with Republican Scott Tipton (CO-03). The legislation would require FinCEN to help financial institutions counter weapons proliferation by collaborating with law enforcement and the intelligence community to better evaluate how it uses SARs.