Australia’s AUSTRAC-led initiative to block terror funding in South-East Asia

The Government of Australia has announced plans to invest $4.6m to block terror funding in South-East Asia.

The initiative to block funding to ISIS-aligned terrorist groups will be led by the Australian Transaction Reports and Analysis Centre (AUSTRAC), a financial intelligence agency.

Australian Minister for Justice Michael Keenan said that the government will work in collaboration with neighbouring countries to suppress ISIS' efforts to establish a local presence, following its decline in the Middle East, as well as strengthen security for Australia and the region.

Keenan said: “This money will be used to detect and disrupt funding to Islamic State-aligned terrorist groups, and I look forward to our international partners joining a new regional Counter ISIL financing group.

"This money will be used to detect and disrupt funding to Islamic State-aligned terrorist groups."

"AUSTRAC will be building on work already underway with our regional partners, including through the Counter Terrorism Financing Summit.

“AUSTRAC will also work with its industry partners in the Fintel Alliance—a world-first private-public partnership with major financial institutions—to prevent funding destined for ISIL being moved through Australia’s financial institutions and harden regional financial institutions against this threat.”

AUSTRAC and its partners will use the government finances to identify ISIS funding methods in the region, develop countermeasures, and support the work of defence, law enforcement and intelligence agencies.

The government investment will also help AUSTRAC to detect the promotion of racial ideology in Australia, as well as locally raised funding destined for ISIS overseas.