Bush to request more antiterror funding

President Bush will ask for a 12.7 percent increase in his fiscal 2005 budget request for the Treasury Department's Financial Crimes Enforcement Network.

FinCEN programs make it more difficult and costly for terrorists and other criminals to raise and move funds.

"FinCEN is on the front lines every day, tracking down those who attempt to use the U.S. and global financial systems to plot, fund and perpetrate terrorism around the world," Treasury secretary John Snow said in a statement today.

With the budget increase, FinCEN can continue acquiring and upgrading the technology used against terrorism and financial crimes, Snow said.

FinCEN will at least double its Gateway program, increasing capacity from the current 1,100 users to more than 2,000 (Click for Dec. 26, 2003 GCN story).Gateway lets law enforcement officials directly access information related about suspected money-laundering activities.

The budget increase also will support BSA Direct, a state-of-the-art data retrieval system with advanced analytical tools and data mining capability. BSA Direct, now under development, will give financial investigators a Web-based tool for Bank Secrecy Act investigations.

Treasury plans to increase the number of analysts to strengthen FinCEN's ability to provide analytical services to law enforcement and the financial community, such as trend and pattern information, and investigative case support.

The president also seeks a 3.6 percent increase for Treasury's Office of Foreign Assets Control, which identifies and blocks the assets of terrorists and their sponsors.

About the Author

Mary Mosquera is a reporter for Federal Computer Week.

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