PRESS RELEASE BY THE MINISTRY FOR HOME AFFAIRS AND NATIONAL SECURITY : Minister Abela stresses importance of preparedness for Mosul post-ISIS security threat

With the dislodgement of ISIS from their Iraqi stronghold of western Mosul imminent, the world must be well-prepared to face the upcoming challenges. It mus also have answers to a number of questions on the impact this development will leave on the terrorist group’s structure, as well as on the fate of fleeing ISIS fighters, and their spillover into other countries. This was what Minister for Home Affairs and National Security Carmelo Abela cautioned. This situation requires countries to look deeper into how to strengthen and consolidate their cooperation with each other and ensure that they have the necessary level of preparedness required to address these threats to their security and overcome this common enemy.

Minister Abela was addressing a US-led North African regional counter-terrorism workshop that is being held in Valletta on 14-15 March 2017 to advance US efforts to defeat ISIS. Participating countries include Algeria, Libya, Mauritania, Morocco, and Tunisia, as well as the European Union, France, the Netherlands, and the United Kingdom. Investigators, prosecutors, police commissioners, border security officials, and policy makers shared threat assessments and expertise on law enforcement, border security, and counter-terrorism finance methods and tools. They took part in discussions on concrete steps to enhance regional cooperation to counter ISIS’s external operations, and address the flow of foreign terrorist fighters returning from Iraq, Libya, and Syria.

“It is also imperative to look into models of integration, particularly in respect of young men and women and individuals from vulnerable groups in our countries who could easily get carried away by terrorist propaganda. We need to tackle the root causes that make them easy prey to radicalisation by organisations like ISIS,” the Minister said. “We must also continue to seek ways to strengthen our borders, deal with returnees, counter terrorism financing, improve the sharing of information and intelligence, and enhance our critical infrastructure and soft target protection. Our fight against ISIS and other terrorist groups must also be stepped up on another very important battlefield: online.”

Amongst those attending the workshop is the EU’s Counterterrorism Coordinator Gilles de Kerchove.

Source: Government of Malta