UNODC Organizes Multi-agency Workshops to Promote Common Counter Terrorism Investigation Approaches

20 March 2023, Islamabad, Pakistan – Under the framework of CT component, UNODC in collaboration with National Counter Terrorism Authority (NACTA) and with the financial support of Global Affairs Canada (GAC), organized a series of three rollout sessions on 'Multi-agency Workshop to Promote Common Counter Terrorism Investigation Approaches’ for Counter Terrorism Departments (CTDs) across provinces. The sessions were held on February 20-23, 2023, March 1-3, 2023 and March 15-17, 2023 at National Police Academy (NPA), Islamabad.

The training workshops brought together participants from various units of CTD from across Pakistan and experts from law enforcement with an encouraging presence of women participants who learned about investigative techniques with particular regard to open-source intelligence. Training methodology of the workshops was developed around the use of special investigation techniques that respect human rights standards and international law, and also included advanced analysis tools and techniques such as IBM i2 Analyst’s Notebook among others. Primary objective of the training workshops was to capacitate participants with substantial analytical and theoretical knowledge for investigating terrorism incidents and cases with the support of specially designed module on the subject.

Advisor of Countering and Preventing Terrorism Programm, UNODC lauded the efforts of NPA for promoting and instilling a culture of robust training in the Police service, and the workshop complemented those endeavors while helping significantly in developing a proactive response to the threats posed by terrorism. Director General, CT NACTA graced the opening sessions and commended the purpose of the workshops to facilitate the exchange of knowledge through recent case studies that involved increasing use of internet by terrorist organizations and their supporters for varied goals including recruitment, financing, propaganda, training, incitement to commit acts of terrorism, and gathering and dissemination of information for terrorist plots.

The workshops started with the introduction to the topics related with terrorism and extremism in Pakistan, the latest challenges posed by terrorism in the country, and the relevant counter terrorism interventional approaches for law enforcement agencies (LEAs) along with the legal and procedural obstacles in combating terrorism. During the second day, participants were introduced to the IBM i2 Analyst Notebook software while explaining various approaches to problem solving and giving them an opportunity for first-hand practical use of tools and methods related to open-source intelligence (OSINT). This was followed by a practical session on data entry into the IBM i2 system and its analysis.

The concluding session focused on countering terrorism financing by identifying methods of terrorist financing, national and international legal frameworks before deliberating upon approaches which investigators could adopt in the light of international best practices for effectively countering the financing of terrorism.  This was followed by case studies to correlate how recent heinous high-profile crimes were solved by LEAs and a practical exercise on intelligence analysis leading to the building of a dossier of wanted organizations and individuals. Later the session on cryptocurrency and dark web was delivered to apprise the participants with the basic concept of how cryptocurrency and dark web were utilized by terrorists.

Participants appreciated the content delivered during the rollout sessions by UNODC experts and urged to organize more training activities on the subject. Participants also underlined the need for increased number of such workshops to equip LEAs in Pakistan with modern investigative techniques to effectively counter the menace of terrorism. During the closing ceremony, NPA appreciated the efforts of NACTA, UNODC and the Global Affairs Canada for arranging the workshop which brought together the well-acclaimed experts to share knowledge and their experiences under one roof. Workshop concluded with the ceremony to distribute certificates among the participants.