The PKK in Europe

Until recently all was relatively quiet in the Belgian media about the European activities of the Kurdish Labour Party PKK. Yet the secession movement is said to be pretty active in Western Europe. This was declared only last February on Turkish CNN by Frank Urbancic, assistant-co-ordinator for Antiterrorism at the American department of Foreign Affairs.
That same month The Washington Institute centre of research published a paper ‘PKK Criminal Networks and Fronts in Europe’. Referring to reports of Europol and the Nato Terrorist Threat Intelligence Unit the author states that the PKK is involved in criminal activities in Europe in order to finance their battle: trafficking in drugs, arms and human beings, raising at least 50 million dollars a year. Mid march the renowned Jane’s Intelligence Review too published an article about PKK activities in Europe, which ensure ‘a stable income’. 
Sources within Justice confirm these analyses to MO*: “Laundering, training camps, drugs trafficking, forged documents, extorsion within the Kurdish community, that’s what the PKK were busy with in Europe in 2007. Six countries keep on lighting up: Germany, Holland/the Netherlands, France, Denmark, the United Kingdom and Belgium. The PKK applies their own codes and an intimidating penalty system. Other than islamist terrorist groups, the PKK has a strictly hierarchical structure. It is also much more refined in its actions. For ten years now several European countries have been trying to prosecute PKK-partisans, with varying success.
Since 1996 there have been rumours the PKK are solidly established in Belgium. And yet up to now, nobody has been convicted for activities related to PKK. In september 07 a case against 17 suspects  - most of them Kurds accused of laundering, forging, illegal possession of arms- was closed after eleven years by lapse of time. But now it seems Belgian Justice started a renewed offensive against PKK. Early last year two Kurds were arrested on suspicion of financing PKK-attacks. Early April once again 37 suspected PKK-partisans were arrested with a great show of strength, - and released soon after. It is unsure whether it will come to convictions this time.
Only recently the European Court of Justice concluded the PKK is unjustly included on the EU-list of terrorist organizations. “There is no proof whatsoever that the PKK is or was involved in trafficking of drugs, arms or human beings or in terrorist trainingcamps” replies Derwich Ferho of the Kurdish Institute in Brussels. “The incriminations are often vague and unjust. Of course the PKK has a well organized structure. But not to pursue terrorist action. It is about a war between the Kurdish political party PKK and the Turkish army. And yes, for this fight, we receive gifts from hundreds of thousands Kurds in Europe, and from millions in Kurdistan itself.

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