OSCE Counter-Terrorism Network (CTN) Newsletter No. 113 (Nov.-Dec. 2016)

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OSCE Ministerial Council pledges to strengthen OSCE counter-terrorism efforts, adopts decision on Advance Passenger Information
Meeting at the 23rd OSCE Ministerial Council, participating States voiced unanimous support for strengthening OSCE efforts to counter and prevent terrorism, and decided to enhance the use of Advance Passenger Information (API) with the aim of combating terrorism. They also decided to continue and build on the OSCE’s efforts related to reducing the risks of conflict stemming from the use of Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs).
Slovenia’s University of Ljubljana wins Peer-2-Peer OSCE ‘Challenging extremism’ competition in Hamburg
A team of students from the University of Ljubljana won first prize in a regional OSCE #UnitedCVE competition under the “Peer-2-Peer (P2P): Challenging Extremism” initiative. Universities from 23 OSCE participating States were invited to join the competition during the Autumn Term of this year, and the three top teams, from Canada, Slovenia and Sweden, were shortlisted to pitch their campaigns live during the 23rd OSCE Ministerial Council in Hamburg, in front of a jury of OSCE senior officials and ambassadors of participating States. The competition was held under the umbrella of the OSCE "United in Countering Violent Extremism(#UnitedCVE) campaign, which has reached 17 million people through social media in 2016 alone.
The winning entry from Slovenia created an online algorithm that helps users assess how fear inducing media reports are. Once a media report is uploaded to their platform, the text is analysed against pre-defined key words through the so-called Fear Index. In order to help promote the tool and encourage young people to think critically when consuming media content, the team launched an awareness raising campaign:, supported by a series of community events, to challenge recurring media narratives. More information and photo gallery.
OSCE #UnitedCVE P2P competition 1st prize winners: University of Ljubljana, Slovenia.
OSCE #UnitedCVE P2P competition 2nd prize winners: Simon Fraser University, Canada
OSCE #UnitedCVE P2P competition 3rd prize winners: Lund University, Sweden
Save the date: 2017 OSCE-wide Counter-Terrorism Conference
The 2017 Austrian OSCE Chairmanship will convene on 23-24 May 2017 in Vienna an OSCE-wide counter-terrorism conference. The conference intends to take a bold look at and hold a thought-provoking debate on the current challenges, issues and policy options in key areas for international co-operation in the fight against terrorism, in particular related to violent extremism and radicalization leading to terrorism (VERLT), emphasizing the OSCE's comprehensive approach to security. The Chairmanship will focus the discussions on three main issues highlighted  in  the  OSCE   Ministerial   Declaration   1 /16  on  Strengthening  OSCE Efforts  to Prevent and Counter Terrorism and the OSCE Ministerial Declaration 4/15 on Preventing and Countering VERLT, namely national counter terrorism measures, engaging and  empowering youth in preventing and countering VERLT, as well as rehabilitation,  reintegration  and  the prevention of radicalization to terrorism.
Inventory of Policies and Legislation to Prevent and Counter VERLT
The OSCE published on 15 December 2016 the fourth update of its Inventory of Policy Documents and Legislation adopted by OSCE participating States to Prevent and Counter Violent Extremism and Radicalization that Lead to Terrorism. The inventory was first published in April 2014 and is based on official responses from Delegations to a questionnaire and on open source information. By 15 December 2016, a total of 49 participating States and 3 Partners for Co-operation provided official feedback. Of those, 31 indicated that they have a national policy document on counter-terrorism, 24 have a national strategy and/or action plan to prevent and counter VERLT, and 41 have specific legislation in force to criminalize incitement to commit acts of terrorism.
OSCE supports seminar in Kyrgyzstan on preventing violent extremism and radicalization that lead to terrorism among youth
Some 40 representatives of the Kyrgyz Interior Ministry’s Juvenile Delinquency Inspectorate and the 10th Main Directorate of the Ministry on countering violent extremism participated in an OSCE-supported seminar on preventing violent extremism and radicalization that lead to terrorism (VERLT) among youth, on 10-12 November 2016 in Bulan-Sogottu village, Issyk-Kul province. The three-day event organized by the OSCE Centre in Bishkek, the Iyman Development Fund and the Interior Ministry’s 10th Main Directorate was aimed at raising public awareness on prevention efforts by fostering dialogue and co-operation between the state authorities and youth. More information
Prevention of violent extremism and terrorist radicalization among youth in focus of OSCE-supported seminar in Kyrgyzstan
The OSCE Centre in Bishkek supported on 17-22 October 2016 in Osh, Kyrgyzstan, an intensive seminar for some 50 representatives of the Kyrgyz Interior Ministry’s Juvenile Delinquency Inspectorate, Municipal committees on youth issues and leaders of Territorial Youth Councils. The six-day event aimed to raise public awareness on VERLT by fostering dialogue and co-operation between state authorities and youth. More information
OSCE promotes community-policing approach in countering violent extremism in Uzbekistan
A two-day national seminar on community-policing approaches to counter violent extremism and radicalization that lead to terrorism (VERLT), organized by the OSCE Project Co-ordinator in Uzbekistan and the OSCE Transnational Threats Department, took place on 29-30 November 2016 in Tashkent. The seminar brought together more than 50 participants, with the objective of stressing the importance of engaging the community by establishing police-public partnerships among the police, public authorities and citizens to develop proactive problem-solving practices to prevent and counter terrorist radicalization. More information
Integrating gender aspects into security sector’s work is essential to countering terrorism and violent extremism, say experts at OSCE meeting
