Terrorism, organized crime: Algeria calls for comprehensive approach

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NEW YORK- Algeria called, at the United Nations, for a comprehensive approach to counter the ties between terrorism and transnational organized crime, pointing out that the phenomenon requires more attention and action from the international community.

In a public debate organized by the Security Council on the increasingly complex link between terrorism and transnational organized crime, Algeria’s deputy ambassador to the UN, Mohammed Bessedik, said it is “urgent to understand and identify the evolving links” between these two scourges.

Despite the territorial losses and the drying up of al Qaeda funds and the self-proclaimed “Islamic State” organization, these terrorist groups are now showing great adaptability, resorting to new methods of financing to diversify their sources of income, he noted.

In Africa and elsewhere in the world, these extremist groups are able to mobilize funding through various criminal activities such as; human trafficking, drug trafficking, illegal exploitation of natural resources, extortion, kidnapping for ransom and money laundering.

“We must mobilize our joint efforts to develop and deploy a set of tools to disrupt these growing networks and dry up their sources of funding,” he said.

The exchange of information and intelligence, the enhancement of the capacity of national justice systems and the sharing of technology between States must be a key priority in tackling these scourges, Bessedik added.

– Securing borders: a sovereign right–

The Algerian diplomat stressed the importance for UN member states to invest in effective border control and surveillance technologies, including through the introduction of biometric identity documents.

He reaffirmed, as such, the “sovereign right” of States to secure their borders in accordance with international law, stating that “cooperation between States in this respect can only be achieved through a coherent and coordinated approach that respects the fundamental principles of international law, sovereign equality, political independence, territorial integrity and non-interference in matters that fall essentially within the national jurisdiction of a State “.

The Deputy Ambassador said that United Nations counter-terrorism entities, in particular the Counter-Terrorism Committee Executive Directorate and the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, have an important role to play in identifying threats and building capacity at the request of states, while keeping in mind that each region has its own specificities.

–The global approach at the heart of the Algerian strategy–

For Algeria, the representative continued, the comprehensive approach that tackles the links between terrorism and organized crime remains a central element of its national counter-terrorism strategy, citing the adaptation of the legal framework on the fight against money laundering, the criminalization of the financing of terrorism and the deadlock on assets in accordance with Security Council resolutions and the standards of the Financial Action Task Force (FATF).

At the regional level, Algeria is fully committed to cooperation in the fight against the destabilization caused by organized crime groups in the Sahel region.

In agreement with the Sahel countries, Algeria has always advocated an approach based on targeted and effective action, based on national ownership, aimed at combating terrorism and cross-border crime, Bessedik noted.

He explained that the large military deployment at the country’s borders is part of Algeria’s efforts to ensure not only national security but also that of neighboring countries.

At the same time, Afripol and the African Center for Terrorism Research (CAERT), based in Algiers, continue to play an important role in building Africa’s capacity to fight terrorism and  transnational organization, “said the Deputy Ambassador who reaffirmed Algeria’s firm commitment to continue its contribution to the collective effort to stem transnational and organized crime.

The diplomat recalled, in his speech, the report on the threat and trends of terrorism in Africa, presented by Algeria at the thirty-second summit of the African Union in February.

The report noted that the interconnection between terrorism and transnational organized crime in Africa has reached an alarming rate.

Since 2001 and the adoption of its resolution 1373, the Security Council has recognized the interdependence between international terrorism and transnational organized crime, a link that had already been established the year before in Madrid when the Convention on Human Rights was adopted.
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