By Akbar Mammadov
The Azerbaijani government’s active fight against terrorism has been reflected in the US State Department’s counter-terrorism report for 2019.
The report highlighted that the Azerbaijani government actively worked to deter, detect, and defeat terrorist efforts to move people, money, and materials across its land and maritime borders and within the South Caucasus.
The report further highlighted that the Azerbaijani government actively worked to deter, detect, and defeat terrorist efforts to move people, money, and materials across its land and maritime borders and within the South Caucasus. Azerbaijani law enforcement and security services conducted operations to disrupt and prevent terror attacks, arrested and prosecuted suspected terrorists, and prosecuted returning Azerbaijanis suspected of joining or financing terrorist groups fighting outside Azerbaijan.
Regarding Azerbaijan's Law Enforcement, the report said that Azerbaijani law enforcement and security services had demonstrated adequate capacity to detect, deter, and prevent acts of terrorism in Azerbaijan’s territory.
The report also touched upon Azerbaijan's Border Security agencies. It said that the State Border Service (SBS) and the State Customs Committee jointly manage border security. They also interdict terrorist efforts to move people, money, and materials – including weapons of mass destruction – across Azerbaijan’s land and maritime borders.
"The SBS is also responsible for defending offshore oil platforms against terrorism", the report added.
Furthermore, the report noted that Azerbaijan used terrorist and criminal watchlists and biographic/biometric screening at ports of entry.
"Azerbaijan’s law enforcement and security services share information among themselves, and with regional and international partners regarding terrorism matters", the report reads.
Noting that Azerbaijan is a member of MONEYVAL and the country's Financial Intelligence Unit is Financial Monitoring Service which is a member of the Egmont Group, the report said: "In 2019, Azerbaijan continued implementing its “National Action Plan for 2017-2019 on combating criminally acquired money, legalization of other properties, and financing of terrorism.”
It should be noted that MONEYVAL or the Committee of Experts on the Evaluation of Anti-Money Laundering Measures and the Financing of Terrorism is a permanent monitoring body of the Council of Europe, which was established in 1997. Azerbaijan began to be represented in MONEYVAL in 2002. The Egmont Group is a united body of 164 Financial Intelligence Units (FIUs) around the world.
In addition, the report also gave brief information about Azerbaijan's cooperation with international and regional organizations. The report reads:
"Azerbaijan maintained membership in the CoE, the OSCE, the Organization of Islamic Cooperation, and other international bodies. Azerbaijan supports NATO CT initiatives as one of the Alliance’s Partnership for Peace countries. Azerbaijan participated in NATO’s Resolute Support Mission in Afghanistan, where it deployed 120 peacekeeping troops, and contributed to the Afghan National Army Trust Fund."
Akbar Mammadov is AzerNews’ staff journalist, follow him on Twitter: @AkbarMammadov97
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