The need to gender mainstream operational responses by the security sector in countering violent extremism and radicalization that lead to terrorism (VERLT) was highlighted during a two-day technical expert meeting of more than 80 law enforcement and government officials from across the OSCE region, which concluded today in Vienna. Organized by the OSCE Transnational Threats Department in co-operation with the OSCE Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR), the meeting aimed to compile expert recommendations to steer further OSCE activities to raise gender awareness in States’ efforts to prevent and counter VERLT. More information
More young people join OSCE’s efforts in preventing violent extremism in Bosnia and Herzegovina
The engagement of young people in creating a more tolerant environment and becoming empowered to counter violent extremist views among their peers has been emphasized as a priority at a two-day Youth Summit, that concluded on 6 December in Bihać. The Youth Summit, hosted by the OSCE Mission to Bosnia and Herzegovina, brought together 26 senior school students and teachers from Bužim and Cazin, aiming to learn about tolerance and mutual respect for each other's differences. This was also an opportunity to inform young people about violent extremism and how to counter it. The Youth Summit is organized as part of the OSCE Mission’s project on the prevention of violent extremism in BiH. More information
OSCE helps Ukraine’s border guard and state security personnel enhance knowledge and skills on fighting terrorism
Thirty experts from Ukraine’s agencies responsible for border security refined their skills and knowledge of fighting terrorism by using risk and criminal analysis at a two-week course for trainers, organized in Khmelnytsky by the OSCE Project Co-ordinator in Ukraine from 14 to 25 November 2016. The training course focused on the applicability of analytical tools to identify and counter terrorist threats, and was delivered by experts from the Polish Border Guard. It involved interactive and practical assignments with analyses of terrorist attacks and applied exercises on managing crisis situations. More information
Tajik border troop officers complete OSCE training course on operational planning
Twenty officers from the Tajik Border Troops completed an advanced three-week training course on operational planning at the Gissar Training Centre, Tajikistan on 18 November 2016. The border officers enhanced their knowledge on the decision-making process, situation analysis at the border, and the preparation and implementation of operational plans. The course also covered topics on types of border patrol units used in the border protection, risk analysis, the stages of the operational planning, and inter-agency and cross-border co-operation for protecting borders. More information
Best practices in conducting border checks discussed at regional workshop organized by OSCE Border Management Staff College
A five-day workshop for 16 border and customs officials from Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, and Turkmenistan on best practices in conducting border checks concluded on 18 November 2016 at the OSCE Border Management Staff College in Dushanbe with support from the OSCE Transnational Threats Department. The workshop focused on border check procedures and international co-operation at borders, including the key elements of border control systems, types of border crossing points, risk analysis and risk management, and best practices in conducting customs procedures. The participants also learned about methods for detecting smuggled and dangerous goods. Specific practical sessions focused on identifying the forgery of travel documents and relevant trends. More information
OSCE workshop promotes establishing Advance Passenger Information (API) system in Serbia
The OSCE’s Transnational Threats Department, supported by the OSCE Mission to Serbia, held a three-day workshop in Belgrade from 29 November to 1 December 2016 on establishing an Advance Passenger Information (API) system in the country in line with international standards. In close co-operation with the International Air Transport Association (IATA) and national experts from other OSCE participating States, participants of this workshop managed to identify the strengths and weaknesses of the current national passenger processing environment, determine the technical assistance needs of the country, and draft a road map that will eventually lead to the establishment of an API system in Serbia. More information
OSCE convenes expert roundtable on good practices in identity management
The OSCE Transnational Threats Department (TNTD) and the OSCE Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR) gathered on 6-7 December 2016 in Warsaw 23 international experts to examine the responses to the Survey Questionnaire distributed to participating States on 5 August 2016 (ODIHR.GAL/47/16), and to assess good practices in travel document security and civil registry systems. TNTD and ODIHR will collate the results and draft a Compendium of Good Practices so that States can compare their own systems with others in a like-for-like manner, and use this comparison to spot potential weaknesses, as well as guide capacity-building efforts for the OSCE and other international organizations. An article on this initiative can be found in the Vol. 11 No.2 issue of the ICAO TRIP magazine.
Regional Workshop on Raising Awareness and Capacity Building on Advance Passenger Information (API), Almaty
The OSCE as one of the partner organizations in this global initiative led by the United Nations Counter-Terrorism Centre (UNCCT) supported the organization of this event on 13-15 December 2016. OSCE participating States identified by UNCCT for participation in this workshop included Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, and Turkmenistan.
OSCE Office donates equipment to Tajik border law agencies
A donation ceremony involving Tajikistan’s State Committee for National Security, Border Troops and Customs Service took place on 27 December 2016 emphasising successful co-operation between the OSCE Office in Tajikistan and the border agencies in 2016 as well as in commemoration of the 25th anniversary of the Tajik security forces. The Office donated desktop computers to the State Committee for National Security and to the Border Troops, while desk computers and dosimeters were donated to the Customs Service. Special equipment for the identification of forged travel documents was donated for installation at the Khujand International Airport. More information
Protecting human rights while countering terrorism in focus at OSCE/ODIHR training events in Madrid
