Countries need to unite to fight terrorism

16 Dec 2013 18:10pm
WINDHOEK, 16 DEC (NAMPA) - The Director-General of the Namibia Central Intelligence Service (NCIS), Lieutenant General (retired) Lucas Petrus Hangula says countries need to coordinate and unite in the fight against terrorism.
Hangula, who opened a five-day workshop which is set to evaluate and review the implementation of Namibia’s counter-terrorism strategy in the capital on Monday, said the world became smaller with the development of new, fast-moving technology.
He noted that Africa has historically remained largely unaffected by terrorism until the emergence of self-selected religion-based terrorism which now makes up the majority of terrorist threats.
“I am referring to the kind of terrorism that is perpetuated by international organisations such as Al Qaeda,” he said.
He explained that there are inherent challenges that confront governments and the security and law enforcement agencies to track and forestall terrorism.
Terrorist groups, he noted, do not operate easily identifiable operating infrastructures, but through highly closed cells and lone radicalised individuals, making it difficult to detect terrorist capabilities and intentions, which in itself presents serious challenges to the effective implementation of counter terrorism strategies.
Hangula said looking at the pattern of terrorist attacks globally, terrorists are prepared to carry out attacks against their selected targets anywhere in the world and terrorist groups and inspired individuals will use any country to organise, plan, train, raise funds, and recruit people.
He said this places an enormous obligation on governments to assess possible vulnerabilities with a view toward closing any gaps that could allow terrorist groups opportunities to carry out attacks or undertake organising and logistic support activities.
“It is in this context that we in Namibia should welcome and commend the initiative by the Africa Centre for the Study and Research of Terrorism to evaluate Namibia's preparedness and effectiveness implementing the counter terrorism strategy,” he said.
He added that the country, government, the intelligence and security agencies in particular need to evaluate and review the implementation of the counter terrorism strategy frequently and consistently.
Hangula said there is a need to strengthen the policy and legislative environment, the presence and responsiveness of the security measures around key areas and activities that require protection, the country's capabilities to respond and recover from the impact of terrorist incidences should these occur.
He noted that there is also a need to streamline cooperation and coordination at the national, continental and global levels in order to best exploit synergetic opportunities.
A delegation from the African Union (AU)’s Africa Centre for the Study and Research on Terrorism is in the country to evaluate and review the implementation of the Namibia Central Intelligence Service’s counter-terrorism strategy during the workshop.