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Luna on Fighting Transnational Threats


Weapons made by ISIS seized by the Iraqi Army.

The United States continues to look for ways to collaborate with others in the international community to fight transnational organized crime, cybercrime, terrorist and criminal networks, and illicit trade.

The United States continues to look for ways to collaborate with others in the international community to fight transnational organized crime, cybercrime, terrorist and criminal networks, and illicit trade.

A top priority is to keep weapons of mass destruction, or WMD, out of the hands of terrorist networks, said U.S. Senior Director for National Security and Diplomacy Anti-Crime Programs David Luna to counterparts at a recent security conference in Paris.

"We must also continue to work together on countering the flow of foreign terrorist fighters into Iraq and Syria, and other regions of conflict or instability, and to track and disrupt the terrorist or criminal activity of violent extremists returning to their homes of origin, including Europe and the United States."

The U.S. government is working with international partners to counter WMD proliferation by investigating, prosecuting, or sanctioning suspected WMD smuggling and trafficking networks.

Technology has also made possible the expansion of criminality in unprecedented ways, said Mr. Luna. Terrorists and transnational criminal organizations are increasingly using the Internet to raise funds, move people, transfer arms and other contraband. Latin American cartels are doing business with Asian triads; Eurasian mafias are colluding with Middle East syndicates; and so on.

Transnational crime drives hundreds of billions of dollars in illicit commerce that includes narcotics trafficking, wildlife trafficking, human trafficking, illegal logging, counterfeit consumer goods and medications, stolen antiquities and art, and other illicit enterprises. This illicit trade not only fuels webs of corruption and criminality – but in some cases, finances terrorist activities.

The United States' response has been to work with its international partners to combat transnational illicit networks by breaking their corruptive power, attacking their financial underpinnings, stripping them of their illicit wealth, and disrupting their networks.

The U.S. is also helping its partners to improve their capacity to undertake complex investigations to disrupt and dismantle transnational criminal networks, and to strengthen information-sharing across borders.

Through diplomatic engagement and global partnerships, the U.S. stands ready to advance freedom and the rule of law and deter the transnational threats that threaten collective security and prosperity.

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