Karachi, 30 October 2020- Under the framework of Pakistan’s Action to Counter Terrorism (PACT) Sindh project UNODC in collaboration with the National Counter Terrorism Authority (NACTA) and with the financial support of the European Union organized a ‘Threat Assessment Workshop for Counter Terrorism Department (CTD) Sindh Police from 27-30 October 2020.The workshop brought together participants from various units of CTD Sindh and experts from NACTA with an overwhelming number of women participants.
In the opening ceremony Mr. Asif Saifullah Paracha, Member Policy, NACTA lauded the efforts of CTD Sindh Police for their sacrifices and successful operations throughout the province. Mr. Paracha stressed that the provincial threat assessment workshop would complement the efforts of CTD Sindh and NACTA in developing a proactive response to the threats posed by terrorism. Mr. Syed Arslan, UNODC Programme Advisor highlighted upon the importance of modern methods and tools available for performing analysis and developing threat assessment reports.
The workshop started with a presentation from UNODC expert Brigadier (r) Khalid Saleem on threat assessment conceptual framework, stages, and different information gathering sources for countering terrorism by developing credible threat assessment reports. The expert presented the national threat assessment template developed by NACTA to ensure common standards amongst federal and provincial authorities and to enhance information sharing amongst relevant stakeholders.
Later in the day, Mr. Francios Zobalt, Counter Terrorism Counsellor from the EU, presented the national threat assessment model of France via video link to showcase to the participants both and strengthens and the shortcomings in their practices. The session was followed by a presentation on COVID-19 specific threat assessment by a UNODC expert Mr. David Thorne, who dilated on the ways how the terrorists may exploit the pandemic situation to recruit, raise funds and plan attacks.
Expert from NACTA presented on their organizational coordination role and mechanisms in place for sharing of information followed by a presentation on annual report of NACTA was to showcase the data collection models and analysis reports produced for policy makers for informed decisions and threat alerts.
During the second day of the workshop, Mr. Amanullah Khan, UNODC Programme Officer, presented on the use of modern technologies, methods and tools for threat assessments, searching techniques for meaningful Open Source Intelligence (OSINT) on internet and social networks. Following that, Dr. Naveed Ahmed, UNODC expert, presented on the OSINT concepts and used cases from different countries where social media and other online communication applications were used to orchestrate terrorist attacks, spread propaganda or convey their ideologies for radicalization and recruitments. He also made reference to latest tools available for network securities and social media analysis.
The reaming two days of the workshop were dedicated to group exercises during which the participants developed group profiles and threat assessment based on factitious scenarios. During these exercises, the participants used all the models, tools and techniques they learned from earlier presentations during workshop and delivered presentations to the panel of experts followed by discussions and feedback.
At the closing session, Mr. Omar Shahid, Deputy Inspector General CTD appreciated the efforts of UNODC, EU and NACTA for organizing this important training session and stressed on the need for more training sessions of similar nature, to strengthen the capacity of the specialized units to overcome the challenges posed by terrorism. Upon conclusion of the workshop, certificates were distributed amongst the participants.
The activity was made possible with the financial support of the European Union under the Foreign Policy Instrument (FPI).