World terror experts vow to fight terrorism together at Bali meeting

Singapore's Minister for Home Affairs and Law K. Shanmugam (left) and Indonesia Coordinating Minister for Legal, Politics and Security Affairs Wiranto in Bali on Aug 10, 2016.
Singapore's Minister for Home Affairs and Law K. Shanmugam (left) and Indonesia Coordinating Minister for Legal, Politics and Security Affairs Wiranto in Bali on Aug 10, 2016. ST PHOTO: WAHYUDI SOERIAATMADJA
Indonesian Vice President Jusuf Kalla speaks during the International Meeting on Counter Terrorism in Nusadua, Bali, Indonesia, Aug 10, 2016.
Indonesian Vice President Jusuf Kalla speaks during the International Meeting on Counter Terrorism in Nusadua, Bali, Indonesia, Aug 10, 2016. PHOTO: EPA
Indonesia Coordinating Minister for Legal, Politics and Security Affairs Wiranto speaks during the International Meeting on Counter Terrorism in Nusadua, Bali, Indonesia, Aug 10, 2016.
Indonesia Coordinating Minister for Legal, Politics and Security Affairs Wiranto speaks during the International Meeting on Counter Terrorism in Nusadua, Bali, Indonesia, Aug 10, 2016. PHOTO: AFP
Australian Attorney General George Brandis deliver a speech during the International Meeting on Counter Terrorism in Nusadua, Bali, Indonesia, Aug 10, 2016.
Australian Attorney General George Brandis deliver a speech during the International Meeting on Counter Terrorism in Nusadua, Bali, Indonesia, Aug 10, 2016. PHOTO: EPA
Singapore's Minister for Home Affairs and Law K. Shanmugam (left) and Indonesia Coordinating Minister for Legal, Politics and Security Affairs Wiranto in Bali on Aug 10, 2016.
Singapore's Minister for Home Affairs and Law K. Shanmugam (left) and Indonesia Coordinating Minister for Legal, Politics and Security Affairs Wiranto in Bali on Aug 10, 2016.PHOTO: MINISTRY OF HOME AFFAIRS
Singapore's Minister for Home Affairs and Law K. Shanmugam (left) and Indonesia Coordinating Minister for Legal, Politics and Security Affairs Wiranto in Bali on Aug 10, 2016.
Singapore's Minister for Home Affairs and Law K. Shanmugam (left) and Indonesia Coordinating Minister for Legal, Politics and Security Affairs Wiranto in Bali on Aug 10, 2016.PHOTO: MINISTRY OF HOME AFFAIRS
Singapore's Minister for Home Affairs and Law K. Shanmugam (left) and Indonesia Coordinating Minister for Legal, Politics and Security Affairs Wiranto in Bali on Aug 10, 2016.
Singapore's Minister for Home Affairs and Law K. Shanmugam (left) and Indonesia Coordinating Minister for Legal, Politics and Security Affairs Wiranto in Bali on Aug 10, 2016.PHOTO: MINISTRY OF HOME AFFAIRS

Terrorism has increasingly become a transnational phenomenon as it "respects no national boundaries", say top security officials from around the world as they vow to strengthen law enforcement and border management cooperation.

Thus, more effective management of airports, seaports and other border crossing points is needed, they said, as "the global war on terror enters a new chapter" with growing threats from the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) extremist network.

The chair's statement released at the close of the International Meeting on Counter-Terrorism in Nusa Dua, Bali, today (Aug 10), said: "Ministers underlined the importance of effective control of states over their borders to prevent cross-border movement of terrorists and their goods, funds and material."

The officials also condemned the "heinous acts of terror" which had struck a number of countries, including Indonesia, and reaffirmed their commitment to combat terrorism "in all forms and manifestations".

 
 
 
 

The full-day conference, hosted by Indonesia and jointly organised with Australia, brought together 140 representatives from 23 countries, including the US, Russia, China, Singapore and Malaysia, as well as Asean, Interpol and the United Nations.

Among them were the US Department of State's acting coordinator for counterterrorism Justin Siberell, Singapore's Minister for Home Affairs and Law K. Shanmugam and Malaysia's Deputy Prime Minister Ahmad Zahid Hamidi.

Indonesia has been the target of several terror threats in recent months, and counter-terrorism police have launched a crackdown on people with suspected links to ISIS.

A Jan 14 terrorist attack in Jakarta killed eight people, and a July 5 suicide attack near a local police station in Solo city killed the bomber and injured a policeman.

Just last Friday, Indonesian police foiled a plan by the leader of a little-known terror cell called the Katibah GR or Cell GR, to fire a rocket from Batam into Singapore's Marina Bay.

Coordinating Minister for Political, Legal and Security Affairs Wiranto said officials have "agreed on the importance of prevention efforts across borders in a comprehensive manner".

"These efforts include the prevention of terrorist movement, the abuse of cyber world for terrorist purposes, traffic of weapons, and cross-border funding," he added. "If we do not cooperate, we would be beaten by the terror network."

During the meeting, the officials had urged for measures to cull supply of weapons to terrorists, which include small arms, light weapons and deadly materials to build explosive devices.

Officials also raised concerns over the ease of access to information on the Internet, which allows terrorists to spread their propaganda, recruit new members and "lone wolves", and teach them to make bombs or explosive devices.

"Therefore, ministers are encouraged to strengthen concerted efforts to develop counter-narratives, involving private sectors and civil society while respecting the rule of law and human rights," the statement added.

In his keynote speech, Indonesian Vice-President Jusuf Kalla said "terror attacks take lives, impact the economy, hurt a country's image".

SINGAPORE, MALAYSIA, INDONESIA AGREE ON PRIORITIES TO FIGHT TERRORISM

Singapore, Malaysia and Indonesia agreed that the systematic exchange of biometric information like fingerprints on known militants and terror convicts is a key priority in the fight against terrorism.

Singapore Home Affairs Minister K. Shanmugam, at separate meetings with his counterparts from both countries on Wednesday, also agreed that regularly sharing best practices in deradicalisation and countering violent extremism was a top priority, his ministry said in a statement.

In his meeting with Malaysian Deputy Prime Minister and Home Affairs Minister Ahmad Zahid Hamidi, Mr Shanmugam discussed ways to further enhance cooperation between regional security and intelligence agencies. 

Mr Shanmugam discussed similar concerns with Indonesia’s Coordinating Minister for Political, Legal and Security Affairs Wiranto, whose officials also updated him on the recent arrests in Batam.

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