Recommendation 1

Ensure timely detection of, and intensify information sharing on, RFTFs within and between States.

Sharing of concrete, timely, and accurate information is vital to identify and detect RFTFs. The more relevant information that is shared in real-time between governmental and nongovernmental partners – such as financial institutions, the travel sector, internet service providers, and other private sector organizations as appropriate – the more capable States will be in assessing potential risks and responding effectively. Furthermore, States are encouraged to share “operational” information and develop practical tools and procedures to ensure that the information they receive is appropriate, timely, and actionable. States should facilitate the interoperability of the current multilateral information systems.

In line with Good Practice 15 of the GCTF’s The Hague-Marrakech Memorandum7, States should make better use of existing multilateral information systems and bilateral mechanisms, which provide information regarding the whereabouts of known FTFs, including minors, recruitment and relevant human smuggling networks, FTF travel routes, the production and use of false travel documents, stolen and lost identity or travel documents, the procurement or acquisition of firearms and explosives, and illegal trafficking of weapons. States should consider making use of other inter-state and relevant databases. In addition, States should regularly update national and regional Sanctions Lists, based on UNSCR 12678 , 13739 , and 225310 . States are also encouraged to share national lists of known individuals having the intent to commit terrorist attacks and, if applicable, no fly lists.

To improve inter-agency cooperation and coordination, some States have created mechanisms – such as a fusion center, national counterterrorism coordination body, or information-sharing arrangements – in which law enforcement, (military) intelligence, border control agencies, and public prosecution services, while working independently, share relevant information whilst maintaining control over the information. Regional information hubs and networks for cooperation have also proven effective tools to share timely information.

Timely detection is based not only on the presence of accurate and timely information, but also on effective border and police controls – in terms of qualified staff and appropriate detection technology. States should strengthen their border security capacity at critical points of entry and implement coordinated border management. States should ensure that all law enforcement and border agencies have adequate access to relevant multilateral, regional, and national databases. Furthermore, close collaboration between countries of origin, destination, and transit is necessary. States are also encouraged to develop evidence-based travel risk assessment tools and screening procedures. In some countries specialized risk analysis units have been established.

Despite technical challenges, States are encouraged to implement systems for the processing and analyses of passenger data, such as an Advance Passenger Information (API) system and consider developing Passenger Name Record (PNR) systems. To facilitate the implementation of travel information systems, some countries are establishing a centralized and automated portal that collects all travel information. By using a “single window” system, airlines have to submit travel data to just one single entity.

States should devise robust community engagement and enhanced border policing approaches, to include communities, particularly in remote border areas, to contribute to efforts to detect and prevent illegal border crossings. Connecting border communities with central and regional border management could be done through establishing hotlines.11

7. Supra note 1.

8. S/RES/1267 (15 October 1999).

9. S/RES/1373 (28 September 2001).

10. S/RES/2253 (17 December 2015).

11. For additional guidance, see the GCTF’s Good Practices in the Areas of Border Security and Management in the Context of Counterterrorism and Stemming the Flow of Foreign Terrorist Fighters.