Several Commonwealth African countries have taken part in an INTERPOL focus meeting on preventing foreign terrorist fighters from entering East Africa, with an emphasis on using biometrics to identify foreign terrorist networks
Several Commonwealth African countries have taken part in an INTERPOL focus meeting on preventing foreign terrorist fighters from entering East Africa, with an emphasis on using biometrics to identify foreign terrorist networks.
Kenya, Rwanda, Seychelles, Tanzania and Uganda joined seven other African countries at the INTERPOL Project Baobab working meeting for East African counter terrorism units, held in Djibouti on November 14-16, 2017.
Funded by the INTERPOL Foundation for a Safer World and co-hosted by the Djibouti Police, the meeting convened over 40 regional border control, immigration and national counter terrorism unit officers.
It also hosted observer representatives from the Djibouti Financial Intelligence Unit, US Embassy Djibouti, US Naval Criminal Investigative Service (NCIS), UNODC, and the US Africa Command.
Project Baobob aims to increase the amount of counter terrorism information exchanged within the Sub-Saharan region, enabling countries to identify terrorist groups transnationally and reduce criminals’ mobility and access to illegal weapons and financial streams.
Delegates discussed INTERPOL’s latest methods for identifying potential terrorists travelling to East Africa and how improved regional, national and international inter-agency cooperation could help tackle Sub-Saharan terrorism.
Also high on the agenda was giving frontline officers access to INTERPOL’s counter terrorism resources and deploying INTERPOL’s secure global police communications network I-24/7 more widely to regional security forces.
Colonel Abdillahi Abdi Farah, Djibouti’s police chief, said: “When we give our frontline officers direct access to biometric data such as photos, fingerprints and DNA profiles, we empower them to identify all kinds of criminals, including returning foreign fighters.
“This week’s meeting has given East African law enforcement insight into INTERPOL’s database of suspected foreign terrorist fighters and shown us how data can be analysed and shared with law enforcement across the globe, including intelligence on the foreign terrorist fighters’ capabilities, means and emerging trends.”