Documents: EU moving towards new terrorism laws; Europol on organised crime and terrorism
The Council of the EU is preparing to sign a new protocol to the Council of Europe Convention on the Prevention of Terrorism that requires states "to outlaw various actions including intentionally taking part in terrorist groups, receiving terrorism training or travelling abroad for the purpose of terrorism. It also provides for a round-the-clock network of national contact points to rapidly exchange information."
See: Presidency, 'Proposal for a Council Decision on the signing, on behalf of the European Union, of the Council of Europe Convention on the Prevention of Terrorism (CETS No. 196) - Revised text', 10640/2/15 REV 2, 20 July 2015 (pdf)
There has been significant criticism of the new protocol. Background:
- 'Council of Europe (CoE): European ministers adopt new legal standards for tackling foreign terrorist fighters', Statewatch News Online, May 2015
- 'CoE: The Council of Europe is negotiating additions to the Convention on the Prevention of Terrorism, in the form of a protocol dealing with the "foreign fighters" phenomenon', Statewatch News Online, April 2015
- 'Key European terrorism legislation may be revised', Statewatch News Online, December 2014
Meanwhile, Europol has produced a brief report on 'The nexus between organised crime and terrorism in the EU' (July 2015, pdf):
"The nexus between organised crime and terrorism in the EU remains a limited phenomenon. Individuals that are linked to terrorism and organised crime are involved in religiously- inspired terrorism, a minority is involved in separatist terrorism. Notwithstanding this fact a number of isolated cases have emerged of apparent connections between organised crime and terrorism in specific circumstances.
"A significant number of persons involved in both organised crime and terrorism are foreign fighters.
"The identified links have revealed possible avenues of funding for terrorist groups. A number of potential terrorists [emphasis added] are suspected of money laundering and organised property crimes.
"Several locations provide opportunities for members of terrorist groups and members of organised crime groups to meet and form alliances, these include: prison communities, diaspora communities and online communities.
"The core motivations of organised crime and terrorism remain largely divergent.
"There is no clear evidence that terrorist groups consistently rely on, or cooperate with, organised crime groups for their illicit activities."
The report is based on a March 2015 analysis of Europol's database that "revealed nearly 200 persons involved in both organised crime and terrorist activities. This represents a small but still important figure."
In 2012 a study carried out for the European Parliament argued that there are "certain linkages between OC [organised crime] and terrorism in the EU. Trends suggest that these linkages will continue to develop... the effective fight against OC and terrorism depends on an integrated approach that involves all stakeholders at both national and E.U. levels."
See: 'European Parliament study: Europes Crime-Terror Nexus', Statewatch News Online, November 2012
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