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17 September 2015

INTERPOL regional meeting in Turkey focuses on foreign terrorist fighters

ISTANBUL, Turkey – Counter-terrorism experts are meeting in Istanbul under the framework of INTERPOL’s Project Kalkan to review challenges and strengthen regional and international responses to the threat posed by Foreign Terrorist Fighters (FTFs).

Supported by the Turkish National Police, the three-day (16 - 18 September) meeting aims to assist INTERPOL member countries in Central Asia to obtain an overview of both individual foreign terrorist fighters and associated networks, as well as mechanisms used to detect and counter their recruitment and travel.

Some 90 participants from 35 countries are attending the meeting, including representatives from the Regional Anti-Terrorist Structure of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO RATS).

Key topics on the agenda include: building awareness of FTF-related challenges tied to international investigations; developing actionable policing responses by establishing good practices; understanding the modus operandi of facilitators; and the role of case studies as important information sources on emerging terrorist threats.

Describing Project Kalkan as ‘an excellent example of INTERPOL’s multifaceted approach to international police cooperation’, INTERPOL Executive Director of Police Services Tim Morris said that the routes used by terrorists have become a critical issue for law enforcement worldwide.

“These routes create a permissive environment for the sustenance and growth of terrorism and related crimes. They allow terrorists to operate, travel and conduct activities along the same routes established and used by drug traffickers, human smugglers and other criminals sharing the services of the same shadow facilitators,” said Mr Morris.

“They are among the most crucial and dangerous elements strengthening the terrorist-criminal nexus today,” added Mr Morris.

With Project Kalkan a component of INTERPOL’s Counter Terrorism Fusion Centre, INTERPOL has seen its database containing the names of suspected terrorists grow from approximately 2,000 in 2002 to currently more than 10,000.

INTERPOL’s global role in combating terrorism was recognized by the United Nations Security Council when it adopted, under Chapter VII, Resolution 2178 in September 2014.