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Counter Terrorism Implementation Task Force (CTIT)

CTIT is a charities project made on behalf of the UN office of counterterrorism and partially funded by the UK. The project outlined that NGOs are at an increased risk of being manipulated by extremist groups to raise, transfer and divert funds for their organisations. As a result the project was launched to help identify risks to the NGO sector from terrorist financing typologies and explored ways to safeguard the sector. The project was divided into three phases that shaped its actions: - Phase 1: CTIT held a first expert working group meeting in London (2011) that allowed experts to share standards and best practices for safeguarding the nonprofit sector. Outputs from the meeting included: increased awareness of the terrorism financing risks posed to NGOs, challenges faced in safeguarding NGOs, increased understanding of standards and best practices and expanded international cooperation between professionals in the field.  - Phase 2: The project organised three regional workshops to disseminate the findings and recommendations from the expert group meeting. The meetings addressed region-specific threats and raised awareness about pertinent stands that were addressed in the expert meeting. The aim of these workshops is to create a multi-agency network that involves governments, regulatory bodies and law enforcement that regulate charities and NGOs to tackle CVE and radicalisation on a local level.  - Phase 3: CTIT facilitated the sustainability of the outputs of the meeting and workshops by encouraging regional and international cooperation. They also supported follow-up meeting and training sessions hosted by participants within the regions.  In completing the three phase methodology CTIT helped to increase awareness to NGOs, charities, the government and law enforcement about the increased risks that extremists groups pose within the sector. This outcome acts as a contribution towards the prevention of CVE and radicalisation dissemination through a grass root level. 

The International Centre For The Study Of Radicalisation And Political Violence (ICSR)

Working across a number of different academic disciplines and in several languages, ICSR conducts thematic research on some of the world’s most pressing issues. Our researchers are often among the first to discover new trends, identify emerging patterns, and have harnessed the capacity of ‘big data’ to bring an empirical understanding to the study of international security and terrorism issues. Our research is not just evidence-led and underwritten by rigorous academic methods but is also developed with both government and industry in mind. As a result, our findings always have a sharp policy focus, allowing practitioners to better understand how academic research can be implemented in the real world. ICSR was founded in 2008 and has always strived to bridge the gap between academia and the public sphere. As a result, we do not just seek to inform policymakers with our findings but also communicate our research to the public at large. To that end, you will find all of our published research on this website along with details of our projects, experts, and contact details.


The Countering Violent Extremism (CVE) programme, which began in August 2011, provides resources to communities to build and sustain local prevention efforts in the hope that this would address the root causes of violent extremism. In 2014, the U.S. government announced a new anti-terrorism initiative in the United States. The programme, dubbed Countering Violent Extremism (CVE), aims to deter U.S. residents from joining ""violent extremist"" groups by bringing community and religious leaders together with law enforcement, health professionals, teachers and social service employees. Attorney General Eric Holder announced a White House CVE summit and three CVE pilot programme, to begin in Boston, Minneapolis, and Los Angeles. These programme, however, are not new. CVE programmes have existed for some time, often with dubious results. And while purportedly aimed at rooting out all violent extremism, they have previously focused only on Muslims, stigmatizing them as a suspect community. These programmes have further promoted flawed theories of terrorist radicalization which lead to unnecessary fear, discrimination, and unjustified reporting to law enforcement. Currently, the US Government is running 12 major CVE programmes at national and international levels.

Anti-Terrorism Assistance Programme (ATA)

Since its creation in 1983, the Antiterrorism Assistance (ATA) programme has served as the primary provider of U.S. government antiterrorism training and equipment to law-enforcement agencies of partner nations throughout the world and has delivered counterterrorism training to more than 90,000 law enforcement personnel from 154 countries. From the prevention of terrorist attacks to responding to and mitigating terrorist attacks, ATA helps partner nations build critical capabilities across a wide spectrum of counterterrorism skills. ATA will continue to provide training courses, consultations, mentorships, seminars, and equipment relevant to investigations, border security, protection of critical targets, leadership and management, regional coordination and cooperation, critical incident response and management, and cybersecurity. As terrorist networks continue to adjust their tactics and strategies, ATA will continue to adapt and refine its counterterrorism training initiatives to meet evolving threats. All ATA courses emphasize the importance of the rule of law and respect for human rights. The ATA programme's policy formulation, strategic guidance, and oversight are managed by the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Counterterrorism, while implementation and programme administration is the responsibility of the Bureau of Diplomatic Security (DS).


