Financing of terrorism in South-East Europe, the focus of regional workshop

National law enforcement and financial intelligence experts from South-East Europe countries participate in a regional workshop on countering the financing of terrorism, in Belgrade, Serbia, from 29 to 30 June 2011. 

The two-day event is organized by the Counter-Terrorism Committee Executive Directorate (CTED), the Southeast European Cooperative Initiative Center on combating trans-border crime (SECI Center) and the Regional Cooperation Council (RCC), in cooperation with the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC). The Government of Serbia hosts the event.

The workshop focuses on the financing of terrorism and its link to organized crime. Terrorist and criminal organizations share some interests and provide services to each other, ranging from drugs-for-weapons exchanges to criminal expertise. Criminal activities that could fund terrorist acts include arms and drug trafficking, money-laundering, and the smuggling of weapons. The international community is also concerned about the possible abuse of the non-profit sector for the purpose of terrorism financing.

Participants explore these issues and map typologies and trends in the South-East Europe region. They discuss the systems and methods their Governments use to detect cases of terrorism financing, uncover links between terrorist and criminal organizations, and prevent the movement of cash aimed at funding terrorist acts. They also share good practices and challenges in carrying out investigations and coordinating inter-agency efforts to counter the financing of terrorism. 

Denying financial support for terrorist groups is one of the key provisions of resolution 1373, adopted by the United Nations Security Council in 2001. The resolution requires all Member States to implement a number of measures to counter terrorist activities, such as criminalizing the financing of terrorism and freezing funds related to persons involved in acts of terrorism. 

The Security Council created CTED in 2004 to assist its Counter-Terrorism Committee in monitoring the implementation of resolution 1373 and provide guidance to Member States. The workshop in Belgrade is the second regional event CTED, SECI Center and  RCC organize with UNODC in South-East Europe. The previous workshop was held in Sarajevo in October 2010.SECI Center organizes this type of workshops and meetings within the frameworks of the Anti-Terrorism Task Force, coordinated by the Turkish National Police since 2003.