Terrorist funding paths must be blocked - Germany, France

2015-12-02 21:02
People stand in front of the French Embassy in Berlin for a minute of silence for victims of Friday's attacks in Paris. (Markus Schreiber, AP)

People stand in front of the French Embassy in Berlin for a minute of silence for victims of Friday's attacks in Paris. (Markus Schreiber, AP)

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Berlin - Blocking terrorist funding is critical if the world wants to stamp out terrorism, said Germany and France's finance ministers on Wednesday as they laid out a series of proposals for a new financial front against the Islamic State militant group.

German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble and his French counterpart, Michel Sapin, said their plan requires a global effort if countries allied against the Islamic State want to choke off the group's funding, which is financed by sales of oil from land it has occupied, and smuggling of seized artefacts.

The meeting in Berlin comes in the wake of the deadly Paris terrorist attacks on November 13, for which ISIS has claimed responsibility.

"After the attacks, the world needs to act more quickly and decisively," Sapin said in Berlin following a meeting with Schaeuble.

The measures under consideration by the two ministers included freezing assets of known terrorists, curbing the trafficking of valuable artefacts, and a central register for all banks accounts in the European Union.

They also want to see a clampdown on virtual currencies.

In addition, the two ministers called for action to be taken against the illegal transport and movement of cash and precious metals between nations. They also want increased controls over alternate payment methods, such as prepaid debit cards.

The Paris attacks have already prompted the Group of 20 major economies to call for steps to tackle the financing of global terrorist organisations. 

The push to crack down on financing terrorism follows Paris' efforts to forge an international military coalition aimed at defeating Islamic State.

While the German Parliament began a debate on Wednesday on the nation deploying 1 200 soldiers and military support staff as part of the anti-Islamic State campaign, the British Parliament is expected later on Wednesday to approve airstrikes against the group.

The German Parliament, the Bundestag, is expected to give the green light on Friday to Berlin's plans to join the anti-terrorist coalition.

Read more on:    isis  |  germany  |  france  |  military  |  paris under attack

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