UNODC Conducts Workshop on Countering Terrorist Use of the Internet to Equip Law Enforcement Agencies with Essential Tools

09 June 2023, Karachi - Empowering Law Enforcement Agencies (LEAs) with in-depth knowledge and understanding of the latest trends, techniques and tools exploited by terrorists online is the need of the hour to enhance their capabilities in combating the use of the internet for terrorist activities. Recognizing the need for enhancing operational capacities of the LEAs in this evolving field, United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) Country Office Pakistan organized a three-day workshop, as part of the Country Programme-III (2022-2025) and Sub-Programme-IV “Preventing and Countering Terrorism” from 7th to 9th June 2023 at Karachi, Sindh. Held in collaboration with the National Counter Terrorism Authority (NACTA) and with generous financial support from Global Affairs Canada (GAC), the workshop focused on countering the use of internet for terrorist purposes.

The primary objective of the workshop was to equip the participants with the necessary knowledge, skills and tools to effectively combat the exploitation of the internet by terrorists. Through a comprehensive series of sessions, the workshop aimed to enhance the capabilities of the LEAs in identifying and combating terrorist content online, while also considering the legal and ethical aspects of conducting online investigations. The workshop brought together participants from various federal and provincial Law Enforcement Agencies (LEAs) including NACTA, Counter Terrorism Wing (CTW) and Cyber Crime Wing of Federal Investigation Agency (FIA), and Counter Terrorism Departments (CTDs) of Sindh and Balochistan.

One of the key features of the training was the exchange of knowledge through the presentation of recent case studies illustrating the increasing use of the internet by terrorist organizations and their supporters. These case studies covered a wide range of aspects, including recruitment, financing, propaganda, training, incitement to commit acts of terrorism, and the gathering and dissemination of information for terrorist purposes. In addition, participants were provided with hands-on experience and practical tools related to open-source intelligence (OSINT).

The workshop also dedicated significant attention to the legal and ethical frameworks that govern online investigations. Participants gained insights into the legal aspects, evidence collection, privacy maintenance, human rights considerations, and ensuring the admissibility of digital evidence in legal proceedings. The session emphasized the importance of ethical conduct in online investigations, underscoring the need for professionalism and adherence to established guidelines.

The event concluded with a closing ceremony where participants were recognized for their active engagement and successful completion of the training. Certificates were awarded to acknowledge their dedication and newly acquired skills, recognizing their vital role as key contributors to countering the use of the internet for terrorist purposes.

The knowledge and skills gained during the training will contribute to fostering a safer and more secure environment, protecting the nation from the threats posed by terrorism in digital arena.