Pakistan's Input Efforts on Terrorist Funding List Pending

Pakistan Foreign Minister Khawaja Asif said on Tuesday that a US-led motion to place Pakistan on a global terrorist financing watchlist has been suspended for three months.

Final Action Financial Action Task Force (FATF) is expected to be announced on Thursday (22/2).

Read: Pakistan Hopes Not to Be List of Terrorist Funding

Khawaja Asif, in an official visit to Russia, said on Twitter on Tuesday that "Pakistani efforts were successful" and the country was given a three-month suspension over the US-led motion.

Asif also mentioned that the financial regulatory body has instructed the Asia Pacific Group (APG) , one of the FATF entities, to consider "another June report" on the matter.

The South Asian nation has been trying hard not to be included in the list FATF countries that have failed to comply with FATF guidelines and regulations and take adequate measures to combat terror financing and money laundering. [as/al]

US Express 'Ansarul Islam' as a Terrorist Organization

The US State Department says it has designated the Ansarul Islam group as a global terrorist group because of its history of launching an offensive in Burkina Faso near the border with Mali.

The Ansarul Islam attacks include the December 2016 attack on the Burkina military Faso which killed 12 soldiers, an attack on Burkina Faso's most deadly troops.

The group is allegedly responsible for the attack on two police posts in February 2017 and the killing of two people – one of them principal – in March 2017, in the village of Kourfayel, Burkina Faso.

The Foreign Department's stipulation was aimed at blocking all the assets of the group that were under American jurisdiction and forbidding Americans to engage with the group.

The State Department said the ruling resulted in the organization do not have access to da source yes groups in America and will assist law enforcement activities by the American government. [em/jm]

3 Suspected Terrorist Van Barcelona Arrested in France

 Three people allegedly linked to the terror jihadist group Barcelona were arrested in France. The Spanish Interior Ministry says the three men are suspected of having links with one of Barcelona's terror suspects that took place in August 2017.

Reported by AFP, the arrest took place on Tuesday (20/2/2018). The Spanish Interior Ministry said the arrest began with a joint operation between Spanish and French police, which took place in southern and southwestern France.

The three men were arrested for alleged links with Driss Oukabir, a Moroccan citizen who was a tenant in a van terror of Barcelona. Oukabir was arrested shortly after the incident, and the ISIS claimed that the man was their group.

To note, a total of 16 people died when the van hit a crowd of people in La Rambla, Barcelona. Hours later, a similar attack occurred in Cambrils.

Before the terror of the van, there was an explosion in a house on the outskirts of Barcelona. The house was suspected to be a bomb assembly plant that would have been used by terrorists.

Spanish local media reported, El Pais, as reported by The Telegraph, Friday (18/08/2017), the explosion occurred in a house located in the town of Alcanar , which is 193 kilometers south of the city of Barcelona, ​​on Wednesday night (16/8) local time.

The explosion was originally thought to be a gas explosion. The house that was hit by the blast was badly damaged and flattened to the ground. Police found a woman was killed inside the house, with seven others injured. The identity of the dead woman was not released to the public. As reported by CNN, the dead woman is known to be a citizen of Spain and not in the radar of the local police.

Inside the house, police also found about 20 butane and propane gas canisters. The house is believed to have been occupied by several people in recent months. The head of the Catalan Police, Josep Lluis Trapero, said it was still investigating whether the people inside the house were 'preparing an explosive'.

The police chief of the Catalan Police, Josep Lluis Trapero, Firefighters who were deployed to the site believed the 'heap' of gas in the house that had triggered the explosion. "The explosion is very loud and investigators found human remains," explained a local police source.
(gbr / ams)

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Pakistan Hopes Not to Be List of Terrorist Funding

The United States and its European allies endeavor to incorporate Pakistan into the list of global terrorist financing for failing to comply with anti-terrorist and anti-money laundering regulations.

They filed the case to the Financial Action Task Force (FATF), a global body battling funding terrorism and money laundering, at a meeting that will be closed later this month in Paris.

"I hope the international community does not take actions that hamper our efforts to combat terrorism," Ahsan Iqbal, the Interior Minister of Pakistan, told the media on Monday 19/2).

A published report says Iqbal calls Washington's attempt as an affront to his country's sacrifice in the war on terror.

Pakistan was on the list in 2012-2015. [as/al]

Indonesia Wait for Explanation of President of the Philippines on Terrorist Buru Cooperation

Indonesians working as crew members in the Philippine waters of the Philippines are often the victims of piracy and hostage taking by Abu Sayyaf groups. The hostages are generally economically motivated because the hostage groups usually demand a ransom to release the hostages.

During a hearing with the House of Representatives Commission I of Defense and Foreign Affairs in Jakarta on Wednesday (31/1), Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi explained that since the case of hostage rampage in the waters of the southern Philippines, Indonesia has conducted trilateral cooperation in the waters of Sulu, with Malaysia and the Philippines.

Retno is grateful since March last year until now no more cases of ship hijacking and capture of ABK in the southern waters of the Philippines. This means that the trilateral cooperation is fruitful, at least to prevent cases of hostage taking on Indonesian citizens.

According to Retno, Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte has several times submitted an offer for TNI troops to assist in the pursuit of terrorists in the Philippines. Duterte made a similar offer last time at the ASEAN-India Commemorative meeting.

Retno emphasized that every time Duterte submits the offer, Indonesia always tries to ask for more details, but until now the Philippine government has not provided any details

"If then enter the territory (Philippines), let alone enter their land territory , I think we are waiting for a more detailed explanation from the Philippines, "said Retno.

A total of 32 Indonesian citizens were taken hostage Abu Sayf group in several separate piracy incidents, and 29 of them have been released. But three others have not been released yet.

The effort to release the last two hostages takes 440 days or more a year. They were arrested and held hostage since November 2016 and only released in January 2018.

"The question is why does it take a long time? Because our priority is the safety of our hostages, "said Retno, responding to a question from Supiadin Aries Saputra, member of Commission I of the Democratic National Party Faction. Supiadin, at the hearing, praised Duterte's stance on cracking down on rebel groups in Marawi Town, the southern Philippines. But Supiadin said there were Indonesian Indonesians being hostages to the Abu Sayyaf group.

The Daily Inquirer of January 27 reported that President Rodrigo Duterte formally allowed Indonesian and Malaysian troops into the Philippines to hunt down terrorists while informing the activity to the Armed Forces of the Philippines. 19659002] Duterte added he had told President Joko Widodo and Prime Minister Najib Razak that troops from both countries were free to pursue terrorists in the Philippines. This decision was made because Duterte has lost patience to see the violent acts of the Abu Sayyaf group.

Terrorism Observer from the University of Indonesia Ridlwan Habib says military involvement to other countries requires a presidential political decision. When an offer from President Duterte is processed further, the mechanism must also be clear, whether using a treaty or agreement. This is to prevent violations of applicable international treaties in which the military of a country may not operate in another country.

"It is a UN convention, Indonesia has also ratified it. Although it may be possible for such clearances to be referred to as part of the cooperation between bilateral agreements so the umbrella is military cooperation, not military operations, "Ridwan said.

Ridlwan asked all parties to seriously consider this engagement, the formal involvement of the TNI in the Philippines only adds to the spirit of the terrorists making Indonesia the opposite for fighting them.

Ridlwan added that if TNI engagement in the Philippines remains to be done, the main context is to protect Indonesian citizens abroad, in this case Philippines and also to help stabilize the region's security.