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Counter-Terrorism Brainstorming Session and Strategic Plan Between Agencies

Counter-Terrorism Brainstorming Session and Strategic Plan Between Agencies
Kuala Lumpur
21-23 November 2017

The Southeast Asia Regional Centre for Counter-Terrorism (SEARCCT), Ministry of Foreign Affairs, hosted the above workshop. In her opening remarks, its Deputy Director General II Ms Mazita Marzuki stressed the need for a soft complement to the hard (enforcement) approach in detecting, disrupting, and deterring terrorism. The workshop aimed to develop a way forward by examining current agency approaches on all aspects of counter-terrorism.

Attended by all levels of security services including the military, police, border and infrastructure security, civil defence, medical readiness and psychological preparedness, the participants were divided into five groups;

i. Chemical, Biological, Radiological, Nuclear, and Explosive Materials (CBRNE) and Crisis Management
ii. Aviation, Maritime and Transport Security
iii. Cyber Terrorism and Youth Terrorism
iv. Terrorism Financing
v. Investigation and Legal Aspect / Prevention and Rehabilitation


The participants at the Brainstorming Workshop


Terrorism is one the top security concerns in the region and attacks in the Sulu Sea area have brought this issue to the forefront. According to Brigadier General Dato’ Badrul Hisham, Deputy Commander Eastern Command, the Eastern Sabah Security Command (ESSCOM) faces external threats such as kidnap ransom groups, smuggling, Royal Sulu Force (RSF), and sea robberies. The local supporters, sympathizers and informal messengers are the internal threats that have grown more serious over the past few years. Ms Norsyihan MIMA’s Centre for Maritime Security and Diplomacy (MSD) noted that maritime crimes require interagency cooperation to counter the region’s diverse terrorist groups and extremist tendencies without further alienating populations vulnerable to radicalization. Besides that, it is crucial to strengthen operational activities through planning and implementation in monitoring, control and surveillance.


Maritime Security Group 
From Left: Mr Johari Mohamed (Marine Officer of Maritime Industrial Control Division), Representative from Westports Port Police, Brigadier General Dato’ Badrul Hisham (Deputy Commander Eastern Command), Norsyihan Jamal (MSD, MIMA) and Representative from Marine Department


The way forward requires more conducive approaches on building anti-terrorism cooperation, including intelligence and law enforcement collaboration, and military-to-military exchanges to improve the effectiveness of countering terrorism. Multi-stakeholder collaboration is essential in combating extremism and requires open engagement with civil society to create awareness. MIMA would like to express its gratitude for the opportunity to be involved in this maritime security discussion.

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