South Asia: INTERPOL and UNCCT aim to counter the exploitation of Internet for terrorist activities

11 March 2019
Investigators from Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Maldives, Nepal, and Sri Lanka were trained on the evolving FTF phenomenon and the use of the internet and social media by terrorists.

Singapore – On 25-27 February 2019, INTERPOL and United Nations Counter-Terrorism Centre (UNCCT) of UNOCT jointly conducted a three-day workshop on “Enhancing Member State Capacities to use Social Media to Prevent and Counter the Foreign Terrorist Fighters Phenomenon”.

This workshop brought together law enforcement officers and investigators from Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Maldives, Nepal, and Sri Lanka to raise their awareness on the evolving FTF phenomenon and the use of the internet and social media by terrorists; to enhance their skills to identify and detect terrorist-related activities online; collect and preserve electronic evidence; request electronic evidence across borders; and develop a dialogue with the private sector to advance their investigations. Important human rights considerations when conducting online investigations were also addressed.
Through practical exercises focused on boosting the capabilities of law enforcement agencies to collect, analyse and share information found online, particularly on social media platforms, participants will be better equipped to detect, prevent, investigate and prosecute terrorism-related crimes.

The fifteen participants benefited from the expertise provided by INTERPOL CT Directorate, the United Nations Counter-Terrorism Centre, UN Women, national agencies including the Australian Federal Police, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), the US Department of Justice (DoJ) as well as from partners organizations such as the UN Counter-Terrorism Committee Executive Directorate (CTED), the UN Office on Drugs and Crimes (UNODC), the private sector, including Facebook, and academia.

This workshop is part of a broader project on the prevention and countering the FTF phenomenon in the MENA, South East Asia and South Asia regions funded by UNCCT, the Government of Japan, and the Government of the United Arab Emirates and implemented jointly by INTERPOL and the UNCCT.

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 social media analysis capabilities of member countries in the South Asia region.

The United Nations Counter-Terrorism Centre (UNCCT), the capacity building arm of the UN Office of Counter-Terrorism (UNOCT) provides capacity-building assistance to Member States, upon their request to support counter-terrorism efforts at the global, regional and national levels.