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Cross-border challenges in identification of potential foreign terrorists fighters focus of advanced OSCE mobile training team train-the-trainer course in Istanbul

MTT Members during a study visit to the Counter Terrorism Unit of Istanbul’s International Airport, Istanbul, 28 June 2019. (Ingrid Mestyánné Landishev)


An advanced train-the-trainer course on the identification of potential foreign terrorists fighters (FTFs) at the borders was organized by the Transnational Threats Department’s Border Security and Management Unit with support of the Government of Turkey for six newly selected border officers from Greece, Kyrgyzstan, North Macedonia, Montenegro and Turkey, from 24 to 29 June 2019 in Istanbul.                                            

The training programme covered international legal frameworks, travel documents security, effective use of Interpol databases, advance passenger information, risk analysis and management in the identification and interviewing of potential foreign terrorist fighters at borders in compliance with the international human rights standards as well as training techniques and methodologies. The training was combined with a one-day roundtable on the development of a Visual Arts Training Tool on the identification of FTFs at the borders.

The importance of applying risk analysis models to identify potential foreign terrorist fighters at the borders was discussed, as were background, trends and current cases. The participants also engaged in practical exercises on the detection of forged documents and impostors and in interactive exercises for understanding behavioural indicators of foreign terrorist fighters and also refining teaching and presenting techniques.

Mobile Training Team members from Georgia, North Macedonia, Bosnia and Herzegovina and experts from INTERPOL, the OSCE Transnational Threat Department’s Border Security and Management Unit (BSMU), Austria and the United States delivered presentations and shared their knowledge and expertise in the identification of foreign terrorist fighters at the borders and teaching techniques.

The participants also visited the premises of the newly opened Istanbul International Airport, where they had the opportunity to gain on-site and hands-on experience regarding border controls and travel document security, including new electronic systems and were familiarized with recent cases of FTFs detected at the airport.

The OSCE Mobile Training Team was established by the BSMU in 2016. The current Mobile Team consists of 17 operational border and counter-terrorism experts from OSCE participating States.