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Data key to terrorism fight

Data key to terrorism fight

The global response to transnational terrorism must evolve with the expanding nature of the threat, and data is key to this.

Speaking at an international ministerial meeting on Countering the Cross-Border Movement of Terrorism, Interpol secretary general Jürgen Stock said effective information sharing, capacity building and regional structures underpin the global response to terrorism, bolstered by Interpol’s global reach.

“Across the world, attacks are becoming less predictable. Soft targets dominate the picture, and radicalization cycles are shortening. This requires faster decisions at the frontlines and at borders,” Stock says.

With international police investigations relying on up-to-date global data, and greater access to Interpol’s criminal databases, Stock says that more information is required to help identify potential links to terrorism via its databases.

As recognized by UN Security Council Resolution 2178 (2014), sharing information through Interpol’s global network is vital to better identify and prevent the travel of suspected foreign terrorist fighters (FTFs).

Interpol currently holds nearly 8,000 FTF records, accessible in real time at the frontlines, contributed by some 60 member countries. It is also exploiting thousands of additional records for analytical purposes.

Last month Interpol joined the Global Coalition to Counter ISIL, bolstering efforts against the flow of FTFs and Da’esh financing.

The recent meeting heard that counter-terrorism efforts also require long-term investment into establishing the sustainable infrastructure to access information, as well as building the right police skills and capacity at the frontlines.

Interpol therefore plans to expand its frontline operational support by establishing regional counter-terrorism structures attuned to the threat landscape. Its liaison office in Bangkok and the Interpol Global Complex for Innovation (IGCI) in Singapore offer further strategic opportunities for co-operation.

“Information sharing, capacity building and strong regional delivery are the pillars of Interpol’s counter-terrorism strategy,” Stock adds. “The aim is connecting police worldwide, connecting the dots globally to better understand the threat, and providing the instruments to address it in the field. A global response to a global threat.”