Financial Integrity & Inclusion

Financial transparency, accountability, and economic empowerment are critical tools in the fight against violent extremism.

Corruption and illicit finance magnify inequality, which fuels recruitment efforts by violent extremists. Frustration with their economic situation is reported to be a key factor for more than half of those who voluntarily joined terrorist organizations in Africa. At the same time, measures to combat the financing of terrorism have also restricted the operating space for civil society organizations and impeded the delivery of humanitarian aid. The Global Center works with financial institutions and businesses to build transparent and accountable systems that curb terrorism financing.

We believe that strong institutions comprise the first line of defense against illicit financial activity. Advancing accountable and transparent financial systems and sound policies helps to address the conditions that drive violent extremism while avoiding negative consequences and supporting economic empowerment for communities.

Our Work

In supporting efforts around anti–money laundering and countering the financing of terrorism, the Global Center brings a unique perspective that considers the root causes of violent extremism and ensures that financial institutions and policies allow for economic empowerment, particularly of marginalized communities.

  • We examine the gaps in current approaches to terrorism financing and financial investigations, working with police and prosecutors to increase the appropriate use of financial intelligence to understand and map networks of terrorist groups and associates.
  • We analyze and advocate for solutions to harmful consequences of policies combating illicit and terrorism financing, including de-risking and financial exclusion, human rights abuses, restrictions on nonprofit and charitable activities, and challenges in the delivery of humanitarian aid.
  • We integrate economic empowerment and financial inclusion in our programming, equipping youth with tools and skills to expand their employment options and advocating for job placement as part of the rehabilitation and reintegration process for violent extremist offenders and returning foreign fighters.


Our Partners

The Global Center partners with national, regional, and international practitioners to provide strategic guidance on how to interpret and implement financial transparency and accountability standards within their jurisdictions.

  • We engage financial intelligence units from 43 countries across the Middle East, East Africa, Southeast Asia, and Europe.
  • We support police and prosecutors through trainings on financial investigations to identify, trace, and disrupt illicit and terrorism financing.
  • We collaborate with private sector entities such as banks, lawyers, accountants, tax advisors, real estate agents, casinos, and mobile money providers to ensure the integrity of global financial systems.
  • We work with international standard setters such as the Financial Action Task Force and its regional bodies, as well as the Egmont Group of Financial Intelligence Units, World Bank, and International Monetary Fund, to ensure that policies support the advancement of anti–money laundering and countering the financing of terrorism objectives while upholding human rights standards.

Mercy Buku, Kenyan Certified Anti-Money Laundering Specialist and Global Center Senior Fellow

“If not properly calibrated, efforts to combat terrorism financing can result in reduced access to financial services and restrictions on civic space, which in turn can contribute to radicalization to violent extremism. I am proud to work with the Global Center to ensure that issues of economic empowerment and financial inclusion are addressed across programs and policies.”

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