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SIS Supports International Efforts to Combat Terrorism

Officers of the Security and Intelligence Service of the Republic of Moldova attended the Second Regional Coordination Conference for Counter-Terrorism and Prevention and Countering Violent Extremism in South-East Europe. The event took place at the end of November in Brdo Pri Kranju, Slovenia.

The Regional Cooperation Council (RCC) organized the conference on counter-terrorism together with the Slovenian South-East European Cooperation Process Chairmanship-in-Office and the Western Balkans Counter-Terrorism Initiative (WBCTi).

The purpose of the conference was to strengthen efforts for undertaking joint measures to prevent and counter terrorist and extremist activities that might cause terrorist actions in member states of the South-East European Cooperation Process (SEECP). In this regard, the conference organizers offered participants the opportunity to discuss issues concerning terrorist threats to the security of the member states. Moreover, representatives of intelligence agencies exchanged good practice in the area of terrorism prevention and counteraction within the meeting and the three working groups.

The Security and Intelligence Service representatives pointed out the risk factors and threats to the national security. Especially, they mentioned the following ones: using the territory of Moldova as transit zone on fighters’ route to or from Middle East theatres of operations; conversion and radicalization of Moldovan citizens to Islamist and jihadist currents; involving Moldovan citizens in mercenary activities in the Eastern Ukraine, on the side of separatist groups from Donetsk and Luhansk.

The leader of the National Focal Points for Prevention and Countering Violent Extremism Group (NFP P/CVE Group) concluded that radicalized mercenaries sent to Iraq and Syria to fight in the theatres of operations and their involvement in terror attacks in the EU countries is not characteristic for the community but it might become an issue in the future.

Moreover, methods to streamline the mechanism for operational data exchange between the partners of the Platform for Countering Terrorism in the South- East Europe, as well as minimizing and overcoming obstacles to anticipate terrorist risks and challenges in the region have been examined during the Conference.

The civil society’s role and involvement in the de-radicalization processes of jihadist returnees who fought in Syria and Iraq was a particular subject on the agenda. Engagement of media trusts from the RCC member states in the processes of prevention and countering terrorism and violent extremism, via information dissemination about threats and prejudices that this phenomenon caused to countries was also a subject of a particular importance.

At the end of the meeting, draft of the Action Plan of the WBCTi countries for the 2018-2020 was put for approval. It is to be endorsed and adopted by all the member states.