Adaptive strategy needed to combat terrorism: Dutch expert

Source: Xinhua| 2017-11-20 23:47:01|Editor: Mu Xuequan
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THE HAGUE, Nov. 20 (Xinhua) -- The threats of terrorism continue and change, and the counterterrorism strategy must be adaptive and seek better data collecting and data sharing, Dutch National Coordinator for Security and Counter Terrorism (NCTV) Dick Schoof said on Monday.

"More than ever we are dealing with different kinds of terrorists who are using several ways of attacks and communication and aiming at a large variety of targets," said the Dutch expert at a panel discussion.

Commenting on recent military victories over the Islamic State (IS), Schoof stressed that "Raqqa may have fallen, but the threat of ISIS is still current and certainly not diminishing."

"The threat posed by ISIS remains a key factor in the threat to the west... They are committed to continuing attacks against the West or western interest abroad and to inspire extremists around the globe to do the same," said the expert.

As for Al-Qaida, the Dutch counter terrorism chief believed that this "sometimes-forgotten organization" retains both the capability and the intention to continue their operations.

As an example of data-sharing, he mentioned foreign terrorist fighters and terrorist suspects being listed in a Schengen information system, making detection possible not only at the borders but everywhere in Europe. The European Counterterrorism Centre, set up for operation as part of Europol in January 2016, is another instance of cooperation within the EU and with partners in the United States.

"The terrorist threat continues and changes. The core of our counterterrorism strategy is that we have to be adaptive. In my opinion, collecting data and sharing data are essential to detect trends and threats, so that we are able to make changes if necessary," Schoof stressed.

During the panel, the Institute for Economics & Peace (IEP) presented its 2017 Global Terrorism Index.

"Terrorist attacks are becoming less sophisticated and more likely to be directed against civilian targets in the OECD, such as attacks using vehicles; but improvements in counterterrorism strategies foiled more plots in 2016 than 2015 and 2014," said the report.