UNODC Strengthens Investigation Capacities and Cross-Border Cooperation to Counter Terrorism and Foreign Terrorist Fighters

The threat of foreign terrorist fighters continues to pose significant challenges to law enforcement and criminal justice authorities all across the world. In addition, the global pandemic is stretching the capacity of national institutions, further complicating their ability to control porous borders and the movement of individuals across them.

To support Member States in responding to this phenomenon, UNODC delivered two online workshops for Algeria and Morocco on the use of passenger data and other intelligence information to prevent and combat terrorism, in accordance with international obligations and standards.

The two workshops, which took place respectively on 12-15 October 2020 and 20-22 October 2020, brought together 48 Algerian and Moroccan criminal justice and law enforcement officers. During the workshops, participants discussed ways to collect and use passenger data and related information in accordance with fundamental rights and freedoms. Methods to share evidence across borders and conduct rule of law and evidence-based investigations in terrorist cases were also addressed, along with the legal and technical requirements to ensure their admissibility in court.

Furthermore, international experts shared their substantive knowledge, good practices and collaborated with participants on real case scenarios. These exercises provided participants with practical examples on how information they receive could be applied to their daily work. To facilitate this, expertise was drawn from the General Intelligence Headquarters of the Spanish Police Force, the International Air Transport Association, the Global Law Enforcement Team of Uber, the United Nations Office of Counter-Terrorism and UNODC’s Terrorism Prevention Branch.

Both online training sessions were conducted through UNODC’s Online Counter-Terrorism Learning Platform (CTLP), an interactive capacity-building tool which offers a wide range of e-training features. It also includes secure online spaces, known as iRooms, to facilitate live discussions. To ensure that Member States continue to receive the support they need, UNODC has trained over 600 practitioners since the start of the pandemic through the CTLP.

The workshops were delivered under the framework of UNODC’s project to support implementation of UN Security Council resolution 2396 (2017) by strengthening investigation and cooperation capacities against transnational and cross-border terrorism, including foreign terrorist fighters, in North Africa which is funded by the United States of America.