MENA: UNODC Strengthens Interviewing Capacity in Counter-Terrorism Cases

Investigative interviewing is instrumental to successful counter-terrorism investigation. Law enforcement and criminal justice practitioners must possess the necessary skills and knowledge to allow victims, witnesses, and suspects to provide complete, accurate and reliable information.

To strengthen these crucial skills, UNODC’s Terrorism Prevention Branch (UNODC/TPB) delivered two training sessions for Jordanian and Lebanese law enforcement and criminal justice officials on investigative interviewing in terrorism-related cases. The sessions underscored the importance of respecting human rights and addressing vulnerable target groups.

The two training sessions were delivered through a hybrid format on 8-12 November 2020 in Dubai. This structure allowed for beneficiaries and some of experts to gather in-person, in line with social distancing measures, while others participated online. The event brought together 22 participants from Jordan and Lebanon.  

The workshops introduced participants to two investigative interviewing frameworks. The first one, known as the “PEACE” model, equips interviewers with techniques geared at detecting potential attempts to mislead investigators. The “Cognitive Interviewing Model” on the other hand, allows for the gathering of information through techniques designed to assist witnesses to better access their memories.

Law enforcement and criminal justice officials noted that both methods helped to elicit complete and thorough information from victims and witnesses while avoiding coercive tactics. 

The workshop allowed law enforcement and criminal justice officials to share their experiences and good practices regarding the interviewing and investigating processes both with international experts and practitioners from other countries, including the UAE.

The workshop was delivered under the framework of UNODC/TPB’s Initiative on Criminal Justice Responses to Foreign Terrorist Fighters for MENA which is funded by the European Union.