Call for more intelligence sharing against terrorism at Interpol forum

Top security officials around the world have gathered in the Indonesian resort island of Bali to strengthen global cooperation against terrorism and transnational crimes, amid concerns that terrorists fighting for ISIS in the Middle East would return to their home countries.

The officials are expected to discuss extremism, cybercrime and drug and people smuggling issues, as well as ways to enhance intelligence sharing.

And with the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) in the Middle East under attack by a United States-led coalition in their strongholds of Mosul in Iraq and Raqqa in Syria, the officials are expected to discuss ways to curb the possibility of returning militants causing chaos.

Indonesia police on patrol in Nusa Dua, on the resort island of Bali, where the 85th International Police (Interpol) General Assembly was held yesterday.
Indonesia police on patrol in Nusa Dua, on the resort island of Bali, where the 85th International Police (Interpol) General Assembly was held yesterday. PHOTO: AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

The 85th International Police (Interpol) General Assembly, attended by some 1,360 police chiefs and other delegates from around 160 Interpol member countries, kicked off yesterday in Nusa Dua, Bali, and will conclude on Thursday.

In his opening remarks at the meeting, Indonesian Vice-President Jusuf Kalla urged nations to increase intelligence cooperation on terrorism. "Terrorism is an extraordinary crime, and countering it requires Interpol member countries to cooperate and focus on intelligence," he said.

Host country Indonesia has been struck by a series of violence and attempted attacks by different domestic militant groups since the start of the year, spurred by the growing influence of ISIS. Hundreds of Indonesians have travelled to the Middle East to support or fight for ISIS since 2013.

The vast archipelago also proved to be a fertile ground for transnational crime, witnessing a surge of illegal fishing incidents and a spate of piracy and abductions of its citizens by gunmen believed to be linked to the southern Philippines-based Abu Sayyaf terrorist group in the past year.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on November 08, 2016, with the headline 'Call for more intelligence sharing against terrorism at Interpol forum'. Print Edition | Subscribe