EAG/CIS ATC/Interpol joint workshop in Almaty, Kazakhstan on 2-4 October 2018

Published At Oct 8, 2018

The EAG/CIS ATC/Interpol joint workshop on strengthening cooperation between financial intelligence units and law enforcement agencies in combating terrorist financing was held in Almaty, Kazakhstan on 2-4 October 2018.

The event consisted of two-day training sessions and a joint workshop for representatives of EAG/CIS financial intelligence units and law enforcement agencies

Participants in the Analytical Methods of Open-Source Data Collection (Internet Intelligence) section learned about the methods of collecting, processing and using data from public sources for investigative purposes, as well as solutions for maximizing the Internet's potential. Particular attention was paid to complex approaches to data monitoring and the rules for using analytical technology and Internet intelligence to solve real-world search tasks. After the training, participants worked on the skills required to put their newly acquired knowledge to practice.

The second section was devoted to the use of Interpol tools and services (databases) to identify, suppress and investigate terrorist financing. Participants learned about the structure of Interpol's databases, including automated information tracking and search systems; discussed the mechanism for entering personal data into the General Secretariat's database, including the contents of a request and the procedure for verifying information about terrorist offences of international concern; and studied the three modes of cooperation between domestic law enforcement agencies, the General Secretariat and foreign law enforcement agencies of Interpol member states in combating terrorism.

The final day of the workshop, attended by representatives of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), the Interstate Aviation Committee (IAC), the UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), Interpol and Europol, was devoted to the discussion of the methods used in different regions to identify individuals involved in terrorist financing, including through the purchase of airline tickets. Participants reviewed the indicators of transactions required for parallel financial and criminal investigations against terrorist associates; discussed the relevance and appropriateness of using financial intelligence to identify returnees and displaced persons; and studied the findings of CIS prosecution authorities' analysis of criminal cases, with a focus on the difficulties encountered in the investigation of and support for public prosecution of criminal cases related to terrorist financing.

According to the workshop participants, terrorism and extremism continue to pose a major threat to the EAG region and the CIS. In particular:

  • along with the fighters returning to the EAG and CIS countries from the conflict zones ("returnees"), terrorists are exporting a new type of  terrorist/extremist activity known as "individual jihad";
  • the relocation of members of international terrorist organizations from Syria and Iraq to new conflict zones;
  • a trend towards the creation of "sleeping cells" from among the "returnees" and radicals who had been unable to leave their countries to take part in hostilities on the side of terrorists;
  • an increase in terrorist recruitment among the local population;
  • the existing shortcomings and vulnerabilities in exercising control over the purchase of air tickets for terrorists and their accomplices by third persons.

In this regard, it is necessary not only to step up efforts to prevent terrorist attacks, including through their early detection, but also to use new techniques and methods for collecting and recording information on terrorist financing.

The workshop participants, acting in the interests of national security and based on their understanding of the importance of further actions to improve the effectiveness of cooperation between financial intelligence units and law enforcement in investigating TF crimes, have proposed the following:

  • to continue to promote the development of legal cooperation between the EAG and CIS countries in combating the financing of terrorism (CFT) by organizing TF training courses/workshops;
  • to use the resources of the EAG and CIS  financial intelligence units in special operations undertaken by the competent authorities to trace individuals who committed terrorist crimes;
  • to continue the development of modern methods for detecting terrorist/extremist financing channels, gathering evidence in support of terrorist financing investigations, and blocking and freezing the assets of persons involved in terrorist activities, with the subsequent confiscation of funds intended for terrorists;
  • in cooperation with financial intelligence agencies and law enforcement, concerned international organizations and the relevant airlines, agents and major online ticket sales aggregations, to continue to work to eliminate the identified vulnerabilities in the system for the purchase of air tickets for third persons;
  • to develop a procedure for a consistent comparison of the lists of persons purchasing air tickets and those using them to travel in order to more effectively and expeditiously investigate cases related to the financing of terrorism.

The workshop ended with the adoption of an outcome document.