UNODC-supported programme leads to extradition of terrorist suspect in Middle East and North Africa

UNODC-supported programme leads to extradition of terrorist suspect in Middle East and North Africa

6 May 2019 - In an increasingly interdependent world, the ability of States to provide prompt assistance to each other is no longer an option but an absolute necessity to effectively address the terrorist threat. This cooperation is made all the more necessary in the face of recent threat developments, as recalled by United Nations Security Council resolutions on terrorist acts and foreign terrorist fighters.

Mechanisms enhancing trust and inter-institutional cooperation among key counter-terrorism agencies have proven to be of huge added value in overcoming obstacles and practical challenges in cooperation on terrorism-related offences.

The Multi-Agency Task Force (MATF), set up by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) to strengthen cooperation on terrorist cases among countries in the Middle East and North Africa, confirmed this point by facilitating an extradition process at the beginning of 2019. As a direct result of assistance provided by UNODC in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA), competent authorities were able to ensure the successful extradition of a terrorist suspect associated with the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL/Da'esh).

Direct communication through the Multi-Agency Task Force facilitated the localization of the terrorist suspect, his transfer from the detention centre and the extradition process in view of bringing him to justice. Requested and requesting countries, both from the MENA region, coordinated their efforts and actions through the Task Force to clarify the extradition mechanism and ensure compliance of the judicial order with procedural requirements of both states.

The Multi-Agency Task Force is a cooperation network that was set up by UNODC in 2018 in the Middle East and North Africa with funds from the Government of Canada, to strengthen law enforcement and criminal justice cooperation in foreign terrorist fighter cases. As the above result demonstrates, focal points are exchanging information and achieving significant operational outcomes related to ongoing terrorist cases.

The network is composed of security and judicial focal points from countries in the Middle East and North Africa who are charged with the investigations, prosecutions and cooperation in terrorist cases. The network serves as a catalyst to build strong mutual trust among the focal points for more effective cooperation in this area.

The overall mission of the focal points, who are the driving forces of the network, is to facilitate cooperation with their regional counterparts, including for joint investigation, mutual legal assistance and extradition, in particular through direct and regular contacts. They also identify and analyze the operational challenges posed in the foreign terrorist fighter cases, share good practices in response to these challenges and discuss ongoing cases.

Further Information:

Fact Sheet on the Multi-Agency Task Force mechanism in Arabic, English  and French.

The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime and Terrorism Prevention

Terrorist plots foiled in Middle East and North Africa with help from UNODC supported programme

Security Council Resolution 2178 (2014) on Addressing the growing issue of foreign terrorist fighters

Security Council Resolution 2396 (2017) on Threats to international peace and security caused by terrorist acts - foreign terrorist fighters

Security Council Resolution 2322 (2016) on Threats to international peace and security caused by terrorist acts