Law enforcement should stay ahead in modern tech to counter terrorists: Interpol chief

New York, Feb 16 (IANS) Law enforcement agencies must stay ahead of the curve on modern technologies to be able to counter terrorist groups who are exploiting the lawless frontiers of technology, according to Interpol’s Secretary-General Jurgen Stock.

“Modern technology has been used by criminal groups, terrorist groups (and), of course, they are not bound by any regulation,” he told reporters here on Thursday.

“They use what is available including social networks.”

“Law enforcement, of course, needs to be equipped, needs to be trained, because without modern technology, we cannot do our job in law enforcement,” he said.

Speaking outside the Security Council chamber, before briefing Council members met on the threat posed by Da’esh, he added that the group has been “diminished”, but the “threat is not over”.

“It is particularly important to keep the pressure high” on the group better known by the acronym ISIS for Islamic State in Iraq and al-Shams even though it operates in a much broader area, directly and through affiliates.

“Any gap we leave” and any weakness would be exploited by it, Stock said.

“The group has been strengthened by the use of modern emerging technologies,” he added.

Stock said that it was important for members of the Interpol to share information as that “remains key in the fight against international terrorism”.

Interpol is providing “a unique early warning system” against terrorism by “sharing investigative leads and important data like biometric data on terrorists,” he added.

Speaking at the Council, Under-Secretary-General Vladimir Voronkov, who heads the UN Counter-Terrorism Office, said that the efforts against Da’esh has yielded some results.

“Such progress has translated into a sizeable reduction in the group’s operational capacities in some regions” and one of the indications was the prolonged delay in announcing a new leader after the killing of Abu Hussein al-Husseini al-Qurashi last year.

The delay in naming Abu Hafs al-Hashimi al-Qurashi as the successor reflects “internal challenges and difficulties in ensuring the new leader’s security,” he added.

Because of efforts by UN members to counter the financing of terrorism, “Da’esh’s financial reserves are currently estimated between $10 million and $25 million, down from hundreds of millions a few years ago,” he said

In Afghanistan, he added that efforts by the Taliban regime “have reportedly had an impact on the ability of the Da’esh affiliate to conduct attacks inside the country,” although “the group maintains an intention to carry out attacks abroad”.

Counter-terrorism actions by Indonesia, Malaysia, Egypt and Mozambique have yielded results against terrorist activity by Da’esh affiliates.

But, the threat levels of Da’esh affiliates have increased in some places in Europe and Africa, as well as in Iraq and Syria, he said.

China’s Permanent Representative Zhang Jun drew attention to Da’esh activities in Pakistan.

He condemned the recent bombings by Da’esh in Pakistan and said Beijing backed Islamabad’s efforts to fight it.

(Arul Louis can be contacted at and followed at @arulouis)



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