Protecting human rights while countering terrorism was the focus of two OSCE training courses organized by the OSCE Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR) on 14-15 November and 17-18 November 2016 in Madrid. Altogether, 35 officers - 27 men and 8 women - from the Spanish National Police, the Civil Guard, the Intelligence Centre against Terrorism and Organized Crime (CITCO), penitentiary institutions, regional police and armed forces participated in the courses, which were facilitated by experts from Italy, the United Kingdom and the United States, as well as by OSCE staff. The training course on 17-18 November, organized jointly with the Strategic Police Matters Unit of the OSCE Secretariat’s Transnational Threats Department (TNTD/SPMU), focused on human rights in counter-terrorism investigations. At the earlier course, on 14 and 15 November, participants discussed the short- and long-term adverse effects of human rights violations in counter-terrorism policing. More information
OSCE convenes regional workshop in Skopje for judges, prosecutors and investigators focused on countering the use of the Internet for terrorist purposes
Countering the use of the Internet for terrorist purposes was the focus of a two-day regional workshop organized in Skopje on 16-17 November 2016 by the OSCE in co-operation with the National Academy for Judges and Public Prosecutors. Discussions concentrated on areas such as relevant legal frameworks on countering the use of the Internet for terrorist purposes, the protection and recovery of forensic data in investigations, investigations of terrorism financing online and judicial co-operation. Participants also explored good practices in investigating different components and stages of the use of the Internet for terrorist purposes. More information
OSCE supports training seminar on combating money laundering and financing of terrorism in Kazakhstan
An OSCE-supported training seminar on anti-money laundering and combating the financing of terrorism (AML/CFT) for some 40 representatives of Kazakhstan’s government authorities, self-regulatory bodies as well as Designated Non-Financial Businesses and Professions took place on 18 November 2016 in Astana. The event is the last in a series of five OSCE-supported training courses on combating money laundering and the financing of terrorism. More information
Regional Meeting of Heads of Anti-Money Laundering authorities of South East Europe supported by OSCE Mission to Montenegro
The OSCE Mission to Montenegro facilitated a two-day meeting of the heads of Financial Intelligence Units (FIU) of the six South-East Europe countries, hosted by the Montenegrin FIU on 1 and 2 December 2016 in Budva. The event was an opportunity for senior representatives of the anti-money laundering authorities (AML) of Albania, Bosnia-Herzegovina, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Serbia, Slovenia and Montenegro to share their experience and explore the possibilities for improving co-operation. More information
OSCE helps Ukraine conduct its first national assessment of risks related to money laundering and the financing of terrorism
The results of Ukraine’s first-ever national money-laundering and financing of terrorism risk assessment, conducted with the support of the OSCE Project Co-ordinator in Ukraine, were presented on 15 December 2016 to the country’s expert community at an event in Kyiv. It covers national regulatory bodies, law-enforcement agencies, private sector players and is based on best international practices and experiences. The assessment provides in-depth sector-specific analysis of the challenges in the national financial monitoring system and proposes recommendations for improvement. More information
Kazakh and Uzbek representatives discuss bilateral co-operation in combating terrorism financing and money laundering during OSCE-led expert meeting
Representatives of financial intelligence agencies from Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan in Chisinau concluded on 23 December 2016 a two-day expert meeting led by the OSCE on enhancing bilateral co-operation in combating the financing of terrorism and money laundering. Representatives of the two countries exchanged views on the perspectives of bilateral co-operation in addressing terrorist threats and combating money laundering, and shared best practices. The meeting was co-organized by the OSCE Secretariat and the UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC). More information
OSCE promotes safe management of small arms and light weapons in Kazakhstan
An OSCE-supported workshop on fighting illicit small arms and light weapons (SALW) took place on 9-10 November 2016 in Astana, Kazakhstan. The OSCE Conflict Prevention Centre and the OSCE Programme Office in Astana co-organized the event to raise capacity on preventing the diversion of SALW into the hands of organized criminal and terrorist groups through the use of effective transfer controls as well as safe and secure storage of such weapons. The OSCE Document on Small Arms and Light Weapons, adopted in 2000 and reissued in 2012, sets forth norms, measures and principles for effective control of these weapons starting from pistols to sub-machine guns and Man Portable Air Defence Systems (MANPADS). More information
OSCE supports regional workshop in Kazakhstan on reducing and responding to explosive hazards
A three-day OSCE regional workshop for 40 military and civilian experts focusing on challenges related to reducing and responding to explosive hazards, and developing the capacities of personnel working in this area, took place on 16-18 November 2016 in Astana. The workshop was designed to serve as a platform for the exchange of experiences and best practices in explosive hazards reduction and response on a technical level among specialists. The event was organized by Kazakhstan’s Ministry of Defence together with the OSCE Programme Office in Astana and the OSCE Office in Tajikistan. More information
OSCE seminar in Turkmenistan addresses critical energy infrastructure protection
Some 15 law-enforcement officials and energy experts from Turkmenistan discussed best practices in the area of critical energy infrastructure protection at an OSCE-organized seminar that concluded in Ashgabat on 15 December 2016. The two-day event provided an overview of existing and emerging risks for critical energy infrastructure. International experts elaborated on electricity transmission and presented examples of projects on electricity grids run by international institutions such as the European Commission. More information

