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TERROR WARS
EU warns of 'real risk' of new funds for terror attacks
by Staff Writers
Brussels (AFP) Sept 7, 2017


There is a "real risk" of increased funding for attacks in Europe as the Islamic State (IS) group loses ground in Iraq and Syria, the EU's security chief warned Thursday.

IS, which is also known as Daesh, has lost an estimated 90 percent of its territory in Iraq and 85 percent in Syria as a result of military campaigns, some of them backed by Western forces.

At one time, the group held around half of Syria, much of it uninhabited desert, but today it controls just 15 percent, according to Syria specialist Fabrice Balanche.

"As we have success against Daesh on the ground in Iraq and Syria, they are moving funds out of Iraq and Syria," Julian King told the civil liberties committee in the European Parliament.

"There is a real risk of a new influx of funding for terrorism. We need to be conscious of that and we need to work together to see what we can do about it," he added.

Last month, a UN report said that IS was continuing to send remittances abroad -- often small sums, making them difficult to detect -- as part of a bid to step up its international efforts "as demonstrated by the higher pace of attacks in Europe."

The report said funding sources were still based on oil profits and the imposition of taxes on local populations in the areas under its control.

However, it said the financial situation of the IS "core continues to deteriorate," mainly due to military pressure on the group.

In the last two or three years, EU member states have been hit by an increasing number of attacks claimed by IS which have taken place in Spain, Britain, France, Belgium, and Germany.

TERROR WARS
Kremlin says 'contradictory' reports on Baghdadi death
Moscow (AFP) July 17, 2017
Moscow on Monday said it was struggling to confirm if the leader of the Islamic State group Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi is dead or alive, a month after reporting his possible demise. The Russian army said in June that it was trying to verify information that its jets killed Baghdadi during a bombing raid near the IS stronghold of Raqa in Syria. But over a month after the announcement Kremlin s ... read more

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