EU calls for global cooperation to combat terror financing

October 02, 2023
EU Commissioner for Interior Affairs Ylva Johansson.
EU Commissioner for Interior Affairs Ylva Johansson.

BRUSSELS — EU Commissioner for Interior Affairs Ylva Johansson on Monday said combating terrorist finance is a global struggle.

“That’s why we need to work with partners across the globe. We also need to train people outside Europe, in Africa for example.

“And need to learn how to work with all parties involved. Including intelligence services, Europol and Interpol,” she said in her opening speech at the first annual conference on countering the financing of terrorism held in Brussels.

Further, she warned of the growing terrorism threats from right wing extremist groups.

“Far right terrorism is a growing danger, also in Europe. Last year German authorities even stopped a far right coup attempt,” said Johansson.

She noted, “Far right violent extremists raise funds in broad daylight. Holding rock concerts, selling merchandising, through real estate.”

The EU Commissioner stressed, “it’s often difficult to determine where far right extremism ends and terrorism begins. That’s one of our challenge here.”

Johansson said all terrorists increasingly using crypto currencies and also hide behind fake charities and counterfeit causes.

Terrorist groups also exploit generosity and compassion after great disasters, like the devastating earthquake in Turkiye early this year, she argued.

“And investigations are ongoing. Against a network suspected of using seven Islamic charities to raise funds. Against a person who listed terrorist transactions as donations for educational purposes,” she said.

“Daesh was not only destroying ancient artefacts. But also stealing them and selling them online. And terrorists use the most modern methods to raise funds.

The Al-Qassam brigades and Al Qaeda used online crowdfunding to buy weapons,” said the EU official.

She said that terrorist groups are abusing the use of crypto currency, noting that The Christchurch Mosque shooter, who killed 51 people, made donations in bitcoin.

A French sympathizer paid $500,000 in bitcoin to activists who took part in the Jan. 6 riots in Washington.

“Crypto is anonymous. Global. Knowns no borders. No central authority,” she argued.

“So I am very happy that so many cryptocurrency companies are here today.

“In fact, almost all leading cryptocurrency companies are here today. Willing to share knowledge and counter the threat of terror,” she concluded. — Kuna

October 02, 2023
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