Provincial Training of Law Enforcement Agencies (LEAs) on Countering Terrorism Financing (KP)

Peshawar, Abbottabad, Swat

March 2019, Islamabad: The countering of terrorism Financing (CTF) is one of the principal challenges confronting the law enforcement agencies (LEAs) of Pakistan. Being a core mandate of UNODC and the National Counter Terrorism Authority (NACTA), a series of trainings on CTF were organized on 11-12 and 19-20 February, and 5 _6 March, 2019, in Peshawar, Abbottabad, and Swat, for the Investigators of the Counter Terrorism  Department, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) Police in these cities. The sessions achieved the training of 75 CTD officials.

The trainings were designed and delivered by Brigadier Khalid Saleem (Retd.), UNODC expert Consultant, with the objective of training the CTD officials in investigating cases related to Terrorism Financing (TF), and in the ways this could assist them in conducting parallel investigations into these crimes.

The three two-day trainings were conducted on a similar pattern. The first day began with the subjects of 'Terror Financing - Emerging Trends & Challenges' and 'Investigative Approaches for Countering Terror Financing'.  In the first presentation, a detailed discussion was held on the importance of the financial factor in terrorism, sources of finances used by terrorists, and their ways and means of transferring the funds. In the second round, sessions were conducted on the formulation of an investigative strategy for terror financing cases, and the utilization of sources and resources available to the LEAs to support these investigations.  The experts emphasized the need for creating awareness and close coordination amongst various public and private institutions for effective counter-terrorism, while the participants were advised to take a lead role in these investigations by establishing an improved professional relationship with other institutions rather than losing time and clues in lengthy official correspondence. During the training, participants were apprised on the international and national frameworks on countering terrorism financing by a senior CTD official. The day concluded with a role play where participants were given the part of the provincial police in the financial investigation of terrorism related cases.

The second day of the workshop commenced with scenario-based exercises on Two-Sided Terror Financing, where participants were divided into two groups. One group acting as the terrorist group was assigned to receive, move, hide, and utilize a financial amount; whereas the second group was given the role of an LEA tasked to locate and seize the amount. The exercise concluded with action plan presentations by respective groups. Brigadier Khalid Saleem moderated the exercise, and concluded the workshop with lessons learned for developing best practices in CTF. He stressed the seminal significance of critical thinking in innovatively and proactively countering terrorism by choking terrorist finances. He further emphasized the importance of police officials establishing a robust system of information gathering in their respective areas of responsibility to remain ahead of the terrorists.

Modern learning techniques were inculcated to deliver the trainings, and participants were encouraged to contribute to the discussion through sharing their own perceptions and experiences of dealing with terrorism financing.

All presentations and activities were followed by Question & Answer sessions, resulting in insightful sharing of perspectives between the participants. All trainings were made possible by the support of the European Union (EU).