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EU-India workshop identifies challenges ahead in fighting radicalisation

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New Delhi, Dec 05: The 2nd regional EU-India Counter Terrorism workshop on "Investigating ISIS networks" was organised by the European Union (EU) and the National Investigation Agency (NIA) from 3-4 December in New Delhi.

The two-day workshop was part of the EU and India efforts to further strengthen collaboration between both sides to counter terrorism and radicalisation, following the mandate which was agreed at the 2017 India-EU summit. (Joint Statement on Cooperation in Combating Terrorism).

EU-India workshop identifies challenges ahead in fighting radicalisation

The workshop, which was attended by the Indian and European experts, also supports capacity building of the Indian state police services to deal with the growing threat emanating from ISIS networks trying to infiltrate South Asian countries.

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In addition to NIA, representatives from several state police forces like Assam, Gujarat, Maharashtra, Karnataka and national agencies, the NSG, participated in the workshop. European participants represented Europol (the EU Agency for Law Enforcement Cooperation) as well as law enforcement agencies from France, Spain and Netherlands.

International Terrorism is one of the most serious threats to international peace and security. Furthermore, online radicalisation is a significant challenge with fast-growing usage of internet, social media and smartphones globally. Terrorist groups are increasingly leveraging online platforms to spread false propaganda, identify and enlist potential recruits, provoke and instigate hatred and violence in our societies. India and the EU have been collaborating towards countering violent extremism.

In the backdrop of continued ISIS threat in South Asian countries, participants shared their experiences and best practices to combat this new challenge by law enforcement agencies with a focus on countering online propaganda. Participants also deliberated on methods adopted by terror outfits for radicalisation and recruitment, especially through online platforms; policing strategies for countering extremism and radicalisation; identifying, preventing and countering online extremist materials and their sources; and investigating and countering ISIS terror networks.

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Inaugurating the workshop, Ugo Astuto, Ambassador of the European Union to India, said "This workshop is a clear testimony that Counter Terrorism cooperation between the EU and India is robust. Concrete cooperation between the EU and India law enforcement agencies will build capacities on both sides and help jointly tackle terrorism and radicalisation, a necessity in today's world."

Commending EU-India counter terrorism cooperation, Yogesh Chander Modi, Director General of National Investigation Agency (NIA), emphasised that "there are no boundaries for terrorism. We often find an international connection to terror outfits and their activities, making global cooperation a necessity to tackle terrorism and radicalisation.

This sharing of experiences is vital for the law enforcement agencies to stay abreast of the tools and techniques employed by these terror outfits across the world, so as to be able to better tackle terrorist threats."

The Ambassador of France to India, Emmanuel Lenain, said: "in the fight against terrorism, international and multilateral coordination is an absolute necessity. The EU and India cooperation on security matters is already quite substantial and will assume a new dimension going forward, in various areas such as peacekeeping, maritime security, cyber-security and combating cybercrime, and of course counter-terrorism. This workshop demonstrates the added-value of the EU and India in working together towards regional security."

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