Analysis & Commentary


23rd February 2018 - FDD's Center on Sanctions and Illicit Finance Policy Brief

To Evade U.S. Sanctions, Venezuela Launches the World’s First National Cryptocurrency

Yaya J. Fanusie

This week, the Venezuelan government started selling the “petro,” the world’s first “national cryptocurrency.” The petro’s release is part of the Maduro regime’s strategy to combat the “financial blockade” of U.S. sanctions, yet the petro is likely to find itself just as...

12th January 2018 - FDD’s Center on Sanctions and Illicit Finance Research Memo

Bitcoin Laundering: An Analysis of Illicit Flows into Digital Currency Services

Yaya J. Fanusie

Bitcoin gambling sites, “mixers” and European Bitcoin exchange may be the destinations of choice for criminals looking to launder bitcoins, according to a study issued today by the Foundation for Defense of Democracies’ (FDD) Center on Sanctions and Illicit Finance (CSIF) and...

18th December 2017 - FDD Policy Brief

House Bill Elevates Civilian Cybersecurity Agency

Annie Fixler , Trevor Logan

The House passed the Cybersecurity Infrastructure Security Agency Act last week in order to establish a primary agency responsible for leading the coordination of cyber security information-sharing efforts between federal, non-federal, and private sector stakeholders.

15th December 2017 - Quoted by Alexandra Ma - Business Insider

A New York woman accused of sending bitcoin to ISIS could spend 90 years in prison

Yaya J. Fanusie

A New York woman charged with sending money to the terrorist group ISIS in the form of bitcoin faces as much as 90 years in prison.

14th December 2017 - Quoted by Mark Niquette - Bloomberg

As Bitcoin Soars, Advocates Seek to Head Off New Restrictions

Yaya J. Fanusie

Bitcoin enthusiasts struck it rich this year as the cryptocurrency surged. Now they’re preparing for battle in Washington to protect their industry’s ascent.

6th December 2017 - Quoted by Kyra Gurney - The Miami Herald

In Washington, Venezuela’s plan to create a ‘Bitcoin’ seen as a sign of desperation

Yaya J. Fanusie

Venezuela’s announcement that it plans to launch a national crypto-currency to evade U.S. sanctions has been met with skepticism in Washington, where lawmakers see the proposal as a sign of the regime’s increasing desperation.

6th December 2017 - Quoted by Javier E. David - CNBC

Al Qaeda’s arm in N. Africa has made around $100 million through ransom and drug trading, study says

Yaya J. Fanusie, Alex Entz

An affiliate of al-Qaeda that has executed several attacks across Africa — and is considered the organization's wealthiest branch — is sitting on millions of dollars in ill-gotten gains that help fund its deadly activities across the region, a new report said.

4th December 2017 - Quoted by Ian Talley - The Wall Street Journal

U.S. Accuses Chinese Banks, but Treads Lightly

The Trump administration is locked in a diplomatic quandary as it tries to pressure North Korea: How to sanction Pyongyang’s top ally and patron—China—without alienating an economic powerhouse that is arguably the best hope to slow its rogue nuclear-weapons program.

1st December 2017 - Quoted by Dwayne Harmon - Newburgh Gazette

‘Major sanctions’ coming against North Korea

Trump didn't specify what country would impose additional sanctions. "Perhaps more restrictions can be placed on [North Korean] laborers [working in China] or they can be banned completely", he said. Newburgh Gazette...

1st December 2017 - FDD Policy Brief

U.S. Calls for Oil Ban and Complete Diplomatic Isolation of North Korea

Mathew Ha

The United Nations Security Council held an emergency meeting Wednesday following North Korea’s third intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM), the thirteenth meeting of the Security Council this year. U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley called for the body to isolate...

30th November 2017 - Quoted by Nirmal Ghosh - Straits Times

As time runs out, analysts doubt harsher sanctions can stop Pyongyang

The United States has responded to North Korea's third test of an intercontinental ballistic missile, its most powerful yet, with a call for all nations to cut off diplomatic and trade ties with Pyongyang.

30th November 2017 - Quoted by Daniel Shane - CNN Money

North Korea’s economy: What’s left for Trump to sanction?

President Trump says he's getting ready to turn up the heat on North Korea again. But after a heavy clampdown on Kim Jong Un's regime this year, what options are left?

29th November 2017 - Fox News

It’s time to ramp up the pressure on North Korea and China after latest missile test

North Korea’s third successful launch of an intercontinental ballistic missile Wednesday should prompt President Trump to quicken the pace of his policy of putting “maximum pressure” on the North to give up its nuclear weapons.

28th November 2017 - Citado por Ultima Hora

Impuesto al tabaco: “Están defendiendo los negocios de Cartes”

Emanuele Ottolenghi

La senadora por el Frente Guasu Esperanza Martínez lamentó la ausencia de sus colegas oficialistas para dictaminar el proyecto que pretende aumentar el impuesto al tabaco. Dijo que están defendiendo los negocios del presidente Horacio Cartes.

24th November 2017 - Quoted by Oren Dorell - USA Today

North Korean economy keeps humming despite ever-tighter sanctions

Despite years of ever-tighter international sanctions, North Korea's economy has proven resilient and seems to have fended off the suffering President Trump has sought to halt the country's nuclear program.

22nd November 2017 - Quoted by Hamish Macdonald - NK News

North Korea responds to state sponsor of terrorism listing

Ministry of Foreign Affairs calls SSOT listing a "provocation," vows to hold onto nuclear weapons.

22nd November 2017 - FDD's Center on Sanctions and Illicit Finance Policy Brief

Congress Supports Financial Transparency for Iranian Transactions

Annie Fixler , Tyler Stapleton

The House Financial Services Committee approved last week the Strengthening Oversight of Iran’s Access to Finance Act, which codifies in law a set of conditions that the U.S. Treasury must use to evaluate licenses for the sale of commercial aircraft to Iran.

22nd November 2017 - Quoted by Donna Borak - CNN Money

Trump administration slaps more sanctions on North Korea

The Trump administration intensified pressure on North Korean leader Kim Jong Un to disband his nuclear weapons program by imposing another round of sanctions -- this time, on one Chinese businessman and several North Korean shipping and trading companies and vessels.

21st November 2017 - Quoted by Iran Focus

US Exposes Iranian Counterfeit Ring

Behnam Ben Taleblu

American officials have exposed a “large-scale” counterfeiting ring, orchestrated by the Iranian Regime, which was sophisticated enough to fool European regulators, on Monday, November 20.

21st November 2017 - Quoted by Jesse Johnson - The Japan Times

U.S. relisting of North Korea as state sponsor of terror seen as symbolic step with limited impact

The decision by the United States to relist North Korea’s “murderous regime” as a state sponsor of terrorism hands Washington and Tokyo a symbolic victory, but will do little to solve the nuclear crisis roiling the Korean Peninsula, experts say.

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