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06 February 2017

Countering terrorist use of social media focus of INTERPOL training

SINGAPORE – Countering the use of social media by terrorist groups was the focus of a specialized training programme held by INTERPOL for law enforcement across the ASEAN region.

With terrorist groups using social media platforms for radicalization, propaganda and recruitment efforts, or exploiting voice over IP communications and their encryption to prepare and carry out attacks, the courses focused on developing good practice in gathering intelligence and evidence.

As part of INTERPOL’s global counter-terrorism (CT) strategy, the programme was launched in July 2016 with a seminar at the INTERPOL Global Complex for Innovation (IGCI) in Singapore for senior officials with strategic and operational responsibility for CT and cyber law enforcement agencies.

The three-day meeting provided a forum for stakeholders to share expertise and experiences and establish good practice in developing and implementing holistic strategies to counter terrorism threats.

Two specialized training sessions were also held at the IGCI, which included practical exercises to develop participants’ skills in gathering intelligence and capturing admissible online evidence from social media to prevent, disrupt, investigate and prosecute terrorist-linked activities, and enhance CT investigations.

The specialized courses were developed and conducted by INTERPOL in collaboration with the Australian Federal Police (AFP) and the London Metropolitan Police Service Counter Terrorism Command (SO15) with contributions from The Royal Canadian Mounted Police, Singapore Attorney-General’s Chambers and representatives from the private sector and academia.

The courses were held under the umbrella of the INTERPOL Capacity Building Programme on Countering Transnational Terrorism and Other Security Threats in Southeast Asia, funded by the Government of Canada.

The programme aims to provide ASEAN law enforcement agencies with the opportunity to develop and adopt a coordinated and proactive approach in addressing the challenges of terrorism, in particular the problem of Foreign Terrorist Fighters and the use of social media to promote their extreme violence and terrorism.

INTERPOL’s global role in combating terrorism has been widely recognized. In 2014, the United Nations Security Council unanimously adopted Resolution 2178 recognizing the efforts of INTERPOL against the threat posed by foreign terrorist fighters, including through global law enforcement information sharing.