Increased radicalization and access to illicit financial flows from organized criminal activity have contributed to the spread of violent extremist ideologies across borders. Central Asia, in particular, is vulnerable to this threat due to its proximity to Afghanistan, as well as the historic links between the Taliban and violent extremist groups in the region. Moreover, one of the main opioid smuggling routes from Afghanistan —the “Northern Route”— transverses through the region, further aggravating the risk for transnational organized crime and terrorism-related activities.
As part of its wider efforts to help address terrorism-related challenges in the region, UNODC delivered a training on enhancing regional cross-border cooperation by strengthening the capacity of border liaison offices in Central Asia in Almaty, Kazakhstan on 7-11 August 2023. The course was held under the framework of the project entitled “Enhancing Border Management and Security in Response to Terrorism Threats in Central Asia” funded by the Federal Republic of Germany.
The activity benefitted from trainers from the Australian Federal Police, the Basic Public Prosecutor's Office of North Macedonia, the Turkish International Academy against Drugs and Organized Crime (TADOC), the Italian National Police, the Central Asian Regional Information and Coordination Centre for Combating Illicit Trafficking of Narcotic Drugs, Psychotropic Substances and their Precursors (CARICC), and UNODC’s Terrorism Prevention Branch. Participants included government officials from Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan.
The training strengthened the capacity of front-line law enforcement officers by raising awareness on different legal and procedural cross-border frameworks and counterterrorism operations. Additionally, the course included multiple training sessions centred around illicit drugs and criminal investigation techniques.