Friday, January 23, 2015

Extremists Exploit Border-Free Europe

European investigators seeking to unravel networks behind the Paris shootings and other terror threats are running up against a major obstacle: Borderless travel across most of the European Union makes it easy for suspects to cover their tracks.
Terror suspects are exploiting the ease of travel across the Continent to stay one step ahead of authorities as they move militants, cash and weapons across the bloc without raising alarms, according to European officials.
In some cases, suspects are evading tough antiterrorism laws in countries like France—where travel to Syria and Iraq has been banned—by moving through other EU countries en route to Syria or Iraq.
EU foreign-policy chief Federica Mogherini
The problem is compounded, officials say, by a lack of coordination between national law-enforcement and intelligence agencies from Brussels to Athens who are straining to pursue suspects across European borders.
Investigators are grappling with an array of different restrictions on what kinds of personal information member states can gather on travelers and how they can use the information in existing databases. The EU’s law-enforcement agency, Europol, coordinates police operations and intelligence sharing but lacks the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation’s power to make arrests.
“We need to strengthen our way of cooperating together—first of all with other countries and then internally,” EU foreign-policy chief Federica Mogherini said Monday.
Read the rest of the story HERE.

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