Washington, D.C., April 5, 2011 … The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) recognized the United States Treasury Department for its efforts to shut down international terrorist financing, and honored a former Treasury official who led that effort for more than seven years.
During a presentation at the League's National Leadership Conference in Washington, D.C., both the Treasury Department's Office for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence, and Stuart A. Levey, the Former Under Secretary for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence, received the ADL Leon and Marilyn Klinghoffer Memorial Foundation Award. The award is named for Leon Klinghoffer, a wheelchair bound American tourist murdered while aboard the Achille Lauro cruise ship in 1985, when it was hijacked by Palestinian terrorists.
Lisa and Ilsa Klinghoffer presented the award, named in honor of their father. They spoke of the unwavering commitment and creativity of the Treasury Department in its strategy to impede funding for terrorist organizations and state sponsors of terrorism
"When we first began lobbying for counter-terrorism legislation, we used to say to U.S. officials that 'there ought to be a law' against the funding of terror groups like Hamas and Hezbollah," said Lisa Klinghoffer. "Today, we stand here proudly as citizens of the only country in the world with a Treasury Department unit focused on shutting down the financing of terror. In one of its many successes, thanks to Treasury, Iran is more isolated and its economy is stagnating."
The Treasury Department's Office of Terrorism and Financial Intelligence marshals the department's intelligence and enforcement functions with the twin aims of safeguarding the financial system against illicit use and combating rogue nations, terrorist facilitators, weapons of mass destruction proliferators, money launderers, drug kingpins, and other national security threats. The department has taken a number of important steps toward isolating Iran in the international financial system.
"In many ways, we have the same mission as ADL – fight the bad guys and protect people," Stuart Levey, Former Under Secretary for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence, said in accepting the Klinghoffer award. "There is no more dangerous threat then having the world's leading sponsor of terrorism become armed with nuclear weapons. We have designed a strategy to confront that threat, but Iran's intent has not changed.
"It is a tremendous honor to receive this award from the Klinghoffers, whose family is an inspiration. Every act of terrorism impacts the lives of those affected forever. What is at stake reminds us why we do what we do," Levey said.
Accepting the award on behalf of the Treasury Office for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence, Acting Under Secretary David S. Cohen pledged that "our office will continue with a watchful eye to justify this award we've received today."
With their late mother, Marilyn, Lisa and Ilsa Klinghoffer established the ADL Leon and Marilyn Klinghoffer Memorial Foundation in 1985, to combat terrorism through educational, political and legal means.
"To their lasting credit, Leon's wife Marilyn, and his daughters Lisa and Ilsa were determined to ensure that Leon did not die in vain," said Abraham H. Foxman, ADL National Director. "They established the Klinghoffer Memorial Foundation of ADL and went to work. Through their constant, selfless and tireless efforts, Lisa and Ilsa Klinghoffer have put a personal face on the threat of terrorism."
The ADL Leon and Marilyn Klinghoffer Memorial Foundation Award is an honor bestowed periodically in appreciation of important contributions to the struggle against terrorism. Past recipients of the award include former Deputy Attorney General Jamie Gorelick, on behalf of the Clinton Administration, Senator Orrin Hatch, Senator Charles Schumer, Rep. Henry Hyde, the Joint Terrorism Task Force, former Assistant Secretary of State for Human Rights Richard Schifter, former Assistant Secretary of Defense Peter Williams, and former Secretary of State George Schultz.