Interpol and UNCTC issue handbook for online counter-terrorism investigations

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

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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