Updated 02:22 PM EDT, Sat, Sep 18, 2021

How to Deal with ISIS: Colombia's Advice On Terrorism

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The war against the Islamic State has been going on for ages, and it's costing countries like France and Belgium a lot of money and a lot of lives.

However, the ongoing war against ISIS is not the longest one in the world these days -- Colombia, for instance, has had their own civil war that has been ongoing for over half a century now, leading to the loss of more or less 220,000 lives and billions of dollars.

Which is to say that the South American nation is in a position to give a bit of advice for those that have been confronted with terrorist attacks and threats. Colombian Defense Minister, Luis Carlos Villegas, suggests that officials should go after the big organization by first focusing on its links to organized crime.

Villegas shared with US News, "The global prevention of the financing of terror is needed before everything else. Not enough attention is being put [to] the relation between the 'showoff' of terror nowadays [and that terror groups need] such a big amount of money.

The Colombian government has aggressively targeted the drug traffickers that used to rule the streets of Medellin -- one of the most dangerous cities in the world, and today, the country has made a major breakthrough with a comprehensive peace agreement with the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC), a guerrilla rebel group that has been noted by the US as a terrorist organization. Villegas noted that Colombia's strategy in fighting the group is not limited to their country, but the rest of the world as well, especially those fighting with the Islamic State.

Villegas added, "Aren't we in the middle of an unfelt coalition between organized crime and terror? There the challenge becomes really global and really dangerous, because global organized crime is there and terror is not yet global."

He added, "That link between organized crime and terror is something we should take ... more seriously, and maybe Colombia has a word to say about it."

The Latin American country is now part of the 65-member coalition opposing the Islamic State, however, Colombia knows what it's like to live in war and lose lives to the violence that follows. Villegas himeslf is convinced that his country is not immune to an attack. He explained, "We cannot [disregard] that something extreme could happen. Terror shows a certain capacity of choosing places where impact is big. And those are the unexpected places."

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