Terrorism funding: "If we tackle the logistics, we fix the issue" 

 
 

To combat terrorism financing, MEPs are zeroing in on money laundering and organised crime. Discover the concrete measures proposed by Javier Nart in our interview.

Javier Nart 

ALDE member, Javier Nart wants to make it easier for law enforcement agencies across the EU to share intelligence on financing. MEPs approved his report on Thursday, 1 March.

 

The Spanish MEP explains his proposals in our interview.

 

What is the main focus of the report?

 

Any criminal activity is based on logistics, so if we tackle the logistics, we fix the problem. I am proposing the means to fight against the logistical support of criminal jihadism.

 

The first approach is to prevent crime and protect all communities. The main communities under attack are the Muslim communities: the number of Muslims dying of terrorism is 200 times higher than that of non-Muslim casualties.

What concrete measures are you proposing?

 

Firstly, improving intelligence by creating a platform, where the intelligence services can interact regularly and share information voluntarily. In addition, creating a database where intelligence services can share information, also on a voluntary base.

 

Secondly, it is important to investigate financial transactions, while fully respecting privacy. We need to take the balance between freedom and security into account. Therefore, what we will try is to give the means for investigating suspicious transfers from suspected people or institutions.

How would these measures work exactly?

 

Regarding traditional means, such as hawala [a traditional way of transferring money used in Arab and South Asian countries] it would mean having a book that states who is giving you the money and where the money is transferred to.

 

In addition to money transfers, we have to look into the trafficking of gold, gems and artwork, because there are also means for getting money for terrorism through assets. Today we have different laws in all member states for dealing with gold and precious stones so we have to harmonise. We cannot react to terrorism from one member state’s point of view when we are dealing with supranational criminal action. We have to have a holistic approach, coordination and harmonised action against the financing of terrorism.