80 nations attend terror financing conference in Paris

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Updated 25 April 2018
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80 nations attend terror financing conference in Paris

  • Terror attacks have become increasingly low-cost since the 9/11 atrocities in the United States in 2001
  • While the Daesh group faces imminent defeat on the battlefield in Syria where the last pockets of its fighters are holding out, experts warn that its ideology will live on

PARIS: Ministers from 80 countries and nearly 500 experts gather in Paris from Wednesday for a conference on combating the financing of terror groups such as Daesh and Al-Qaeda, French officials said.
Attacks have become increasingly low-cost since the 9/11 atrocities in the United States in 2001, particularly in recent years when followers of Daesh have used vehicles and guns as their main weapon of choice.
But French authorities remain concerned about a huge war-chest amassed by Daesh between 2014 and 2016 when it ruled over large swathes of oil-rich territory in Iraq and Syria.
A French presidential official briefing journalists on Tuesday said that Daesh income was estimated at about $1 billion (820 million euros) a year.
“It has been moved since, at least in part. It’s probably somewhere,” the official said on condition of anonymity. “These groups are very skilful in using sophisticated techniques to move financial resources around.”
The idea of the two-day conference, which will close with a speech by French President Emmanuel Macron on Thursday afternoon, is to share expertise and good practice that can be implemented internationally.
The Daesh group faces imminent defeat on the battlefield in Syria where the last pockets of its fighters are holding out, but experts warn that its ideology will live on.
Some terror experts, including Peter Neumann from King’s College in London, have argued recently that the fight against the financing of terror groups has been ineffective since 2001.
In a report last year entitled “Don’t follow the money,” he argued that low-cost terror attacks were easy to mount and jihadist groups could transfer money easily without using the international banking system.
He will make a speech at the start of the second day of the conference on Thursday which will take place at the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development in Paris.


Trump cancels US delegation trip to Davos over shutdown

Updated 4 min 37 sec ago
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Trump cancels US delegation trip to Davos over shutdown

WASHINGTON: President Donald Trump on Thursday canceled the US delegation’s trip to the annual international conference at Davos, saying the officials were needed in Washington to tackle the shutdown of the federal government.
“Out of consideration for the 800,000 great American workers not receiving pay and to ensure his team can assist as needed, President Trump has canceled his Delegation’s trip to the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland,” said a statement from Press Secretary Sarah Sanders.
Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin had been due to head the five-strong delegation that also included Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross, US trade representative Robert Lighthizer and assistant to the president Chris Liddell.
The decision to scrap the Davos trip came after Trump hit his chief Democratic opponent Nancy Pelosi with a last-minute cancelation of her plan to take an air force plane to Afghanistan, citing the four-week-old shutdown as a motive.
Some 800,000 federal employees and many more government contractors are affected by the partial shutdown, triggered by Trump’s refusal to sign off on funding for a host of departments.
This was in retaliation for the refusal of Democrats, who control the lower house of Congress, to approve his plans for a US-Mexico border wall.
Trump last week canceled his own participation in Davos, also citing the row over his proposed wall.