The Washington Examiner features N.C. congressman Robert Pittenger in a weekend interview about financing of terrorist operations.

Rep. Robert Pittenger, R-N.C., is vice chairman of the House Financial Services Committee’s Task Force on Terrorism Financing, which has been investigating ways of improving U.S. efforts to choke off the flow of money to international terrorist groups.

It’s a huge problem, part of what’s estimated to be a global flow of $600 billion to $1.5 trillion in laundering of illicit funds worldwide, and one that many experts expect will get worse once Iranian banks sanctioned for engaging in the practice are brought back into the international financial system as a result of the July 14 nuclear deal.

During the August congressional recess, Pittenger, along with task force Chairman Michael Fitzpatrick, R-Pa., and Rep. Gregory Meeks, D-N.Y., traveled to Europe and the Middle East to discuss concerns about terrorism financing with U.S. allies in the region.

Washington Examiner: What did you learn from your trip to Europe and the Middle East?

Pittenger: I think what we understand and clearly recognize is the challenges before us in tracking and intercepting the money going into the international financial system. Now we have through [the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network], part of Treasury, enormous, technological and sophisticated software that enables us to work with the financial system and work with our other agencies, like the Border Patrol, to identify these funds and these individuals.

But clearly the monies come oftentimes through the U.S., they want American dollars. Ninety percent of the dollars that come into the U.S. are traced through just four major banking institutions: Bank of America, Wells Fargo, Citi and J.P. Morgan Chase. We have met with them collectively about our concern.