On Wednesday, January 31, the Qatar-America Institute hosted a female-led panel on counter terrorism finance and anti-money laundering trends and strategies in Qatar and internationally. The panel was comprised of Foreign Policy Research Institute Senior Fellow and Blood Profits author Vanessa Neumann, and Director of Research and Studies at the Rule of Law and Anti-Corruption Center in Doha and Qatar University Professor, Dr. Reem Al Ansari. The panel was moderated by Aziza Mohammed from the World Bank. The event focused on state and non-state organizations involved in countering illicit trading, how the rise of the Internet has enabled an explosion in crime, and the state of international organizations working to disrupt illicit networks.
Dr. Vanessa Neumann spoke extensively about the surprising links between criminal groups, terrorist organizations, and corrupt governments. She spoke about how her work in revealing corruption and criminal networks connected with her original academic interest in political philosophy and the ethical obligations governments have to serve the interests of their people. Dr. Reem Al Ansari gave a historic overview of Qatar’s work to prevent illicit financing within the country, including the Law Number 4 of 2010, agreements with the Gulf Cooperation Council and the United States, and the role of the Qatar Central Bank and Financial Action Task Force on Money Laundering.
Later in the question and answer segment, the speakers covered topics from the role of whistleblowers in counter illicit finance to modern illicit finance issues like cryptocurrencies and online theft.