Home News Interpol and UNCTC issue handbook for online counter-terrorism investigations

Interpol and UNCTC issue handbook for online counter-terrorism investigations

by Brian Sims

Foreign terrorist fighters (FTFs) use the Internet and social media for a diverse range of terrorist activities, from recruitment and radicalisation through to planning and funding. In response, Interpol and the United Nations Counter-Terrorism Centre (UNCTC) have jointly produced a handbook to help investigators collect, analyse and share information found online, and particularly that located on social media platforms.

Given the immediacy and global reach of online terrorist activities, it’s critical for law enforcement officers to understand how best to use the Internet to generate online investigative leads and collect and preserve electronic records – often across international borders – in order to contribute to successful prosecutions.

The handbook, which is entitled ‘Using the Internet and Social Media for Counter-Terrorism Investigations’, shares good practices in the following areas as well as offering a comprehensive list of practical online tools:

*Understanding how terrorists have adapted the way in which they use the Internet and social media and continue to be active online

*Good practice in conducting an online counter-terrorism investigation

*Steps for requesting the preservation and collection of electronic evidence (including from Internet Service Providers)

This handbook forms part of a wider project on preventing and combating the FTF phenomenon in specific regions and complements a series of training workshops delivered by Interpol and the UNCTC between July last year and February 2019.

As well as building on presentations and discussions held during the regional workshops, the handbook draws on the knowledge and network of the United Nations Global Counter-Terrorism Compact Task Force, including the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, the Counter-Terrorism Committee Executive Directorate and the International Association of Prosecutors.

To receive a copy of the handbook, interested parties should contact the Interpol National Central Bureau in their host country

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