Kingsley Nwezeh in Abuja
In a renewed bid to curb illicit financial inflows deployed to fund terrorism, the Committee of Intelligence and Security Services of Africa (CISSA) said yesterday it has built a database of terrorist groups and networks in Africa with a view to halting illicit terror funding in the continent.
Illicit financial outflow is seen as a major source of terrorism financing in Africa.
Latest report by the Thabo Mbeki panel set up to investigate illicit financial outflows from Africa said $90 billion is ferried out of Africa annually.
The Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Mr. Ibrahim Magu, had recently warned bankers who facilitate illicit movement of funds for the purpose of funding terrorism in the North-east of the implication of such acts stating that such accomplices would face the wrath of the law.
African intelligence and security agencies have stepped up strategies aimed at curbing the menace that has led to the death of thousands of people and destruction of property worth millions of dollars in many African countries.
Speaking in Abuja, the Executive Secretary, of the Committee of Intelligence and Security Services of Africa (CISSA), Mr. Shimeles W. Semayat, said because of the internationalised nature of security threats, African security agencies have built a database with a view to monitoring and profiling terror networks operating in Africa and confronting security threats facing the continent.
At a press conference ahead of the 16th Ordinary Conference of CISSA holding in Abuja from July 17-20, Semayat, who was flanked by the Deputy Director-General of the National Intelligence Agency (NIA), Kio Amiofori, said the committee monitors terror groups and networks and provides intelligence to the African Union (AU).
“One of the major threats that Africa is facing is the threat of terrorism. As you know terrorism is a network, it transcends national borders. Terrorists carry out attacks from a different place, funding comes from a different source and training from a different place. “By the same token, we, the African security agencies, need to coordinate to curb the threat of terrorism. We are of the view that if we dry out the source of funding for terrorism, the threat will be reduced”, he said.
The executive secretary said: “the internationalised nature of security threats is the reason why African security agencies are coming together to have a united voice in confronting the threats and put pressure and minimise illicit financial flows.
“All African security agencies exchange intelligence, share data, and profile all terrorists and groups in Africa as part of measures to curb terrorism.
“Africa has tried to study illicit financial outflows. A committee headed by former President Thabo Mbeki of South Africa was set up and the conclusion is that tens of billions of dollars leave Africa yearly”.
He said the conference themed: “Illicit Financial Outflows from Africa and their Impact on National Security and Development”, would bring together under one roof intelligence chiefs of the continent.
He said the event which would be hosted by the Director-General of the National Intelligence Agency (NIA), Ambassador Ahmed Rufai Abubakar would be declared open by President Mohammadu Buhari.
Rufai is expected to take over the mantle of the leadership of the organisation from Mr B. K. Likando of the Namibia Central Intelligence Service.
CISSA was set up in 2004 to provide intelligence support to the African Union leadership in its effort to maintain peace, security and stability in Africa by means of prevention, management and resolution of conflicts and elimination of all forms of security threats in Africa.