INTERPOL counter-terrorism training focuses on social media and criminal intelligence analysis

Criminal intelligence analysis and the use of social media are the focus of INTERPOL in two of its courses that aim at building the capacity of police in South and Southeast Asia to combat terrorism.

The two courses conducted in Dhaka, Bangladesh, were funded by the Government of Canada.

More than 40 counter-terrorism and intelligence officials from 16 countries attended the training sessions hosted by the Bangladesh Police Force at the Police Staff College Bangladesh.

The 16 participating countries were: Brunei, Bangladesh, Cambodia, India, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan, Philippines, Singapore, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Timor Leste, and Vietnam.

“Strengthening police academies in the region helps bridge the gap between national and international policing. It also helps law enforcement agencies make maximum use of the unique services provided by INTERPOL to fight transnational crime and terrorism,” said INTERPOL’s Director of Capacity Building and Training Harold O’Connell.

The two courses were held as part of the INTERPOL Capacity Building and Training strategy for 2017-2020, with the aim of reinforcing partnerships with regional stakeholders in the law enforcement training arena.

The first course, held from 19 February to 1 March, was on Criminal Intelligence Analysis Training for South & Southeast Asia.

The course was held under Project Scorpius, an Interpol inter-regional project on countering terrorism and related transnational crime.

The key objective of the 2-year Project Scorpius is to foster collaboration between INTERPOL member countries to enhance investigative and analytical skills of law enforcement agencies so as to better prevent, detect, and investigate terrorism and related transnational crime.

“Police need to be equipped with knowledge and modern technology, so they can face the challenges of the millennium,” said Chief of Bangladesh Police, Dr Mohammad Javed Patwary.

The second course, held from 26 February to 8 March, was on countering the use of social media for terrorist purposes. It was conducted under INTERPOL’s Project Trace as part of its capacity building programme to reinforce ASEAN counter-terrorism capacity and expertise.

The three-year Canadian-funded Project Trace aims to equip ASEAN member countries with the skills, tools and methodologies required to combat the use of Internet and social media platforms for terrorism purposes, and to gather online intelligence to track foreign terrorist fighters.

According to Rector of the Police Staff College Dr Sadiqur Rahman, the biggest challenge law enforcement agencies face today is to act with predictability in the age of uncertainty.

“Terrorism, extremism, cybercrime and other forms of crime may be never-ending. Today, we all accept the fact that the world is becoming borderless. Our times demand more collaboration between police agencies and stakeholders,” he said.

An agreement signed during the training sessions will see INTERPOL’s I-24/7 secure global police communications system deployed to the Police Staff College so as to deliver further training on the use of INTERPOL’s policing capabilities, and provide access to its Global Learning Centre, thus providing institutional sustainability.

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