Introduction / Summary

The threat posed by “Foreign Terrorist Fighters” (FTFs)1 – individuals who travel abroad to a State other than their States of residence or nationality to engage in, undertake, plan, prepare, carry out or otherwise support terrorist activity or to provide or receive training to do so (often labeled as “terrorist training”) – is a major issue for international and national security. Governments continue to grapple with how to address the complex set of challenges posed by this threat. Many countries are concerned that the rising number of people, especially youth, radicalized to violence and traveling to fight or train alongside terrorist groups in conflict and non-conflict areas will become further radicalized and pose a new terrorist threat to their home or third countries, including transit countries.

  1. This Memorandum, and the GCTF FTF Initiative more broadly, do not intent to make and should not be interpreted as making any statement about the legal status of FTFs under national or international law, in particular, international humanitarian, international human rights, or refugee law.

Good Practices Breakdown

  • Good Practice 17

    Strengthen investigations and prosecutions of FTFs, when appropriate, through improved information sharing and evidence gathering. States should consider updating legislation to criminalize recruit... Read More

  • Good Practice 18

    Prepare and exercise responses to the kinds of terrorist acts for which FTFs may have special skills. Some FTFs may have received training in the use of man-portable air-defense systems (MANPADS), ... Read More

  • Good Practice 19

    Develop comprehensive reintegration programs for returning FTFs. Comprehensive reintegration programs – including in prisons - are a critical component to respond to the potential threat posed by r... Read More

  • Conclusion

    Information Sharing, Comprehensive Integrated Approaches, Capacity Building As stated above, States should engage in law enforcement and interdiction, as well as prevention and reintegration, in or... Read More

Latest Initiatives

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This section will be used to highlight key initiatives being led by governments around the world which are advancing the GCTF’s lifecycle initiative