The Bush administration has not developed a plan to help two dozen countries with cells of Islamic radicals counter schemes for financing terrorism, according to a Government Accountability Office report.
The Treasury and State departments are fighting over which agency is in charge of coordinating training and technical assistance for those countries, said the report by the GAO, which conducts studies for Congress. It also said the Bush administration does not have any reliable method for measuring the success of its efforts.
Terrorist organizations use social and religious groups to raise money for their activities, such as attracting, training and equipping new recruits, according to the State Department. Since the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks, the United States and the United Nations have tried to cut off the terrorists' pipeline of money.
"We have dried up millions and millions of dollars in potential terrorist financing," State Department spokesman Sean McCormack told reporters yesterday. "Of course we're going to take a look at how we might do better."
In a separate report, the GAO said the Department of Homeland Security has not developed procedures instructing air marshals on what to do when they encounter problems aboard aircraft. The Federal Air Marshal Service last month instituted a program to make it easier for marshals to report criminal and noncriminal incidents, he said.