As the world is rocked by yet another attack on a peaceful society, we must continually learn ways to prevent future attacks. Terrorism investigations should examine not only the perpetrators to prosecute them but also to the financial activity leading up to the event, which may lead to other cell members or a wider terrorism network.
Was the truck owned, leased or rented? What about the offenders’ home – is it owned or rented? Examine their bank account details to examine other areas of their expenditure. Who paid for these things? How was it paid for – cash, card, direct debit? Were they receiving funds from sources other than a normal income? What is the financial behaviour of the others in the network? Many more questions arise during this type of intelligence probe.
This level of investigation, while it may not provide evidence for the pending court case, helps build a bigger picture of the network. The if that information is shared with the private sector, so they can learn the ‘indicators’ then more of us can assist in preventing future incidents.
Such is the nature of financial intelligence – it must be a two-way street in order to be effective.