“Global response to terrorism must evolve with the threat” asserts Interpol’s Secretary General

The head of Interpol has stated that the global response to transnational terrorism must adapt to the evolving and expanding nature of the threat. Speaking at an international ministerial meeting in Bali on Countering the Cross-Border Movement of Terrorism, Secretary General Jürgen Stock said effective information sharing, capacity building and regional structures underpin the global response to terrorism.

“Across the world, attacks are becoming less predictable,” commented Stock. “Soft targets dominate the picture, while radicalisation cycles are now shortening. This requires faster decisions at the front lines and at borders.”

With international police investigations relying on up-to-date global data, as well as greater access to Interpol’s criminal databases, Stock observed that more information is required in order to help identify potential links to terrorism via its databases.

As recognised by UN Security Council Resolution 2178 (2014), sharing information through Interpol’s global network is vital to better identify and prevent the travel of suspected foreign terrorist fighters (FTFs). Interpol currently holds records on nearly 8,000 FTF. Accessible in real-time at the front lines, these records have been contributed by some 60 member countries.

Interpol is also said to be exploiting “thousands” of additional records for analytical purposes.

Last month, Interpol joined the Global Coalition to Counter ISIL, in turn bolstering efforts against the flow of FTFs and Daesh financing.

Long-term investment in security

Jürgen Stock: Secretary General of Interpol

Jürgen Stock: Secretary General of Interpol

The Bali meeting heard that counter-terrorism efforts also require long-term investment into establishing the sustainable infrastructure to access information, as well as building the right policing skills and capacity at the front lines. On that note, Interpol plans to expand its front line operational support by establishing regional counter-terrorism structures attuned to the threat landscape. Its liaison office in Bangkok and the Interpol Global Complex for Innovation in Singapore offer further strategic opportunities for ongoing co-operation.

“Information sharing, capacity building and strong regional delivery are the very pillars of Interpol’s counter-terrorism strategy,” concluded Stock. “The aim is connecting police worldwide, as well as connecting the dots globally to better understand the threat while at the same time providing the instruments to address it in the field. It’s a global response to a global threat.”

Strengthening ASEAN’s border security networks to prevent the movement of criminals and terror suspects was the focus of Operation Red Lotus, conducted during May at main transit hubs in Indonesia, Thailand and Vietnam. This Interpol-led operation involved immigration and police agencies undertaking enhanced passenger screening via global policing capabilities.

The operation fell under the EU-ASEAN Migration and Border Management Programme II, a European Union-funded initiative aiming to provide the policing capabilities to better manage the movement of people across borders.

About the Author
Brian Sims BA (Hons) Hon FSyI, Editor, Risk UK (Pro-Activ Publications) Beginning his career in professional journalism at The Builder Group in March 1992, Brian was appointed Editor of Security Management Today in November 2000 having spent eight years in engineering journalism across two titles: Building Services Journal and Light & Lighting. In 2005, Brian received the BSIA Chairman’s Award for Promoting The Security Industry and, a year later, the Skills for Security Special Award for an Outstanding Contribution to the Security Business Sector. In 2008, Brian was The Security Institute’s nomination for the Association of Security Consultants’ highly prestigious Imbert Prize and, in 2013, was a nominated finalist for the Institute's George van Schalkwyk Award. An Honorary Fellow of The Security Institute, Brian serves as a Judge for the BSIA’s Security Personnel of the Year Awards and the Securitas Good Customer Award. Between 2008 and 2014, Brian pioneered the use of digital media across the security sector, including webinars and Audio Shows. Brian’s actively involved in 50-plus security groups on LinkedIn and hosts the popular Risk UK Twitter site. Brian is a frequent speaker on the conference circuit. He has organised and chaired conference programmes for both IFSEC International and ASIS International and has been published in the national media. Brian was appointed Editor of Risk UK at Pro-Activ Publications in July 2014 and as Editor of The Paper (Pro-Activ Publications' dedicated business newspaper for security professionals) in September 2015. Brian was appointed Editor of Risk Xtra at Pro-Activ Publications in May 2018.

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