skip to main content
OSTI.GOV title logo U.S. Department of Energy
Office of Scientific and Technical Information

Title: Forensic Analysis of Terrorist Counter-Financing to Combat Nuclear Proliferation

; ;
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Brookhaven National Laboratory (BNL), Upton, NY (United States)
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA), Office of Defense Nuclear Nonproliferation (NA-20)
OSTI Identifier:
Report Number(s):
DOE Contract Number:
Resource Type:
Resource Relation:
Conference: INMM Meeting; Atlanta, GA; 20160724 through 20160728
Country of Publication:
United States

Citation Formats

Drame B., Toler, L., and Pepper, S. Forensic Analysis of Terrorist Counter-Financing to Combat Nuclear Proliferation. United States: N. p., 2016. Web.
Drame B., Toler, L., & Pepper, S. Forensic Analysis of Terrorist Counter-Financing to Combat Nuclear Proliferation. United States.
Drame B., Toler, L., and Pepper, S. Sun . "Forensic Analysis of Terrorist Counter-Financing to Combat Nuclear Proliferation". United States. doi:.
title = {Forensic Analysis of Terrorist Counter-Financing to Combat Nuclear Proliferation},
author = {Drame B. and Toler, L. and Pepper, S.},
abstractNote = {},
doi = {},
journal = {},
number = ,
volume = ,
place = {United States},
year = {Sun Jul 24 00:00:00 EDT 2016},
month = {Sun Jul 24 00:00:00 EDT 2016}

Other availability
Please see Document Availability for additional information on obtaining the full-text document. Library patrons may search WorldCat to identify libraries that hold this conference proceeding.

Save / Share:
  • The single greatest threat to U.S. homeland security remains the proliferation of nuclear weapons, especially among terrorists and other non-state actors who are not governed by the Non-Proliferation Treaty. One of the most important tools for combating terrorism among such rogue actors is counter-financing. Without funding, terrorists cannot acquire, maintain, or deploy nuclear weapons. According to the official report of the 9/11 Commission, counter-financing could have prevented the attacks of September 11, 2001. Unfortunately, no single country can defeat global terrorism. Successful counter-financing requires significant international cooperation. Since 2001, the United States and the European Union, despite vastly different approachesmore » to intelligence gathering, have shared information through the Terrorist Finance Tracking Program (TFTP). That shared information allows authorities to trace suspicious transactions, identify culprits, and map out global terrorist networks. The TFTP successfully thwarted a 2011 plot to assassinate the Saudi Arabian Ambassador to the U.S. and multiple threats during the 2012 Summer Olympics in London; it also aided in the investigation of the 2013 Boston Marathon bombing. That program is necessary but not sufficient. To strengthen our ability to detect and disrupt terrorist plotting and prevent nuclear proliferation, we must expand and coordinate two additional transnational measures: (1) the Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunications (SWIFT), a standardized global messaging network for financial institutions to quickly, accurately, and securely send and receive money transfer instructions, and (2) International Bank Account Numbers (IBAN) to identify individual accounts involved in international transactions. Both initiatives were incompletely adopted in the wake of 9/11, but most global banks use one or neither. More fully implementing and coordinating these two systems would allow for coherent information sharing, an essential tool for combating money laundering and terrorist financing, verifying sanctions against rogue nations and non-state actors, tracking nuclear proliferation networks, and protecting dual-use materials. These steps can save lives without interfering with state sovereignty or individual rights. The specter of nuclear threat is real and constant. This paper will provide forensic analysis of the most effective financial tools and policies to combat that threat, placing special emphasis on multinational and public-private cooperation.« less
  • As the world moves into the 21st century, the possibility of greater reliance on nuclear energy will impose additional technical requirements to prevent proliferation. In addition to proliferation resistant reactors, a careful examination of the various possible fuel cycles from cradle to grave will provide additional technical and nonproliferation challenges in the areas of conversion, enrichment, transportation, recycling and waste disposal. Radiation detection technology and information management have a prominent role in any future global regime for nonproliferation. As nuclear energy and hence nuclear materials become an increasingly global phenomenon, using local technologies and capabilities facilitate incorporation of enhanced monitoringmore » and detection on the regional level. Radiation detection technologies are an important tool in the prevention of proliferation and countering radiological/nuclear terrorism. A variety of new developments have enabled enhanced performance in terms of energy resolution, spatial resolution, passive detection, predictive modeling and simulation, active interrogation, and ease of operation and deployment in the field. For example, various gamma ray imaging approaches are being explored to combine spatial resolution with background suppression in order to enhance sensitivity many-fold at reasonable standoff distances and acquisition times. New materials and approaches are being developed in order to provide adequate energy resolution in field use without the necessity for liquid nitrogen. Different detection algorithms enable fissile materials to be distinguished from other radioisotopes.« less
  • Abstract not provided.
  • The ability to estimate the likelihood of future events based on current and historical data is essential to the decision making process of many government agencies. Successful predictions related to terror events and characterizing the risks will support development of options for countering these events. The predictive tasks involve both technical and social component models. The social components have presented a particularly difficult challenge. This paper outlines some technical considerations of this modeling activity. Both data and predictions associated with the technical and social models will likely be known with differing certainties or accuracies – a critical challenge is linkingmore » across these model domains while respecting this fundamental difference in certainty level. This paper will describe the technical approach being taken to develop the social model and identification of the significant interfaces between the technical and social modeling in the context of analysis of diversion of nuclear material.« less