U.S. SENATE — U.S. Senator Steve Daines today introduced the “Taylor Force Martyr Payment Prevention Act” which would strengthen U.S. anti-terrorism financial regulations and deter foreign banks from making payments to the Palestinian Authority (PA) for its “pay-to-slay” program, which pays terrorists for carrying out acts of terrorism.
“Israel is our strongest ally in the Middle East—we must stand with them in their fight against terrorism,” Daines said. “To this day, terrorists of Hamas are not only being idolized for suicide bombings, but they’re being paid significant sums of money to commit horrendous acts of terrorism. It’s time to close these loopholes and ensure that not another penny goes to terrorists committing these horrendous acts.”
Senator Daines joined Stuart Force, father of U.S. Army Veteran Taylor Force who was killed in Tel Aviv by a member of Hamas, today to announce the introduction of the “Taylor Force Martyr Payment Prevention Act.”
To hear the Senator’s full remarks, click HERE.
In March 2016, a member of the Palestinian terrorist organization Hamas murdered U.S. Army veteran Taylor Force in Tel Aviv, Israel. The terrorist that stabbed Taylor also severely wounded ten others before being killed by Israeli police. Soon thereafter, the terrorist’s family started receiving “martyr payments” from the Palestinian Authority (PA) as a reward for his actions.
Martyr payments are financial “pay to slay” contributions by the PA to injured or imprisoned terrorists, and the family members of deceased terrorists who attacked Israel. These inducements significantly incentivize acts of terrorism and are often directly proportional in size to the number of those injured or killed during the attack.
Recent reporting reveals that foreign banks, in the PA and elsewhere in the Middle East, continue to knowingly process these martyr payments, sometimes in U.S. dollar-denominated transactions. These banks flout U.S. anti-terrorism financial regulations but escape sanctions by avoiding an official U.S. presence while maintaining correspondent accounts in the United States. This untenable status quo offers a lifeline to the PA “pay to slay” program.
The Taylor Force Martyr Payment Prevention Act is intended to end this lifeline and deter foreign banks from making martyr payments by putting at risk their access to correspondent accounts with banks the United States.
Daines was a cosponsor of this bill in 2017.
Contact: Katherine McKeogh, Katie Schoettler