Participants in this major global security forum focused on complex problems related to foreign terrorist fighters (FTFs) returning from the conflict zones in Iraq and Syria and posing serious terrorist threat.
Mr. Aleksandr Bortnikov, Director of the Federal Security Service of the Russian Federation (FSB), reading out a statement on behalf of the Russian President Vladimir Putin, said that it was premature to expect that international terrorism would be quickly defeated.
“The main danger stems from returning foreign terrorist fighters (FTFs) who set up underground terrorist networks upon their return to their countries of origin”, he said.
“In reaction to the military campaigns conducted in Syria and Iraq, terrorists are changing tactics and transferring their main forces to other States and other parts of the world”, he added.
Mr. Bortnikov was addressing the XVI Meeting of Heads of Special Services, Security Agencies and Law-Enforcement Organizations, hosted by the FSB in Krasnodar on 4 and 5 October 2017.
The Meeting was attended by over 330 delegates from 75 States and international organizations, including the United Nations, the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO), the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) and the European Union.
Mr. Andrei Kovalenko, Head of the United Nations Counter-Terrorism Committee Executive Directorate (CTED)’s Administration and Information Office, who was delivering a statement on behalf of the Chair of the Security Council Counter-Terrorism Committee (CTC) stressed the vital role played by the Meeting.
“The Meeting plays a vital role in enhancing cooperation among special services, security agencies and law enforcement organizations from around the world in the global fight against terrorism”, he said.
He also recalled that Security Council resolution 2322 (2016), on international law enforcement and judicial cooperation in countering terrorism, was of direct relevance to the Meeting’s work.
He urged participants to raise awareness of the resolution’s provisions on strengthening intelligence cooperation, including by downgrading for official use intelligence threat data on FTFs and individual terrorists and provide such information to frontline screeners.
Mr. Kovalenko also briefed participants on the efforts of the CTC and CTED to strengthen public-private partnerships in preventing terrorist abuse of information and communications technologies (ICT).
The Meeting further dwelt on terrorist threats to international information security; countering radicalization, extremism and terrorist recruitment (including countering the spread of radical religious teachings in prisons and terrorist recruitment of individuals serving imprisonment terms); and security arrangements for major international events.
The participants reaffirmed the Meeting’s commitment to the creation of a united global counter-terrorism alliance of security intelligence and law-enforcement agencies, with the United Nations playing a central coordinating role.
They also reaffirmed their commitment to the United Nations Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy and to the relevant Council resolutions on terrorism.
The sharing of operational intelligence regarding international terrorist organizations and FTFs would be expanded, and steps would be taken to improve cooperation among security intelligence and law enforcement agencies, including through the UN, in preventing terrorist abuse of ICT.
The FSB’s International Counterterrorism Database should be fully utilized to create a universal counter-terrorism information environment.
The participants also issued a joint statement in support of Security Council resolution 2354 (2017) and the Comprehensive International Framework to Counter Terrorist Narratives endorsed by the resolution, as well as Security Council resolution 1624 (2005), on countering incitement to commit terrorist acts.
A Communique of the event can be downloaded here.