Serbian Interior Minister Nebojsa Stefanovic said today in Tirana that terrorist organizations should not be allowed to be called “liberation movements” and that such movements “must not be a cloak behind an extremist idea”.
“There is no universal model of opposing this global phenomenon, but certainly it is necessary to work continuously on the prevention of the radicalization of groups or individuals. We must not allow terrorist organizations to be called liberation movements, because the goal of acting and association of terrorists can be easily recognized, “Stefanovic said at the Regional Summit on the Fight against Violent Extremism.
At the session “Strengthening the Connection of Law Enforcement in the Community to Combat Violent Extremism”, Stefanovic emphasized that the ideology of violent extremism is an increasing threat every day and the greatest security challenge that everyone must jointly and resolutely resist and to respond to every attempt of extremists to respond forcefully and uncompromising.
“The latest developments in Kumanovo, as well as the recent attack on the Zvornik police station, confirm that terrorism is increasingly present and poses a serious threat to democratic principles and freedoms and is the main supporter of human rights. That is why a unique and powerful response from all states is necessary, “Stefanovic stressed, the MUP said in a statement.
According to him, the goal of Serbia is to find and prosecute all that are suspected of propagating radical ideology.
“We have also strengthened control at the border crossings, because we want to cut off the most important sources of financing of terrorist groups, which result from illegal arms trafficking, narcotics, people,” explained Stefanovic.
The Minister specified that, in cooperation with neighbors, almost 300 information of operational significance was exchanged in joint contact centers towards Hungary, Bulgaria, Macedonia and Croatia, resulting in the suppression of various types of crime and preventing the spread of illegal activities from which part of the money redirects to terrorist organizations.
“In the first four months of this year, we exchanged 611 operational information with colleagues from the US, Germany, France, Austria, Great Britain, Italy, Spain, and with other foreign partners,” added Stefanovic, reminding of a series of stocks that resulted successful international cooperation in which a large number of members of various criminal groups were arrested and seized a large amount of drugs.
In order to prevent the financing of terrorism through legal flows, Stefanovic said, Serbia paid great attention to financial investigations.
“We are closely monitoring the ways of money that comes from organized crime and is one of the bases for helping violent extremism,” Stefanovic said, adding that thanks to a proactive approach and a large number of financial investigations in the past six months, orders were issued on temporary confiscation and banning the alienation of the great the number of immovable property, which exceeds 11 million euros.
Recalling that Serbia changed the criminal code and introduced two new criminal offenses – participation in the war and organization of participation in war or armed conflict in a foreign country, Stefanovic emphasized that, thanks to the criminalization of these crimes, the number of spreading radical ideas through social networks has been considerably reduced.