Counterterrorism conference: call to disrupt financing, recruitment to terrorists

A two-days conference of counterterrorism experts ended in Vienna on Friday with a call to redouble efforts to close the flow of cash to terrorist organizations and disrupt their attempts to recruit people for jihad.

Security experts said civil society and the business community - and not exclusively the authorities - would play expanded roles in stopping terrorism.

"Increasingly, the focus of the fight against terrorism has moved from military action to dealing with the environment which feeds terrorism with financial and human resources," said Anatoly Safanov, Russia's top counterterrorism coordinator.

Although governments still have the primary responsibility for countering the menace, the international community "can no longer assume that every state can control and respond to threats emerging from its territory," said Frank Urbancic, the U.S. State Department's acting counterterrorism chief.

The Vienna-based Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe sponsored the meeting, which follows a joint U.S.-Russian initiative to expand "public-private partnerships" to fight terrorism.

The conference drew more than 300 participants from 58 countries, the OSCE said.

Officials said in a statement that the private sector is "instrumental in promoting sustainable economic growth, helping generate changes quickly, creating jobs for minority communities and using technology to connect with the youth."

They said such efforts make it more difficult for terrorists to recruit isolated, disaffected people willing to carry out attacks.