Conference on Mobilizing Law Enforcement to Defeat ISIS Concludes
On February 28, 2018, the International Conference on Mobilizing Law Enforcement Efforts to the Defeat Islamic State of Iraq and Syria or Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS) concluded in Washington, D.C. The two-day conference, co-sponsored by the U.S. Department of State, INTERPOL, and the International Institute for Justice and the Rule of Law (IIJ), brought together justice and law enforcement officials and their diplomatic counterparts, responsible for addressing counterterrorism issues from approximately 90 countries and organizations. According to the State Department, the conference would “build on our existing strategy and lay the foundation for the next phase in our effort as we work to confront the evolving ISIS threat.” INTERPOL Washington—the U.S. National Central Bureau—was instrumental in facilitating this event and is leading the sharing of information on Foreign Terrorist Fighters (FTFs) through INTERPOL’s Notice and Diffusion systems.
The first day of the conference featured a speech by the Department of State Coordinator for Counterterrorism, Ambassador Nathan A. Sales, during which he shared an overview of what the United States has been doing to counter ISIS using law enforcement and other civilian capabilities. He announced Secretary of State Rex Tillerson’s decision to give terrorist designations to seven ISIS-affiliated groups and two ISIS-affiliated leaders. Sales called for prosecuting FTFs, collecting and using battlefield evidence, updating laws to more effectively target the threat, implementing tougher border screening and more robust information-sharing within governments and among them, and designating and sanctioning ISIS affiliates and financiers to cut off the flow of money. Read his full remarks here.
Conference breakout sessions addressed subjects such as: Evidence Collection and Prosecutions, Institutional Reform, De-Radicalization and Reintegration, Legal Frameworks, Information Sharing, Tracking Foreign Terrorist Fighters Financial Data, and Preventing Homegrown Terrorism. The conference also sought to identify actions designed to help countries to disrupt potential attacks and to strengthen unity of purpose among the participants.
Ambassador Sales ended of the conference by hosting a teleconference with reporters during which he recapped highlights of the conference and answered questions. A transcript of the teleconference is here.