Turkey hosts INTERPOL regional anti-terrorism meeting
ISTANBUL, Turkey – With support from the Turkish National Police, counter-terrorist experts have held a meeting in Istanbul under the framework of INTERPOL’s Project Kalkan, focusing on travel routes used by suspected terrorists into and out of major conflict zones.
With Project Kalkan targeting terrorism-related matters in Central and South Asia and the emerging role and impact of terrorist related criminal acts, 80 counter-terrorist practitioners from 29 countries, including four from regional law enforcement organizations, attended the meeting.
International organizations included the Anti-terrorism Centre of the Commonwealth of Independent States and the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe.
Created in March 2004, at the request of the region’s membership, Project Kalkan has gained considerable counter-terrorism impact and international recognition. The region that it covers is significant in terms of its proximity to current major conflict areas.
During the two-day meeting (26-27 June) a number of cases and current investigations were discussed at length. Crucially, information on a number of new travel routes used by suspected terrorists was shared.
Officials at the meeting also highlighted how the routes being used for drug and human trafficking are also being used by suspected terrorists, and how it is often difficult to disentangle respective criminal activities.
The meeting met a number of planned objectives, including the:
- identification of established travel routes being used by terrorists
- recording and profiling of terror networks and routes into INTERPOL databases
- new relationships and contacts developed to improve connectivity with Central Asian countries, Europe and Asia for current and future terrorist related matters
Valuable source data was also gathered for use in an analytical report that will be produced in November 2013. It will draw conclusions for INTERPOL’s Fusion Task Force (FTF) Working Group meeting series, includes a meeting held in Costa Rica in April, and a final meeting held in Lyon, France, in July 2013.