The number of financial transactions linked with terrorism has tripled in the last year, a new report by the Australian Transaction Reports and Analysis Centre (AUSTRAC) has shown.

The agency, which looks into money laundering cases, found in its annual report that financing for terrorism had risen to 367 cases in 2014-15, a jump from the 118 reported in 2013-14.

Taking into account the value of money laundering, the total amount spent on aiding terrorism reached $53 million over the year. Most cases were from NSW and Victoria.

Although financial backing might not directly aid the violent activities carried out by terrorists, it helps to support the travel, training and living expenses of such groups, as well as compensate wounded fighters, and pay for propaganda strategies or even the support of slain terrorists’ families.

“In addition to funding individual attacks and operations, terrorism financing helps establish and maintain terrorist groups, and sustains the networks connecting them,” AUSTRAC’s annual report, which was presented in the parliament, said.

AUSTRAC prepares a terrorism financing report annually, on the basis of several factors, including national risk assessment of the financing terrorism environment in Australia. The agency works in collaboration with the Australian Federal Police and other key partner agencies to provide the relevant facts and figures.

The agency also helped Indonesia track and analyse its own terrorism financing - a partnership that allowed the latter to be taken off the global Financial Action Task Force’s monitoring list in the past year. The first-ever Indonesian national money laundering and terrorism financing risk assessment authority will be set up later in 2015.

AUSTRAC’s continuous eye on money laundering issues has led the government to generate an extra $466 million that has been collected by the tax office in tax assessments and debt collections.

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