Countering the use of the Internet and social networks for terrorist purposed in Morocco

Over the past decade, terrorist organizations have successfully managed to adapt and disperse by exploiting security gaps and vulnerabilities. Progress in information and communication technologies, as well as the expansion of the use of mobile devices, have facilitated access to the Internet and social networks. This reality has made cyberspace a popular tool for terrorist organizations to spread their propaganda, deploy their recruitment strategies, finance their operations, target specific individuals, and expand their activities.

The investigation and prosecution of terrorist offences perpetrated through the Internet often present complex challenges for both investigators and prosecutors. This includes the problems related to international cooperation and the collection, preservation, transmission and presentation of admissible evidence. Many criminal justice actors are not familiar with the issues and procedures related to cybercrime.

UNODC's Terrorism Prevention Branch delivered a national training workshop for prosecutors and law enforcement officials in Morocco on 10-12 December 2019.  The workshop aimed at strengthening the capacity of officials in countering the use of the Internet for terrorist purposes. The event is part of a project supported by the United Nations Peace and Development Trust Fund, Peace and Security Sub-Fund, which is funded by the People's Republic of China.

The training workshop promoted criminal justice measures based on the rule of law and consistent with human rights, both to prevent the use of the Internet for terrorist purposes and to bring perpetrators to justice. National and international experts provided insight on relevant international legal and policy frameworks; the respect for international human rights law and fundamental freedoms during the various stages of a terrorism investigation, as well as on Moroccan legislation related to personal data protection.

Participants also received guidance on the various offences related to the promotion and support of acts of terrorism, including the financing of terrorist activities, with practical examples and concrete cases. Experts from the law enforcement sector addressed special investigative techniques, including data collection, preservation, and exploitation. Furthermore, participants were introduced to UNODC's Practical Guide on Sharing Electronic Evidence Across Borders and to international cooperation procedures in the field of cybercrime and terrorism.

The workshop offered participants and experts a platform to exchange best practices and reflect on the way forward. Moroccan participants gathered in groups to conduct an exercise to identify priority actions at the national, regional, and international level to combat the use of the Internet and social networks for terrorist purposes

For further information on countering the use of the Internet for terrorist purposes, please follow the link: https://www.unodc.org/documents/terrorism/Publications/Use_of_Internet_for_Terrorist_Purposes/ebook_use_of_the_internet_for_terrorist_purposes.pdf