While Al Qaeda remains the preeminent terrorist threat to the U.S., a House Subcommittee heard opening statements from the witnesses about countries that provide support for acts of international terrorism. With many votes on the House floor, the committee decided to hear only opening statements and then adjourned the hearing until a later date.
According to the State Department, al Qaeda has been able to sustain its organization through several methods including trade-based money laundering and the exploitation of gold and diamonds. In response, U.S. security agencies have established international monitoring programs and strict sanctions.
Witnesses included John Cassara, a former federal government intelligence officer, Dennis Lormel, FBI chief of terrorist financing operations and Sue Eckert, a senior fellow at the Watson Institute specializing in international security issues.