Fight­ing ter­ror­ism.... peo­ple need to be trained


The US Sec­re­tary of State John Kerry has un­veiled an ini­tia­tive to ad­dress the prob­lem of vi­o­lent ex­trem­ism. Ad­dress­ing the Global Coun­tert­er­ror­ism Min­is­te­rial Fo­rum re­cently, he said that US will en­hance its con­tri­bu­tion to the fo­rum and also work to­wards strength­en­ing two train­ing cen­tres to help train peo­ple in fight­ing ter­ror at­tacks.

The Cen­tre for Ex­cel­lence in Coun­ter­ing Vi­o­lent Ex­trem­ism is func­tion­ing in Abu Dhabi and another is ex­pected to open in 2014 in Malta. The sec­ond is called the In­ter­na­tional In­sti­tute of Jus­tice and the Rule of Law.

“It is fair to say that un­speak­able evil still ex­ists in our world. We have to find a way to pre­vent, to pre­empt, to act ahead of th­ese kinds of ob­scen­i­ties,” Kerry said.

De­nounc­ing the re­cent ter­ror­ist at­tacks, in­clud­ing the mas­sacre in a Nairobi mall by the So­mali al-Shabab mil­i­tants, and the dou­ble sui­cide at­tack on a church in north­west Pak­istan which killed 82 peo­ple, he said they were “cowardly at­tacks like th­ese can­not be al­lowed to change who we are, or shake our re­solve to find peace and jus­tice for all.”

Kerry an­nounced the United States would put an ad­di­tional $30 mil­lion into the fund which supports the fo­rum’s ac­tiv­i­ties, and said the Depart­ment of State was work­ing to launch a new arm of the fo­rum specif­i­cally to ad­dress ter­ror­ism at grass­roots level. “From Kenya to Pak­istan from Mali to Ye­men the threat that we face is more dif­fused, cen­tralised, ge­o­graph­i­cally dis­persed than ever be­fore,” he said.

“Ad­dress­ing this threat will re­quire ev­ery tool in our arse­nal— po­lit­i­cal, eco­nom­i­cal, diplo­matic, mil­i­tary — and per­haps most im­por­tantly, the power of our ideas.” Kerry stressed, how­ever, that “get­ting this right is not just about tak­ing ter­ror­ists off the street, it’s about pro­vid­ing more eco­nomic op­por­tu­ni­ties for marginalised youth at risk of re­cruit­ment. It’s about chal­leng­ing the nar­ra­tive of vi­o­lence that is used to jus­tify the slaugh­ter­ing of in­no­cent peo­ple.”

For such ef­forts to be “ef­fec­tive, they’ve got to be driven by lo­cal knowl­edge, they’ve got to be re­spon­sive to con­cerns of lo­cal com­mu­ni­ties,” he told the fo­rum.

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