UNODC Supports Sahelian and North African countries to Counter the Use of the Internet for Terrorist Purposes and Share Electronic Evidence Across Borders

The Internet has brought many benefits and freedoms to citizens around the globe. For one, people have become more interconnected. 

At the same time, the Internet has also been utilized by terrorists as a tool to further their agendas – a phenomenon which has grown rapidly in the past decade. 

In order to counteract this trasnational threat, the international community must develop a coordinated response in order to tackle this global challenge.

To support Member States in these efforts, UNODC delivered a cross-regional workshop for Sahelian and North African countries on combating the use of the Internet for terrorist purposes and sharing electronic evidence across borders. The workshop, which was conducted online, took place on 26-27 January 2021 and brought together 50 participants representing 10 countries (Algeria, Burkina Faso, Chad, Libya, Mali, Morocco, Mauritania, Niger, Senegal and Tunisia) serving as criminal justice actors (namely, investigators, prosecutors and magistrates working in the field of counterterrorism.)

During the event, participants identified legal and technical needs for the implementation of international obligations, increased their knowledge and capacity on countering the use of the Internet for terrorist purposes as well as developed a better understanding of tools and practices that are used to share electronic evidence across borders. Furthermore, the event also helped to determine additional technical assistance and capacity-building needs that are required to effectively address the aforementioned threats from a judicial perspective.

The workshop also offered a platform to identify areas through which coordination and collaboration among national and regional stakeholders on counterterrorism matters could be strengthened. 

The workshop was conducted under the framework of UNODC’s project on strengthening the capacities of Sahelian and North African countries to combat the use of the Internet for terrorist purposes. The project is funded by the Peace and Security Component of the United Nations Trust Fund for Peace and Development.