PARIS, France – The Head of INTERPOL has outlined before the international community how disrupting the flows of money for terror groups such as Daesh and Al-Qaeda is a key pillar of its global efforts against terrorism.
Speaking in Paris at the ‘No Money for Terror’ ministerial meeting (25 and 26 April), Secretary General Jürgen Stock said INTERPOL’s system of global Notices alerts and its secure police information sharing network I-24/7 were proven tools in alerting and sharing information on terrorists and their activities.
“Alerting law enforcement through INTERPOL Notices and communications channels helps target the movement of suspects, their modus operandi, and their money flows. It strengthens the capacity of law enforcement to disrupt terrorist activity and ultimately to save lives,” said Secretary General Stock.
INTERPOL currently has information on over 43,000 Foreign Terrorist Fighter profiles available for the world's police to consult as part of their counter-terrorism investigations. Its Criminal Analysis File also contains some 300,000 entities, including financial identifiers and phone numbers.
“Such information helps link together the ‘critical information chain’ on global terrorist activity. INTERPOL strongly encourages countries to share more of such information so that it can be made available on the frontlines of policing and close potentially dangerous security gaps,” added the Head of INTERPOL.
In this respect, the inclusion of financial identifiers in INTERPOL alerts and targeting weak points in terrorist money flows via intelligence sharing are amongst INTERPOL’s counter-terrorism objectives.
With Secretary General Stock underlining the need to work ‘holistically’ via legal, operational and technical channels to combat the financing of terrorism, INTERPOL is studying the feasibility of creating dedicated communications systems to support paperless and faster international judicial cooperation around the globe, both before and after the arrest of terror suspects.
The Organization’s Purple Notice also allows its member countries to share expertise on the modus operandi of criminal groups, for instance on the smuggling of narcotics pills such as the Captagon and Tramadol, used by terrorist fighters on the battlefield and to finance their activities.
The Paris ministerial meeting notably recognized the importance of the INTERPOL-United Nations Security Council (UNSC) Special Notice in helping implement UNSC sanctions by alerting law enforcement agencies worldwide that an individual or entity is subject to a measure, such as a travel ban or an asset freeze.
The meeting was held at a time when military losses by Daesh on the ground have shrunk the territory it occupied, weakened its operational capacity, and forced it to diversify its sources of financing to compensate for its loss of revenue in Iraq and Syria from criminal activities.