The Interpol logo.
(photo credit: REUTERS)
The global response to transnational terrorism must adapt to the evolving and expanding nature of the threat, INTERPOL secretary-general Jurgen Stock told the organization at a meeting in Bali, Indonesia, on Wednesday.
“Across the world, attacks are becoming less predictable,” he said. “Soft targets dominate the picture, and radicalization cycles are shortening. This requires faster decisions at the frontlines and at borders.”
The comment about soft targets was particularly significant after a round of horrific attacks in recent months by ISIS on targets such as churches and airports in Europe and elsewhere.
Speaking at an international ministerial meeting on “Countering the Cross-Border Movement of Terrorism,” Stock said effective information sharing, capacity building and regional structures underpin the global response to terrorism, bolstered by INTERPOL’s unique global reach. With international police investigations relying on up-todate global data, and greater access to INTERPOL’s criminal databases, he explained that more information is required to help identify potential links to terrorism.
He emphasized that sharing information through INTERPOL’s global network is vital to better identifying and preventing suspected foreign terrorists from traveling. INTERPOL currently holds nearly 8,000 records on such fighters from 60 countries accessible in real time. Last month, INTERPOL joined the Global Coalition to Counter ISIS, bolstering efforts against the flow of traveling fighters and terrorist financing.
Israel has also made major strides in recent years in increasing transnational cooperation in fighting terrorism, terrorism financing and cyber attacks.
These include visits with large delegations of law enforcement officials to the US, England, Germany, Kenya, Rwanda and various other countries.
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Legal assistance between Israel and the US on cyber law enforcement issues includes contact between prosecutors and investigators that avoids the red tape that can plague international legal assistance even when it operates well.
Instead of sending a dozen formal requests which might not arrive at the right address or be answered quickly, Justice Ministry officials and their counterparts can pick up the telephone or fire off an email to their counterpart handling the issue.
The new understandings have also paved the way for much faster information sharing for battling cyber crimes outside of a standard formal investigative framework and locating those committing cyber crimes and their networks (which may not always be in the same country.) This is crucial since cyber crime, including DDoS (Distributed Denial-of-Service or purposeful attacks to bring down a site), hacking, phishing and others, morphs and changes at a radically different speed than crimes in other areas.
The Bali meeting was told by Stock 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 front lines.”
He said this meant INTERPOL would expand its front line operational support by establishing “regional counterterrorism structures attuned to the threat landscape. “ “Information sharing, capacity building and strong regional delivery are the pillars of INTERPOL’s counterterrorism strategy,” Stock concluded. “The aim is connecting police worldwide, connecting the dots globally to better understand the threat.”
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