With its commitment to combat terrorism around the world, the United States of America today revealed 10 amazing facts about the State Department’s Bureau Of Counterterrorism.
Here are the must-know facts!
1. The State Department’s Bureau Of Counterterrorism builds foreign counterterrorism capacity in the civilian sector and contributes to efforts in the military and defense sectors
The Bureau develops and supports programs in law enforcement, rule-of-law, and counterterrorism finance, and on topics ranging from cyber-security to crisis response.
US partners are using their criminal justice agencies to prosecute, adjudicate and incarcerate terrorists. – so that new governments will be less likely toresort to extra-legal methods to crack down on a domestic threat.
The US is working closely with its interagency partners particularly the Departments of Justice, Homeland Security, and Defense to help foreign partners develop their law enforcement and justice sector institutions and to secure their borders.
US Anti-Terrorism Assistance (ATA) program is the U.S. government’s premier counterterrorism capacity-building program for criminal justice agencies of partner nations.
2. It created a new multilateral counterterrorism body with its partners
In adddition, in 2011, the US launched a major initiative and established the Global Counterterrorism Forum (GCTF), thereby advancing the President’s goal of building an international architecture for dealing with 21st century threats.
The GCTF’s 29 member-states and the European Union brings together traditional Western donors, Muslim-majority nations, and major powers from around the globe.
It offers counterterrorism policy makers and experts something unique: a dedicated platform to identify urgent needs and strengthen programming around the world.
The GCTF has mobilized over $175 million to strengthen counterterrorism-related rule of law institutions, and has developed best practice documents in rule of law, combating kidnapping for ransom, and prison deradicalization and disengagement.
3. It counters violent extremism
The Office asserts that to defeat terrorists, they must undermine their ability to recruit.
It works to delegitimize the violent extremist narrative, develop positive alternatives for populations vulnerable to recruitment, and build partner government and civil society capacity to counter violent extremism themselves.
4. It engages with foreign governments
The Bureau holds regular bilateral, regional, and multilateral dialogues on shared counterterrorism issues and consults with foreign governments on urgent and emerging threats.
The Bureau exchanges intelligence, information, and best practices to ensure that they all are in the best position to thwart terrorists.
In addition, they help draft foreign counterterrorism laws and maintain cooperative research and development agreements with partner nations.
5. It responds to crises
The Bureau leads an interagency crisis response team, the Foreign Emergency Support Team (FEST).
Established in 1985, the FEST travels at four hours notice to the scene of an overseas emergency to provide round-the-clock advice and assistance to U.S. Ambassadors and foreign governments.
In addition, the FEST has responded to bombings, kidnappings, and other crises, and supports and participates in training exercises. We have deployed a FEST 30 times since 1989.
6. It leads on strategy
The Bureau works closely with the National Security Staff and other agencies to develop, refine, and implement U.S. counterterrorism strategy and operations.
7. It designates terrorists and their organizations
The Bureau prepares designations that carry legal sanctions against State Sponsors of Terrorism, foreign terrorist organizations, entities and individuals, and countries not fully cooperating with U.S. counterterrorism efforts.
8. It supports research and development
The Bureau co-chairs with the Department of Defense the interagency Technical Support Working Group (TSWG).
TSWG conducts the National Interagency Combating Terrorism Research and Development Program, which enhances the counterterrorism technology and equipment capabilities of U.S. government agencies involved in counterterrorism activities.
9. It supports the safe recovery of hostages
The Hostage Policy Subgroup refines and implements official U.S. policy toward Americans taken captive abroad.
The Bureau works closely with interagency partners to shape and guide implementation of hostage policy to accomplish the safe recovery of hostages, bring hostage-takers to justice, and prevent future incidents.
10. It strengthens homeland security
The Bureau partners with the Department of Homeland Security and other U.S. agencies to strengthen international cooperation on a range of homeland security issues, including transportation security, terrorist travel interdiction, and critical infrastructure protection.
Amazing facts indeed, right?
Terrorism still persists
According to the National Counterterrorism Center, the total number of worldwide attacks in 2011 was more than 10,000 in 70 countries, resulting in more than 12,500 deaths.
More than 75 percent of the world’s attacks and deaths occurred in these regions.
Africa experienced 978 attacks in 2011, an 11.5 percent increase over the previous year.
US Combating Terrorism Around The World
Highlighting its interest in combating terrorism around the world, the United States of America has revealed efforts to address imminent Islamist militant threats to Central Asian states.
US planned drawdown in Afghanistan and continued use of the Northern Distribution Network has raised anxiety levels among our Central Asian partners about the increased potential for instability and extremism, especially beyond 2014.
Actions to address extremism in the region
US foreign assistance programs seek to build the capacity of Central Asian countries to address transnational threats such as those posed by Islamist militant groups while promoting regional economic integration and development.
To achieve these objectives, the US is using a combination of diplomatic engagement and bilateral and multilateral assistance.
On the diplomatic front, the United States holds annual bilateral consultations with each of the five Central Asian countries.
UN formulates scheme to fight the scourge!
The new UN scheme for Central Asia aims to help Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan establish a regional counter-terrorism plan in line with the UN Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy.
That Global Strategy, unanimously adopted by the General Assembly in 2006, focuses on four key pillars of action: tackling the conditions conducive to the spread of terrorism; preventing and combating terrorism; building State capacity and bolstering the role of the UN; and ensuring respect for human rights and the rule of law against the backdrop of the fight against terrorism. Further expert meetings will be held in the region next year looking at other parts of the UN’s Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy. The meetings will lead to the drawing up of a joint action plan implementing the United Nations Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy in Central Asia, which is expected to be adopted during a regional ministerial conference to be held in 2011.