Project Trace: Reinforcing counter-terrorism capacity in ASEAN

INTERPOL’s Project Trace is a three-year (2017-2020) initiative to reinforce the counter-terrorism capacity and expertise in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) countries.

Funded by Global Affairs Canada, the project will equip participants with skills, tools and methodologies needed in order to effectively gather and exploit information from online platforms, including social media, for counter-terrorism investigations.

Supporting all 10 ASEAN member countries (Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam), Project Trace targets officers from national counter-terrorism units, intelligence and investigation officers from cyber units, and any other national agencies responsible for investigating and combating the use of Internet for terrorism purposes.

Yearly programme cycles include basic and advanced training sessions, along with table-top exercises based on real-life case studies and scenarios to provide participants with hands-on experience. A common analytical software may be provided as a specialized tool to assist countries in conducting their investigations. Activities will be overseen by a Steering Committee comprising a representative from each participating country. 

A Steering Committee oversees the general direction of the project. Comprising representatives from each participating country, the committee provides advice and guidance on how the activities can best meet the needs of the ASEAN countries.

The group held its first meeting in February 2018, which was also attended by the Canadian High Commissioner to Singapore, Lynn McDonald. Issues discussed by the committee included the potential purchase of specialized equipment and software, and strategies to reduce risks to the long-term sustainability of the project.

The Steering Committee will meet on two additional occasions throughout the duration of the project to ensure it delivers a meaningful and lasting impact for the region.

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