Countering violent extremism (CVE) is a pillar of the Administration’s strategic approach to counterterrorism, and is an increasingly critical component of a comprehensive and sustainable counterterrorism strategy that seeks to address the entire life cycle of radicalization to violent extremism. The United States is working with governments and non-governmental partners to address the spread of violent extremism and the conditions that make communities susceptible to violent extremism, including – but not limited to – ISIL/Da’esh’s potent brand of terrorism. Through diplomatic engagement and foreign assistance programmes, the State Department seeks to advance the following five strategic objectives to counter violent extremism: 1. Expand international political will, partnerships, and expertise to better understand the drivers of violent extremism and mobilize effective interventions. 2. Encourage and assist partner governments to adopt more effective policies and approaches to prevent and counter the spread of violent extremism, including changing unhelpful practices where necessary. 3. Employ foreign assistance tools and approaches, including development, to reduce specific political or social and economic factors that contribute to community support for violent extremism in identifiable areas or put particular segments of a population at high risk of violent extremist radicalization and recruitment to violence. 4. Empower and amplify locally credible voices that can change the perception of violent extremist groups and their ideology among key demographic segments. Strengthen the capabilities of government and non-governmental actors to isolate, intervene with, and promote the rehabilitation and reintegration of individuals caught in the cycle of radicalization to violence. Key areas of CVE programming include: 1. Building capacity of government and civil society to design and carry out national CVE dialogues, strategies, and action plans; 2. Strengthening CVE efforts by local and municipal actors; 3. Enhancing civil society’s role in CVE efforts, particularly among youth, women, and religious leaders; 4. Counter-messaging and promoting alternative narratives; and 5. Addressing radicalization in and through the criminal justice sector, such as police-community engagement, diversion programmes, and juvenile justice.

Countering the Financing of Terrorism (CDFT)

The Bureau of Counterterrorism (CT) uses a range of tools and programmes to isolate and weaken terrorist groups and their support networks. CT leads Department of State efforts to designate terrorist organizations and individuals, including freezing their financial assets, blocking their financial transactions, and preventing others from providing them with material or financial support. Terrorism designations expose and isolate organizations and individuals, impose serious sanctions on them, and enable coordinated action across the U.S. government and with our international partners to disrupt the activities of terrorists, including by denying them access to the U.S. financial system and enabling U.S. law enforcement actions. CT also helps build the capacity of foreign partners to detect illicit funds – especially those from terrorist organizations emanating from, transiting through, or entering their countries – by helping them identify deficiencies in their national anti-money laundering (AML) and countering the financing of terrorism (CFT) regimes and building knowledge and skills to address those deficiencies. CT helps partner countries build their AML/CFT legal frameworks to meet the international standards established by the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) and the UN, including establishing and implementing sound financial regulatory systems covering both the formal and informal sectors; developing effective financial intelligence units that can identify illicit financing, analyse suspicious transactions, and disseminate information; and equipping law enforcement agencies, prosecutors, and judges to investigate and develop evidence to prosecute and adjudicate AML/CFT cases. CT works with federal agencies such as the Department of Justice’s Office of Overseas Prosecutorial Development, Assistance, and Training and Asset Forfeiture and Money Laundering Section; the Federal Bureau of Investigation; the Department of the Treasury’s Financial Crimes Enforcement Network;, the Internal Revenue Service;, and the Department of Homeland Security’s Homeland Security Investigations; to implement and achieve these objectives, along with non-governmental organizations and the private sector. We also address specific CFT challenges relating to foreign terrorist fighters and kidnapping for ransom.

Counterterrorism Partnerships Fund (CTPF)

The Bureau of Counterterrorism (CT) is managing the Counterterrorism Partnerships Fund (CTPF), which is designed to build a network of partnerships from South Asia to the Sahel to develop more effective partnerships in countries and regions where terrorist networks seek to establish a foothold. CTPF funding seeks to strengthen civilian counterterrorism partnerships in key countries around the world. In coordination with the Department of Defence's CTPF efforts, CT seeks to use State’s funding to build the capacity of criminal justice sector actors who can respond to, arrest, investigate, prosecute, and incarcerate terrorist suspects, recruiters, and financiers in accordance with due process and the rule of law. CT also seeks to use CTPF funding to expand partnerships with non-security and non-governmental actors to counter radicalization and recruitment to violent extremism, especially in regions threatened by ISIS.

Foreign Emergency Support Team (FEST):

The FEST is the U.S. government’s only interagency, on-call, short-notice team poised to rapidly respond to terrorist incidents worldwide. At the request of, and on the behalf of the U.S. Chief of Mission, the FEST deploys overseas to advise, assist, assess, and coordinate U.S. government crisis response activities. The Bureau of Counterterrorism (CT) leads the FEST that includes representatives from the Department of Defence, Federal Bureau of Investigation, and other agencies, as circumstances warrant. FEST composition is flexible and tailored to the specific incident and the needs of the U.S. Embassy and host nation. The FEST has deployed over thirty times since its inception in 1986, and can augment existing U.S. Mission and host nation capabilities with specialized crisis response expertise such as: 1. Crisis management expertise; 2. