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Project Sharaka

Tackling terrorism in the Middle East and North Africa

Project Sharaka is INTERPOL’s EU-funded counter terrorism project to boost efforts by law enforcement in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) to tackle terrorism and dismantle its organized networks.

With strong border security the first line of defense in preventing the travel of terrorists, Project Sharaka puts INTERPOL policing tools and capabilities on the frontline in six countries: Algeria, Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon, Morocco and Tunisia.

Project Sharaka is based around three main delivery pillars:

  • technology;
  • capacity building;
  • police operations.

Meaning ‘partnership’ in Arabic, Project Sharaka enables law enforcement in the six countries to:

  • develop the skillsets they need to tackle regional terrorism, particularly as it relates to foreign terrorist fighters; 
  • share law enforcement information and intelligence-led analysis in real time using INTERPOL’s secure global police communications network called I-24/7;
  • use INTERPOL’s range of specialized databases to check data on :
    • suspected criminals;
    • wanted persons;
    • stolen and lost travel documents (SLTD);
    • stolen motor vehicles;
    • forensic profiles;
    • set up cross-border operations to prevent and contain the specific regional threat.

Curbing foreign fighter travel

To reduce cross-border movement of terrorists, Project Sharaka enables countries to connect their frontline agencies to I-24/7, particularly at airports, seaports and national borders.

With stolen travel documents a key asset for terrorist mobility, particularly foreign terrorist fighters returning from conflict zones, access in the field to the INTERPOL SLTD databases is important.

Building new skillsets

Project Sharaka makes sure the six target countries have the counter-terrorism expertise, equipment and skills they need. It gives their frontline officers access to INTERPOL’s global criminal databases and trains them to use them during regional investigations and operations.

Generating regional intelligence

Project Sharaka enables the region’s law enforcement to collectively develop a strategic intelligence picture on the foreign terrorist fighter situation. It provides law enforcement with an intelligence analysis capability to boost and support investigations and operations.

INTERPOL intelligence allows the Sharaka countries to identify the working patterns of terrorist criminal networks, and detect emerging threats so that law enforcement can send early warnings to the region.

Preventing criminal mobility

To boost regional border security and reduce cross border movement of terrorists, Project Sharaka coordinates regional counter-terrorism operations at the borders most likely to be used by foreign terrorist fighters traveling to or from conflict zones.  

By making INTERPOL first-line screening tools available at key regional hotspots, Sharaka operations ensure that the correct information is in the hands of the right officers in the right place so that action can be taken at the right time.

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United Nations Resolution UNSCR s/RES/2178 recognises the efforts of INTERPOL against the threat posed by foreign terrorist fighters, including through global law enforcement information sharing via its I-24/7 secure communications network, global databases and notices, in addition to its counter terrorism efforts and procedures to track stolen, forged identity papers and travel documents.  The Resolution further encourages INTERPOL to support national, regional and international measures preventing the transit of foreign terrorist fighters.

 

Project INTERPOL South ‘Sharaka’ is funded by the European Union. The views expressed herein can in no way be taken to reflect the official opinion of the European Union.

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