INTERPOL and the United Nations Counter-Terrorism Centre (UNCCT), the capacity building arm of the United Nations Office of Counter-Terrorism (UNOCT), have jointly conducted a workshop on the use of social media to prevent and counter Foreign Terrorist Fighters (FTF).
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 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 workshop included practical exercises aimed at developing the ability 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 partner organizations such as the UN Counter-Terrorism Committee Executive Directorate, the UN Office on Drugs and Crimes, 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, 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.