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EU moves to tackle terror financing

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By Euronews
EU moves to tackle terror financing

The EU's Committee on Foreign Affairs has backed moves to cut off sources of terrorism financing.

It comes amid a push to prevent attacks and stem the flow of cash, honing in on money laundering and organised crime.

A European Parliament vote is expected next month.

"What we want is to create means, with the actual bodies and institutions in order to give them facilities to investigate and to follow what could be the channels of financing micro terrorism," explained Spanish MEP Javier Nart, from the Group of the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe.

"There is a major point is to create a platform where intelligent services of Europe will find, and share knowledge and data."

The European Counter Terrorism Centre is already up and running, to strengthen the EU's response.

It uses two arms - a tracking programme and intelligence units - to share intelligence and knowledge on financing.

According to Europol data, up to 40 percent of terror plots are believed to be at least partly funded through crime, including drugs, robberies and fraud.

One expert is raising the alarm over current EU laws relating to the movement of funds.

"The European laws allow the transfer of funds of up to 10,000 euros a month," said Brahim Laitouss, an Associate Professor at the University of Antwerp.

"We have seen, therefore, that cells have carried out terrorist operations in Europe, with little financial means. They rented cars, and bought raw materials. They have manufactured explosives for committing terrorist acts."

But cracking down on terrorism is not just about money, authorities know they also have to tackle those responsible for radicalisation - whether that's in mosques, prisons or across social networks.