Discussing new strategies to tackle terrorism
High ranking security and emergency services officials will gather at World Counter Terror Congress to discuss future counter terror strategies
News that Isil is planning to set up training camps across Europe, provides further evidence that the threat from extremist organisations is not abating. Terrorist groups continue to threaten civilians from all walks of life and governments are under pressure to prevent future attacks without impacting the lives of their residents.
Today, an attack can happen at any time and practically any location. In recent times, we have seen atrocities carried out in the air, on the ground and online, by groups and individuals. The threat is increasingly unpredictable and as a result, a number of initiatives are being introduced by those tasked with keeping civilians safe.
Europol, for example, has recently announced the launch the European Counter Terror Centre to address issues such as foreign fighters, terrorist financing, digital propaganda and arms trafficking. Elsewhere, India and the Arab League announced that they will combat terrorism by developing new strategies to eliminate its sources and funding.
Meanwhile, in the UK, it was revealed that police in Scotland had found “knowledge gaps” in its counter terror strategy, and was now developing counter-terrorism training tools for health workers and teachers as well as its own staff.
With counter terrorism firmly in the spotlight, security professionals from across the globe will travel to London in April to attend the annual World Counter Terror Congress. Security professionals, Government officials and representatives from the emergency services in dozens of countries will use the two-day conference to discuss today’s threats and shape the world’s counter terror strategy.
Focusing on the four key areas outlined in UK government’s CONTEST strategy, the congress will be opened by John Hayes MP, the UK’s Minister for Security. As the person ultimately responsible for the country’s counter-terrorism, security, serious organised crime and cyber-crime strategies, he will deliver a speech on extremism, border security and international counter terror strategy.
Hayes will be joined by Sir Malcolm Rifkind, former UK government Foreign Secretary and Chairman of the Intelligence & Security Committee of Parliament. He commented:
“The nature of the threat we face today is inherently different from that we faced even last year. Terrorist organisations are constantly evolving, using highly advanced methods to avoid detection, and the prospect of attacks like Paris, Jakarta and Istanbul happening anywhere in the world is reality. It is of paramount importance that nations work together to reduce the risk to civilians and the World Counter Terror Congress gives us a platform to do just that.”
With thousands of people, many from law abiding families, travelling to Syria, Libya and Iraq to join groups like Isil and Al-Qaeda, a key part in developing an effective prevent strategy is gaining a greater understanding of why citizens are radicalised. Adam Deen of the Quilliam Foundation, who was a senior member of an Islamist extremist organisation, is another who will be present at the congress.
“Understanding the terrorist mindset is vital to defeating these organisations. The people travelling hundreds of miles to train with extremists are giving groups like Isil and Al-Qaeda the capacity to carry out attacks across the globe,” said Deen. “But why are they joining? What is it that attracts them to commit murder? There is a reason and the West needs to listen to reformed characters to develop new strategies that counter the messaging coming from parts of the Middle East.”
The World Counter Terror Congress will feature six sessions, covering policy and strategy responses to the changing terror threat; radicalisation, de-radicalisation and preventing radicalisation; geopolitical security briefings; encryption, communications and security; security for critical national infrastructure; and emerging terror networks and tactics.
A total of 29 high ranking officials and academics will lead the congress, providing invaluable trends and information to more than 400 attendees. Among those confirmed to speak are Mark Rowley, Assistant Commissioner, National Police Chiefs’ Council Lead for Counter Terrorism; Lord Carlile of Berriew CBE, QC; Rob Wainwright, Director at Europol; Stephen Phipson, Head, Defence and Security Organisation (DSO), UK Trade & Industry (UKTI); Dr Jamie Shea, Deputy ASG, Emerging Security Challenges Division, NATO; Prof Richard English, Director, Handa Centre for the Study of Terrorism & Political Violence (CSTPV), University of St Andrews; and Thomas Wuchte, Head on Anti-Terrorism Issues, Action Against Terrorism Unit, Organisation for Security & Cooperation in Europe (OSCE).
The congress will take place within the internationally renowned Security & Counter Terror Expo. Supported by the Home Office, the event will showcase the best counter terror and security solutions from around the world.
David Thompson, Event Manager of Security & Counter Terror Expo, added:
“With the safety of millions of people on their minds, those in attendance at the World Counter Terror Congress have their work cut out. The sight of armed police patrolling crowded places, including railway stations and airports, shopping centres and sports stadiums may be here to stay in the short term. But it’s the topics being discussed in the conference that will ultimately decide whether there are better techniques that can be introduced, and how nations can destroy the root cause of extremism.”
In addition to the World Counter Terror Congress, there will be a series of specialist free-to-attend conferences at Security & Counter Terror Expo focussing on the Critical National Infrastructure & Business Resilience, Cyber Threat Intelligence – presented by techUK, Transport Security Live and Advanced Technologies Live.
Security & Counter Terror Expo 2016 is co-located with Ambition – the EPRR Expo – and Forensics Europe Expo.