Strengthening sub-regional judicial cooperation in Middle East in FTF related cases

The Terrorism Prevention Branch of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC/TPB) held a regional training on strengthening regional c-ooperation in foreign terrorist fighter-related (FTF) criminal cases in Beirut from 15 to 17 November 2016.  The event took place within the framework of UNODC's Global initiative on strengthening the legal regime against FTFs (2015-2019) and was attended by 35 senior criminal justice and law enforcement officials from Egypt, Iraq, Jordan and Lebanon. UNODC/TPB officials were joined by experts from Morocco and Spain, as well as CTED, EUROJUST, and the League of Arab States. The three-day event offered a forum to explore practical means and tools to further increase the cooperation in criminal matters related to FTFs. Follow-up technical assistance activities will be organized for Middle Eastern countries both at the national and regional levels in the context of the Global Initiative in order to support and ensure the implementation of the concrete measures identified and commonly agreed on as a result of the training.

UN Security Council Counter-Terrorism Committee holds special meeting on preventing exploitation of the Internet and social media for terrorist purposes
Exploitation of the Internet and social media for terrorist purposes can only be defeated through sustained and comprehensive action involving the active participation and collaboration of Member States, international and regional organizations, civil society, and the private sector. This was a common theme expressed by of a number of participants in a special meeting of the Counter-Terrorism Committee, held at the United Nations in New York on 1 December 2016. More information
UN Security Council unanimously adopts resolution on international judicial cooperation in countering terrorism
The transnational nature of terrorism requires a coordinated response for all States and actors of the international community. Cooperation in judicial matters is an indispensable requirement in order to overcome challenges pertaining to the investigation and prosecution of terrorist acts, particularly when the various elements of a case are spread beyond the jurisdictions of several States. These were some of the conclusions of the 12 December 2016 high-level, open briefing of the United Nations Security Council on international judicial cooperation in countering terrorism. More information

Joint special meeting on Depriving terrorist groups from accessing, raising, and moving funds: Practices and lessons learned

