Works of Regional Workshop on "Returning families of foreign terrorist fighters" kick off | Tunisia News Gazette

Works of Regional Workshop on “Returning families of foreign terrorist fighters” kick off

“Returning families of foreign terrorist fighters,” is the theme of a regional workshop whose works kicked off on Thursday in Tunis at the initiative of the Global Counterterrorism Forum (GCTF).

The two-day workshop, organised in collaboration with the Foreign Ministry, is held for the 1st time in Tunisia after Morocco, Algeria and several European countries.

In a statement to TAP, Admiral Kamel Akrout, Senior Adviser for National Security to the President of the Republic said that the workshop is an opportunity for Tunisia and the participating countries to share experiences and expertise in fight against terrorism, including the exodus movement of families of terrorist fighters.

He added that this workshop, involving some thirty countries, is expected to issue a set of recommendations that could reinforce the regional and international efforts in combating terrorism and prevention of radical extremism.

In his opening remarks, Admiral Akrout pointed out that Tunisia is aware of the risks and possible repercussions of the return of families of terrorist fighters on the stability of the country.

He stressed in this regard, the importance of promoting the existing legal framework to block the potential threats to the return of terrorists and their families from conflict areas.

Taking the floor, U.S. Ambassador in Tunis Daniel Rubinstein said that “combating the repatriation of foreign terrorist fighters is a new security challenge facing the international community.”

“It is a fact that some family members of these fighters have been radicalised and others are simply victims of terrorism. The most important thing is to prevent a new generation of terrorists from emerging.” he added in substance.

Rubinstein recalled the recent UN resolutions on sharing information on the movement of foreign terrorists and their families, stressing the importance of this workshop, which he described as a “platform for sharing views and expertise.

“The workshop will help define perspectives, new visions and directions and identify more effective tools,” he concluded.

For her part, Acting Principal Deputy Coordinator for Counterterrorism at the US Agency for International Development (USAID) Alina Romanowski said that new challenges are facing security efforts, particularly in combating terrorism and extremism.

Romanowski called for developing joint action and working together to address at the source the factors behind radicalism.

“The presence of influential local and foreign experts and officials at this international workshop will certainly have a considerable contribution in terms of ideas and means to the international struggle against hostile and dangerous terrorist movements,” she underlined.

In his remarks, Dutch ambassador in Tunis Hans van Vloten Dissevelt indicated that the terrorist threat is growing and the security challenges are increasing.

“Some 200,000 foreign fighters and their families are currently circulating across Europe and starting to return to their countries and do not want to be detected or located,” warned the diplomat.

It is imperative, he stresses, to find ways to identify them and follow their exodus if they choose to move to a country other than their own.

According to him, the interventions and observations of the present panellists will help deepen reflection on fight against terrorism and co-ordinate the overall effort by setting up a roadmap or even “a document of good practices.”

The Global Counterterrorism Forum was established in September 2011 in New York. It brings together 29 countries and the European Union with an overarching mission of reducing the vulnerability of people worldwide to terrorism by preventing, combating and prosecuting terrorist acts and countering incitement and recruitment to terrorism.

Source: TAP News Agency

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