Addressing returning and relocating foreign terrorist fighters in Bosnia and Herzegovina

According to Europol's latest report on the terrorist threat in the European Union ( TESAT 2018), one of the main threats to the region of South-Eastern Europe is returning foreign terrorist fighters. In order to respond to these challenges, UNODC's Terrorism Prevention Branch (UNODC/TPB) delivered the second national workshop for Bosnia and Herzegovina on challenges related to returning and relocating foreign terrorist fighters in Sarajevo on 22-23 January 2019. The workshop aimed to enhance national capacities in detecting and intercepting returning foreign terrorist fighters, especially at borders as well as improve regional cooperation related to the subject matter.

The event was opened by the Assistant Minister for International Relations and European Integration at the Ministry of Security of Bosnia and Herzegovina, the Head of Rule of Law within the Delegation of the European Union to Bosnia and Herzegovina as well as UNODC. The workshop brought together twenty-five representatives from the Intelligence Security Agency, the State Investigation and Protection Agency, as well as from the ministries of defence, foreign affairs and justice.

Upon the request of the Government of Bosnia and Herzegovina, experts from Turkey and France shared their experiences, challenges and lessons learned related to the detection and interception of foreign terrorist fighters. Furthermore, presentations were delivered by the Regional Arms Control Verification and Implementation Assistance Center and the Southeast European Law Enforcement Centre and INTERPOL on their mandates, roles and practical tools proposed to improve international and regional cooperation to counter the threat of foreign terrorist fighters. Through interactive sessions, other topics addressed during the workshop included the international and national legal framework applicable to the phenomenon of foreign terrorist fighters, as well as an analysis of relevant cases.

The workshop was delivered under UNODC/TPB's Initiative on "Strengthening the Legal Regime against Foreign Terrorist Fighters in the Middle East, North Africa and South-Eastern Europe", and was funded by the European Union.