EU nations to share intel amid extrimist threats
Iran Press TV
Tue Jan 12, 2016 9:3AM
Foreign ministers and diplomats from 50 European countries have agreed to enhance intelligence sharing in a bid to track potential extremists and avoid further terrorist attacks.
The agreement came after a global counter-terrorism meeting at the headquarters of Europol, the continent's policing agency based in The Hague, on Monday.
"We all agree that we need to share information better, smarter and faster," said Dutch Foreign Minister Bert Koenders, whose country holds the rotating presidency of the European Union.
According to Koenders, EU foreign intelligence units, financial institutions and law enforcement agencies will have greater cooperation in gathering and sharing information on potential terrorists.
Koenders said sharing of intelligence data "has to be more precise including in such areas as the interruption of travel plans and the financing of terror plans."
Under the agreement, the European nations would launch a "knowledge hub" consisting of a team of experts.
They will collect all data "in one place about foreign terrorists, including who they are, their background, what their travel plans are, what routes they are taking and their relationship with organized crime," according to Koenders.
The deal came amid a heated international debate about the rising threat of terrorism following last November's attacks which killed over 130 in and around the French capital Paris. The assaults were claimed by the Daesh terror group, which is mainly active in Iraq and Syria.
It was revealed the suspected mastermind of the Paris assaults, Abdelhamid Abaaoud, had traveled around Europe undetected after returning from Syria, where he fought alongside Takfiri terrorists.
Many say Western governments, including those in Europe, are to blame for their lax control over the past years on the movement of their nationals into Syria and Iraq, posing huge security risks upon their return home.
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