France Says EU Needs Stronger Tools Against Terror Financing

  • Sapin, Schaeuble to urge EU to step up transaction tracking
  • Cameron says U.K. investigating extremist funding flows

France and Germany pressed other European Union nations to step up monitoring and sharing of financial information to cut off terrorists’ funding.

Europe, which currently relies too often on the U.S. for financial intelligence, needs to be able to detect terrorist connections in funds passing through the SWIFT international transfer system, French Finance Minister Michel Sapin told reporters in Berlin on Wednesday after meeting with his German counterpart Wolfgang Schaeuble.

“In Europe we need our own instruments to evaluate such metadata from the SWIFT system,” Sapin said. “This is necessary to control the money flow and identify dangerous transactions.”

Sapin called for the creation of centers in all EU countries to store bank account details, and stronger cooperation between national authorities. Germany and France will also ask EU members to accelerate the implementation of the bloc’s latest anti-money laundering measures, which will be discussed at a meeting of European finance ministers Dec. 8. Schaeuble said the two would press for “quick” passage of the proposals.

In London, U.K. Prime Minister David Cameron announced a probe into the
funding of Islamist extremists.

“We will establish a comprehensive review to root out any remaining funding of extremism within the U.K.,” Cameron told the House of Commons. “This will examine specifically the nature, scale and origin of the funding of Islamist extremist activity in the U.K., including any overseas sources.”

The results will be published in spring 2016, he said.

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