FBI and NSW Police combat art crime
Members of the US Federal Bureau of Investigation and New South Wales Police will meet in Sydney this week to discuss art crime. Bonnie Magness-Gardiner, who manages the FBI’s Art Theft Program, claims there are links between terrorism and the illegal art trade, which is estimated to be worth more than $1 billion per year. Recent looting of archaeological sites, historical monuments and places of worship by Islamic State was deemed a concern.
Dr Magness-Gardiner and NSW Deputy Police Commissioner Nick Kaldas will be among the speakers at the Art Game Symposium, which will analyse illegal trafficking in cultural heritage, at the University of Western Sydney this Friday.
Lawyers as professional facilitators for money laundering
A new AUSTRAC strategic analysis brief, Money laundering through legal practitioners, outlines ways that legal professionals are being implicated in money laundering. The report provides information on methods, indicators and vulnerabilities of money laundering relevant to the legal industry.
AUSTRAC CEO Paul Jevtovic expressed concerns that some lawyers are not undertaking the required due diligence, exposing themselves to manipulation. He urged lawyers to be aware of the risks, and cited plans to work with legal bodies to address criminal issues.
Victoria’s push for mandatory deradicalisation
Victoria Police proposed new laws this week that target potential extremists, allowing officers to obtain orders that can force attendance at deradicalisation programs, ban Internet use and limit movement and associations. Victorian Attorney-General Martin Pakula explained that these preventive measures aim to ‘nip’ youth at the ‘edge of radicalisation… in the bud.’ However, former police chiefs penned an open letter condemning policing of terrorism in Victoria as a return to the ‘dark ages’, moving further away from community engagement and toward alienation.
ISIS Manual: How to Survive in the West
This week’s podcast pick is the first episode of the Jihadology Podcast. The episode unpacks materials released by extremist groups andIslamic State’s strategy in Iraq and Syria. Speaking of primary sources, Islamic State published a 71-page manual for Western supporters that gives us extraordinary insight into the group’s propaganda. Chapters include ‘hiding the extremist identity’, and ‘what happens when you are spied on and raided’.
Blind eye of the foreign fighter laws
All foreign fighters face up to life imprisonment for their crimes, but not all of them are joining extremist groups. Take a look at myrecent article on ABC’s The Drum for how the laws can accommodate for vastly different involvements.
India tackles terror at the border and in the region
Earlier this week Indian Special Forces crossed into Burmese territory to kill over 30 rebels at two different locations inresponse to last week´s assassination of 18 Indian soldiers in the country´s northeast border. Prime Minister Narendra Modi ordered the operation after intelligence indicated that more attacks on Indian Soldiers were planned. The two successful operations represent a shift in Indian strategy to tackle terrorist threats in the region.
Concern at the US–Mexican border
Mexican drug syndicates are believed to have brought down a US Customs and Border Protection helicopter near the Rio Grande in Laredo last week. While the action coming from the Mexican side of the border left no human casualties, it has sparked concerns over the US government’s assessment of cartel violence in the area.
Various US Congressmen have since visited the border and urged the State Department to take all possible steps to reduce the level of violence and to protect the lives of Americans working in the are, who fear that cartel violence isn’t taken seriously enough.