Interpol Regulation and Policies

The International Criminal Police Organization (INTERPOL) works in cooperation with the law enforcement bodies of its 194 country members, in order to tackle terrorist threats globally, including those stemming from terrorist use of the internet. INTERPOL has a five-year Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy that focuses on assisting country members in the prevention of terrorist activities in cyberspace. The organization collects, stores and analyzes information on suspected terrorists; groups and their activities; and shares it with member countries as well as other international organizations. INTERPOL’s team of criminal intelligence analysts provides consultancy services in member countries, as part of its capacity building programs on counter-terrorism. INTERPOL also commits to counter “cyber-enabled crimes”, which include “crimes against children, financial crimes and even terrorism”. Currently, the organization has several projects to prevent the misuse of the internet by terrorists, including the Counter-Terrorism Fusion Centre located in Greenland. 

The main purpose of INTERPOL’s counter-terrorism (CT) decree is “to assist its member countries to prevent and disrupt terrorist activities through the identification of members of terrorist networks and their affiliates”.

INTERPOL’s counter-terrorism strategy is based on five action streams:

  • Identification of the members of known terrorist groups
  • Travel and mobility – based on border securities and movement of not only terrorists but also their families
  • Online presence – preventing the exploitation of the internet for spreading terrorist propaganda 
  • Weapons and materials – identification, tracking and interception of illicit weapons and materials
  • Finances – tracing and tracking terrorist funds

As part of its Southeast Asia program on “countering terrorist use of the internet”, INTERPOL aims to prevent, investigate, and prosecute terrorism-related crimes. To do so, the organization has trained law enforcement bodies from ten countries across Southeast Asia. One of its aims is to enhance the capability of law enforcement to identify and detect possible online terrorist content and to develop communication between the private and public sector to work in cooperation to improve criminal investigations. The project is funded by the Canadian government and conducted together with international partners such as the International Centre for Political Violence and Terrorism Research, Financial and Technology Crime Division Singapore, Australian Federal Police, US Federal Bureau of Investigations and Facebook, in addition to INTERPOL.

The initiative Collective Action against Cybercrime proposes to prepare law enforcement bodies for future cyber challenges and threats by monitoring their existing strategies and programs, as well as legal frameworks and instruments related to cybercrime and digital security. The organization aims to strengthen its ties with member countries by engaging with stakeholders from both the private and public sectors. INTERPOL also encourages member countries to comply with the National Cyber Review, ensuring that all necessary information is shared in order to improve the existing strategies to reduce cyber risks.

The Counter-Terrorism Fusion Centre, based in Greenland, works to disrupt the recruitment and activities of foreign terrorist fighters. The Centre investigates the organizational hierarchies, training, financing, methods and motives of terrorist groups. Its activities are conducted on a global scale and are intended to enhance the knowledge and practices of law enforcement agencies around the world. INTERPOL’s “Project Trace for reinforcing counter-terrorism capacity in ASEAN” is a three-year (2017-2020) project funded by Global Affairs Canada that aims to collect and exploit information from online platforms, including social media. Additionally, in 2014, INTERPOL created the INTERPOL Global Complex of Innovation (IGCI) in Singapore, where research is conducted on a global scale.

Finally, INTERPOL’s Project to Combat Cybercrime in the Americas, which is also funded by the Canadian government, has started in October 2018 in Brazil. The project aims to strengthen law enforcement capabilities in combating cyber-terrorism threats. As part of the project, INTERPOL will assist police forces across South America and the Caribbean to help them fight cyber-crimes.

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