Brussels assessed EU-US terrorist finance tracking deal ahead of Trump’s inauguration

EPA / MOHAMMED BADRA

A Jaysh al-Islam fighter (Army of Islam) communicate through a radio with other fighters at Tal al-Siwan Syria, 05 September 2016.

European Commission’s raced against time to assess EU-US deals, only hours ahead of Trump’s inauguration.


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The EU presented another batch of reports on the EU-US Terrorist Finance Tracking Programme (TFTP) Agreement and EU-US Passenger Name Records (PNR) Agreement yesterday

The Commission hid its unrest ahead of US President-elect Donald Trump’s inauguration, by keeping comments short, but its administration is working at full speed towards the rescue of all the work done within US President Barack Obama’s two terms. Valuable information sharing is at stake, as Trump may decide to cut the intelligence cord and make the EU’s struggle to fight terrorist more difficult.

Within the same week, Brussels and Washington released the EU-US negotiations state of play for Transatlantic Trade Partnership Negotiations (TTIP) in order to safeguard the process.

The fourth EU-US TFTP joint review since the agreement entered into force, covers a period of 22 months between 1 March 2014 and 31 December 2015. The report finds that the US cooperate well with the EU, providing information from the TFTP to EU authorities throughout the 2015-2016 terrorist attacks investigations.

TFTP-related data appeared to be very valuable after the January 2015 Charlie Hebdo attack and the November 2015 Paris attacks, as key insights into the financial support of terrorist fighters for Syria became available to the relevant authorities. 8,998 investigative leads were provided to EU member states authorities and Europol as compared to 3,929 leads in the previous reporting period (2013-4).

Both sides agree that the TFTP remains an important instrument to provide timely, accurate and reliable information about activities associated with suspected acts of terrorist planning and financing. It helps to identify and track terrorists and their support networks worldwide.

As for the EU-US Passenger Name Record (PNR) joint-review report, the Commission also welcomed the continued efforts to ensure reciprocity and pro-active sharing of analytical information obtained from PNR data with Europol, Eurojust and the 28 EU member states’ national authorities.

The fourth joint review was carried out in two main stages, at Europol’s premises in the Hague and in Washington at the U.S. Treasury Department.

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