MI6 headquarters, the SIS Building, is now hosting a team of 23 specialists from the CIA. The group from the United-States is very unusual in a sense that it is not common for the MI6 to reach for American help in such a way.
The group is led by senior analyst and two of her deputies. Their specialty is in Islamic terror groups funding channels, especially tracking down the money flow around north Africa. While the MI6 has vast knowledge of modern ways of transferring money to terrorist groups using straw companies, small transfers on complicated networks of bank accounts around the world and so forth, There are some other channels that are harder to detect due to the fact that they do not have any technological aspect. The CIA team is focused alternative funding techniques used in the last few years by several Jihad groups, mostly in the Maghreb area (Libya, Algeria, Tunisia, and Morocco). The Maghreb area is considered as a moderate area even after the revolutions in the area. El-Qaeda has never succeeded in gaining power in the region even though it made attempts time after time to reach the local population. The local El-Qaeda branch named “Tanẓīm al-Qā‘idah fī Bilād al-Maghrib al-Islāmī” (El-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb) is rather small with only few hundreds of activists and is unable to operate successfully due to intense military and intelligence pressure of the Moroccan, French and Belgian agencies operating in the area.
The intense surveillance has struck ”Tanẓīm al-Qā‘idah fī Bilād al-Maghrib al-Islāmī” hard forcing them to look for alternative funding and communication techniques that are less technological, Leaning on more traditional means.
The main route for funds is based on a complicated system of price manipulations and shipment documents forgery on goods carried around the Mediterranean sea from the Maghreb to Italy, France and England. The CIA is using HUMINT sources for several years now in an ongoing effort to map the networks and find ways to cut this chord of funds between Africa and Europe. MI6 is cooperating and exchanging data with the CIA , the Moroccan “Direction de la Surveillance du Territoire” ( Directorate of Territorial Surveillance ) and the French ”Direction générale de la sécurité extérieure” (General Direction for External Security) but it was not on top priority until last month when it was found, during the questioning of one of the accused rapers of the Oxford grooming gang, that there is an active cell of “Tanẓīm al-Qā‘idah fī Bilād al-Maghrib al-Islāmī” operating under the radar of MI5 for 3 years. This cell was not listed or noticed, unlike ones close to Lashkar-i-Taiba’s Cells due to the fact that the funding trail was missing. UK government has ordered both MI5 and MI6 to shift gear and act more aggressively against internal terror cells after the beheading attack. The only way to do so was to involve the CIA team which is already on the case and doing so from the UK itself with the help of all local agencies is considered the fastest move.