The Gulf countries have taken significant national, regional, and international steps to stem the flow of funds to terrorist groups over the past decade. Various measures have been instituted to better regulate and secure the formal banking sector, alternative remittance systems like hawalas, and charitable organizations in the Gulf. The tragic January 2015 terrorist attacks in Paris against the satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo and a kosher supermarket, perpetrated by disciples of Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) and the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) have galvanized the world's attention and demand to combat terrorism and the financial networks that fund and support these acts. In the fight against AQAP and ISIL, Gulf states will play a critical role on the military, ideological, and financial fronts of the campaign to degrade and destroy these groups. While the Gulf countries have made substantial strides in protecting their financial systems, risks and vulnerabilities to terrorist financing such as private donors remain.
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