On Tuesday 24th April, the International Centre for Counter-Terrorism (ICCT) – The Hague, in collaboration with the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands to Qatar, the Rule of Law and Anti-Corruption Centre (ROLACC) and the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) held a workshop titled “Investigating and Prosecuting Cases of the Nexus between Organised Crime and Terrorism: Best Practices and Lessons Learned for Practitioners.” The event was launched by Dr. Bahia Tahzib-Lie, Ambassador of the Kingdom of the Netherlands to Qatar, and Dr. Colin Clarke, Associate Fellow at the ICCT.
Dr. Tahzib-Lie’s opening remarks focused on the importance of the meeting, and of her hope that the meeting would “enable nations to seek new partnerships together.” Loide Aryee, the Director of the Organised Crime branch of the UNODC, added to this by saying that “sharing knowledge and experience is crucial in understanding how to implement a targeted and comprehensive approach” to fighting organised crime and terrorism. Judge Yasser Refaie, Acting Director of ROLACC, described the meeting as “another brick in the wall against corruption, against terrorism and organised crime.”
The workshop brought together practitioners from nine countries and explored the connections between organised crime and terrorist activities. Participants included judges, prosecutors, police officers, counter-terrorism experts and social scientists. Key speakers included Tuesday Reitano, Deputy Director of the Global Initiative against Transnational Organised Crime, Martin Gallagher, Chief Inspector of Police Scotland and Bart den Hartigh, National Prosecutor from the Netherlands.
The connection between organised crime and terror has not been explored in detail before, and the implications of this workshop are that expertise and best practice can be shared between different nations in order to increase the efficacy of counter-terrorist and anti-organised crime efforts around the world.