Building the capacity of police in South and Southeast Asia to combat terrorism was the focus of two courses in Dhaka funded by the Canadian government and implemented by INTERPOL.
More than 40 counter-terrorism and intelligence officials from 16 countries attended the training sessions hosted by the Bangladesh Police Force at the Police Staff College Bangladesh.
The first course, Criminal Intelligence Analysis Training for South & Southeast Asia (from February 19 ‒ March 1, 2018), was held under Project Scorpius, an INTERPOL inter-regional project on countering terrorism and related transnational crime.
The key objective of this two-year project is to foster collaboration between INTERPOL member countries to enhance investigative and analytical skills of law enforcement agencies so as to better prevent, detect, and investigate terrorism and related transnational crime.
Countering the use of social media for terrorism purposes was the focus of a second course (from February 26 ‒ March , 2018). It was conducted under INTERPOL’s Project Trace as part of its capacity building programme to reinforce ASEAN counter-terrorism capacity and expertise.
The three-year Canadian-funded project aims to equip ASEAN member countries with the skills, tools and methodologies required to combat the use of Internet and social media platforms for terrorism purposes, and to gather online intelligence to track foreign terrorist fighters.
The courses were held as part of the INTERPOL Capacity Building and Training strategy for 2017-2020, with the aim of reinforcing partnerships with regional stakeholders in the law enforcement training arena.
“Strengthening police academies in the region helps bridge the gap between national and international policing. It also helps law enforcement agencies make maximum use of the unique services provided by INTERPOL to fight transnational crime and terrorism,” said Harold O’Connell, INTERPOL Director of Capacity Building and Training.
An agreement signed during the training sessions will see INTERPOL’s I-24/7 secure global police communications system deployed to the Police Staff College so as to deliver further training on the use of INTERPOL’s policing capabilities, and provide access to its Global Learning Centre, thus providing institutional sustainability.
Dr. Mohammad Javed Patwary, the chief of Bangladesh Police, said: “Police need to be equipped with knowledge and modern technology so they can face the challenges of the millennium. The free market economy and the emergence of terrorism have caused a remarkable shift in the way of policing, from traditional to more participatory approaches, and training is one of the most important tools for enhancing the professional knowledge and capability of police.”
“The biggest challenge law enforcement agencies face today is to act with predictability in the age of uncertainty. Terrorism, extremism, cybercrime and other forms of crime may be never-ending. Today, we all accept the fact that the world is becoming borderless. Our times demand more collaboration between police agencies and stakeholders,” said Dr Sadiqur Rahman, Rector of the Police Staff College.
The participating countries were: Brunei, Bangladesh, Cambodia, India, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan, Philippines, Singapore, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Timor Leste and Vietnam.