Worldwide Law Enforcement Bodies Meet in Novosibirsk.

Posted in Russia | 06-Mar-05 | Author: Dmitry Udalov

Today it is common knowledge that international cooperation is vital for combating terrorism and other global threats. This week, the largest conference of law enforcers and secret service organizations took place in Russia. Novosibirsk - the most important and biggest city in Russia's Asian part, hosted 75 delegations from 50 countries. High-level representatives from such organizations as the G8, CIS, NATO, EU, ASEAN and SCO (Shanghai Cooperation Organization), the CIA, FBI and MOSSAD attended the conference.

According to a Russian Federal Security Service (FSB) spokesman, the conference focused on crafting joint measures to counter international terrorism. Leaders of law enforcement agencies also discussed how the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction (WMD) should be countered and terrorist cash flows severed. They also discussed establishing databases on those involved in terrorism.

Nikolai Patrushev, Director of the FSB, urged special services to set up a system of countermeasures aimed at suicide bombers. "The fight against terrorism is complicated by the increasingly frequent appearance of suicide bombers in crowded places and in transport," said Mr. Patrushev. Efficient action to oppose this threat requires a coordinated system of countermeasures, he said.

Mr. Patrushev also added that special services should upgrade the way they exchange information, especially in sharing operational information. It should increase trust between the partners and help work out common approaches for fighting terrorism. "We should strike a balance here between unconditional respect of national laws, on the one hand, and operational expediency, on the other," said Mr. Patrushev.

The Russian Federal Security Service also called for the establishment of a common database on terrorist organizations and their accomplices. The proposal was voiced by Patrushev. This base would enhance global security.

Addressing the media, the head of the UN Security Council's counterterrorist directorate, Xavier Ruperez, underlined a more proactive role played by Russia in countering terrorism. Mr. Ruperez said that he had been to Moscow where he met with members of the Russian government, uniformed services and financial institutions. They discussed issues relevant to the fight against terrorism.

The CIS Counterterrorist Committee chief, Boris Mylnikov, told the media that he viewed "establishing a common European center to combat terrorism as feasible. This calls for political will and relevant legislation."

Responding to questions about the most difficult challenges faced by the Commonwealth of Independent States, Mr. Mylnikov said that the extremist religious party Hizb ut-Tahrir has taken root in more than half the CIS member states. He emphasized that the party was outlawed in Russia and hinted that the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan (IMU) remained a threat to the CIS nations.

It’s clear that most of the questions were discussed behind closed doors, and that not all of the results of this meeting would be reported to the press. Nevertheless, the importance of this forum cannot be underestimated.