Barack Ferrazzano Financial Institutions Group Regulatory Section Leader and member of Business Executives for National Security (BENS), John Geiringer, recently hosted a briefing by the FBI's Counterterrorism Division, with guest speakers Steven Hersem, Deputy Assistant Director of the FBI Counterterrorism Division, and Jeff Cannon, Section Chief of the FBI Terrorist Financing Operations Section (TFOS). Mr. Hersem leads the operational branch responsible for devising and maintaining the FBI's overall strategies against our country's most significant terrorism threats. Mr. Cannon leads TFOS's efforts to exploit financial intelligence to identify previously unknown terrorists and their networks so the FBI and the U.S. Intelligence Community can track and dismantle individuals and groups that fund and facilitate terrorism.
Mr. Hersem summarized the terrorism landscape and described the FBI's overall counterterrorism mission. Mr. Cannon followed up by describing how the FBI uses financial intelligence to help prevent terrorism attacks and, following an attack, constructs a financial timeline to illuminate unknown evidence relevant to the planning, preparation, and execution of the attack. They stressed the importance of financial institutions' Suspicious Activity Reports (SARs) to the FBI's counterterrorism mission, and encouraged all private sector partners to engage the FBI to find ways in which their industries can assist the FBI's many investigative missions. They said the best tool private sector partners can use to assist the FBI in its efforts is their "Know Your Customer" procedures.
As Barack Ferrazzano attorneys continue to review and study threat financing and other evolving dangers to the business community, we will continue our relationship with organizations like BENS to combat the risk posed to our clients from these threats.