Treasury restrictions on State handouts to the wives of terrorist suspects are illegal, European judges ruled today.
The decision may force the Government to change anti-terrorism rules following a legal case brought by three women whose husbands appear on a list of people said to have links with al Qaida, the Taliban and Osama bin Laden.
People on the list, drawn up by a UN sanctions committee, have their funds and other assets frozen, in a bid to cut off terrorist funding.
The EU enforces the measure via rules stating that no funds ‘shall be made available, directly or indirectly, to, or for the benefit of’ people named on the list, unless authorised to cover ‘basic expenses’.
But the spouses of three suspects on the list went to court to challenge the Treasury’s decision to impose tough restrictions on access to social security payments worth several hundred pounds a week, including income support, child benefit and housing assistance.
Perhaps, in my haste, I’m misreading things. But I don’t think so.
As the United States under Barack Obama forges ahead in the movement to confront radical Islamic terrorism as a law enforcement operation, it seems as though European nations are going even further, doing away with any measure that would disincentivize involvement with terror groups. I understand that these are terror suspects, but at what point do we draw the line?
Maybe I just have border issues on the brain–when, honestly, I should be thinking about Entertainment Law and Bankruptcy Law in advance of my last two law school exams–but this situation reminds me of the argument made by the left and indeed some on the right in this country when it comes to stemming the tide of illegal immigration in the United States.
See, as I look at it, the way to stop the trend in its track is by means of a three-fold strategy: (1) Build a darn fence, already; (2) Enforce the immigration laws already on the books, and that includes enforcement on both individual and employer levels; and (3) Shut down the magnets which serve as an incentive to cross the border and violate U.S. immigration laws in the first place.
The Daily Mail story relates to the third prong. It reminds me of those here in the States who might support tightening security at the border, but have no problem with policies and programs which provide for sanctuary cities and scholarship programs for children of illegal immigrants and the like. But without that third prong, without shutting down the magnets, we cannot properly disincentivize illegal immigration.
With regard to the frozen assets of terror suspects abroad, I honestly don’t care if their families starve. Let them. Or, at the very least, let them find alternate means for financial survival. At some point, we need to convey a message to radical Muslims that alignment with those who wish to carry out Jihad has actual adverse consequences. Restoring benefits to the families of terror suspects sends the wrong message.