How can we prevent religious terrorism

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Type: Article, Main topic: Safety

While terrorism was more of a national phenomenon in the 1970s, the current international dimension calls for new countermeasures. Cooperation with foreign partners is central.

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Cross-border terror networks can only be countered through joint action by the international community. Hence were

  • in the United Nations (UN),
  • within the G7,
  • in the European Union,
  • in NATO and
  • in many other multilateral organizations

numerous measures were taken to counter this threat.

United Nations Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy

In 2006 the UN General Assembly adopted a global anti-terror strategy. This provides a common strategic framework for the activities of the UN member states in the field of counter-terrorism. Germany has ratified and implemented the resulting resolutions. This includes, for example, the freezing of funds from terrorist organizations.

In addition, the Federal Government works closely with the responsible departments in the United Nations, such as the UN Office of Counter Terrorism (UNOCT), the UN Counter-Terrorism Center (UNCTC) and the Counter-Terrorism Committee Executive Directorate at the United Nations Security Council (CTED).

International forums and bodies

Experts also meet regularly within the framework of the G7 to intensify the joint fight against terrorism. In various working groups they coordinate national measures and develop "best practices". Germany is actively involved here.

The Global Counterterrorism Forum (GCTF), which was founded on a US initiative in 2011 and has 30 members, also serves to exchange "best practices". In addition, measures to combat terrorism are being developed in other multinational forums such as the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) or the anti-ISIL coalition.

Cooperation within the EU

external linkFight against terrorism by the EU

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The common threat posed by international terrorism requires joint, well-coordinated action, especially in the Schengen area without internal borders. In response to the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001 in America and March 11, 2004 in Madrid, the member states of the EU developed joint action plans and a long-term European strategy to combat terrorism. This relies on:

  • Preventing and combating the causes
  • Protecting the population and reducing vulnerability
  • Prosecution and investigation of terrorist acts in advance
  • Improving the response to a terrorist attack

The strategy and the action plans are regularly updated and updated. Germany is playing a key role in this development and in promoting the measures.

itemsCurrent European measures

find out more: Current European measures ...

The continuous improvement of police and judicial cooperation in the prosecution of terrorist offenses in the EU is also a key issue. For some years now, terrorists have been able to be prosecuted and arrested across Europe using identical criteria. In addition, the new anti-terrorism directive that came into force in April 2017 obliges member states, among other things, to criminalize travel for terrorist purposes, including within the EU.

Prevention of extremism

Preventing radicalization and recruiting for terrorism is also an important part of EU policy. The Member States regularly exchange best practices. In addition, the EU Commission promotes the EU-wide exchange between local actors involved in preventing extremism and deradicalization as part of the "Radicalization Awareness Network" (RAN). In addition, there are other networks and initiatives at EU level in the field of extremism prevention and deradicalization.

Bilateral cooperation

In addition to cooperation in international organizations, multilateral forums and in the European Union, trusting bilateral cooperation with other countries is of course just as important for Germany.

This has been continuously expanded since September 11, 2001 and, in many cases, consolidated through regular consultations. Cooperation with individual European countries and with the USA is particularly important here.

Fight against terrorism at all EU levels

During the German EU Council Presidency, the EU member states committed themselves to a better exchange of information and experience with regard to threats. This commitment is set out in the Council conclusions on internal security and the European police partnership, the conclusions of the European Council and in the joint declaration of the EU interior ministers of 13 November 2020 on the latest terrorist attacks in Europe.

An EU-wide coordinated procedure is to regulate the handling of lists of third countries on Foreign Terrorist Fighters with the involvement of Europol. The aim is to improve the protection of the Schengen area against the entry of potentially dangerous foreign terrorist fighters.

Prevention and deradicalization (P / CVE) have been strengthened as part of a holistic strategy against terrorism and extremism at EU level. The focus was on Islamist extremism and violent right-wing extremism.

The EU partners want to work even more closely together to better combat violent right-wing extremism and politically motivated crime in the Member States.

On a German initiative and with the involvement of Europol, the first EU-wide day of action against hate postings took place at the beginning of November 2020. The authorities took around 140 executive measures against people who are said to have distributed criminal hate postings on the Internet. A BKA expert is now to help build up expertise in the field of fighting right-wing extremism within Europol.

During the German Council Presidency, an agreement was also reached with the European Parliament on a regulation intended to prevent the spread of terrorist online content.