LYON, France – INTERPOL and the United Nations Counter-Terrorism Centre (UNCCT), the capacity building arm of the United Nations Office of Counter-Terrorism (UNOCT), jointly conducted a workshop on “Enhancing Member State Capacities to use Social Media to Prevent and Counter the Foreign Terrorist Fighters Phenomenon”.
The three-day (14 – 16 January) workshop brought together law enforcement officers and investigators from Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon, Morocco, Tunisia, the United Arab Emirates and Pakistan. The objective was to raise the understanding of the Foreign Terrorist Fighters (FTF) phenomenon, including the gender dimension and the importance of respecting human rights and fundamental freedoms while countering and preventing the phenomenon through the use of social media.
The joint INTERPOL-UNOCT/UNCCT workshop included practical exercises aimed at developing the ability of Member States to use information on the Internet and social media to counter the FTF threat. It focused on the role of law enforcement agencies to collect, analyse and share information found online, particularly on social media platforms, to assist in detecting, preventing, investigating and prosecuting terrorism-related crimes.
Participants were trained in four main areas: detecting terrorist-related activities online; collecting e-evidence; requesting e-evidence across borders; and engaging with the private sector to advance investigations by law enforcement agencies.
The 14 participants benefited from the expertise provided by INTERPOL’s Counter-Terrorism Directorate, UNOCT/UNCCT, national law enforcement agencies, as well as from partners organizations such as the UN Counter-Terrorism Committee Executive Directorate (CTED), the UN Office on Drugs and Crimes (UNODC) and the private sector, including Facebook.
The workshop is part of a broader project on preventing and combating terrorism in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA), Southeast Asia and South Asia regions, which is funded from the Trust Fund on Counter-Terrorism managed by UNOCT, by the Government of Japan and the Government of the United Arab Emirates.
INTERPOL’s global role in combating terrorism has been widely recognized. In 2017, the United Nations Security Council unanimously adopted Resolution 2396 recognizing the efforts of INTERPOL against the threat posed by foreign terrorist fighters, including through global law enforcement information sharing. As part of its global counter-terrorism strategy, INTERPOL seeks to counter terrorist threats on digital platforms by reinforcing the social media analysis capabilities of its member countries in the MENA region and Pakistan.
UNCCT provides capacity-building assistance to Member States, upon their request, at the global, regional and national levels. Mandated by the General Assembly, UNOCT was established in June 2017 to provide leadership to the implementation of General Assembly counter-terrorism mandates, to enhance coordination and coherence, and to strengthen the delivery of UN counter-terrorism capacity building assistance to Member States.