United Nations Member States that are not at high risk in terms of terrorism more broadly may still present a risk regarding the financing of terrorism. While terrorist entities and individuals are still relying on traditional forms of terrorist financing such as cash or money remitters, these groups are also utilizing the Internet and other forms of information and communication technologies to access, raise, and move funds. These were some of the key themes raised in a joint special meeting of the Security Council Counter-Terrorism Committee, the 1267/1989/2253 ISIL (Da’esh) and Al-Qaida Sanctions Committee, together with the Financial Action Task Force (FATF), organized at the United Nations on 12 and 13 December 2016. More information and press release 

UNODC holds expert meeting on treatment of children recruited and exploited by terrorist and violent extremist groups 

From 13 to 15 December 2016, the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) convened an expert meeting in Vienna to discuss how countries can treat children who have been recruited and exploited by terrorist and violent extremist groups. The Expert Group Meeting covered issues such as preventing the involvement of children with terrorist and violent extremist groups, the suitable justice responses to this phenomenon, and how to promote the effective release and social reintegration of those children. More than 30 experts in the field of child rights and counter-terrorism from all regions of the world, especially from countries heavily affected by conflict and terrorism, shared their experiences on challenges and promising practices. These discussions will then help in the development of a UNODC handbook on the topic. More information 

                 COMMONWEALTH OF                   INDEPENDENT STATES 

CIS adopts a Program of Cooperation in Combating Terrorism and Other Violent Manifestations of Extremism
The Council of the heads of CIS member-states adopted a Program of Cooperation in Combating Terrorism and Other Violent Manifestations of Extremism for the period 2017-2019, at a meeting in Bishkek, Kyrgyz Republic. The Program was adopted to ensure an adequate response of CIS member-states to the dynamic operational environment in the counter-terrorism and counter-violent extremism field. The CIS Anti-Terrorism Center was the principal developer of the Program.

CIS ATC organizes a roundtable on Countering Terrorism and Extremism during Information-Psychological Wars
The CIS Anti-Terrorism Center and the International News Agency "Rossiya Segodnya" organized an International informational-tutorial roundtable followed by a training on "Countering Terrorism and Extremism during Information-Psychological Wars: Analysis, Research, Forecast", on 7-10 November 2016 in Moscow, Russian Federation, with the support from MG Apocryphe and Group-IB. More information

CIS ATC holds regional expert consultations of the CIS security agencies and special services
The CIS Anti-Terrorism Center held its 6th regional expert consultations with representatives of the counter-terrorism and counter-extremism units of the security agencies and special services of the CIS member-states on 6-8 December 2016 in Bishkek, Kyrgyz Republic. The main topics of discussion included provision of national and regional security amid return of foreign terrorist fighters to their countries of origin, cooperation among competent authorities of the CIS member-states in identifying and suppressing recruitment operations by international terrorist organizations through social media and emissaries sent to the Central Asian region. Participants also shared their best practices to prevent radicalisation, including youth involvement into terrorist and extremist activities. More information

CIS ATC supports a regional counter-terrorism and countering conference
A regional conference “Stop ISIS! The Ural Region Against Extremism and Terrorism” was held on 14 December 2016 in Yekaterinburg, Russian Federation with the support from the CIS Anti-Terrorism Center, bringing together representatives of governmental and law enforcement authorities, academia, Orthodox and Muslim clergy. The main questions on the agenda were how to identify recruiters and how to resist them. More information
International Conference in Moscow on Countering Terrorism and Extremism
An International Conference “On Countering Terrorism and Extremism in the Central Asian Region of Collective Security” organized by the CSTO Analytical Association and the International Studies Institute under the Moscow State Institute of International Relations (MGIMO) was held on 15 December  2016 in the MGIMO, which is affiliated to Russia’s Foreign Ministry. During the conference an analytical report on “The Threats of International Terrorism and Religious Extremism to the CSTO Member States in Central Asia and from Afghanistan” was presented. Participants supported the principal points of the document in their concluding resolution. After the report is finalized, taking into account the inputs made during the debates, it will be recommended for circulation in the CSTO Member States, as well as for experts and practical workers of other states, who deal with issues of fighting international terrorism and religious extremism. Participants to the Conference agreed with that escalating security threats in Central Asia and from Afghanistan drastically increase the CSTO’s importance as a factor of security and stability in the region. All of this testifies to the need to thoroughly inform the public, including the international one, about CSTO activities, as well as to step up CSTO’s interaction with the Russian and the international expert community. CSTO is the only international organization ready to assume responsibility for security in the Eurasian region and equipped for dealing with the task.
* The views expressed in the articles are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the official position of the OSCE and its participating States.
Copyright © 2016 OSCE Transnational Threats Department / Action against Terrorism Unit, All rights reserved.

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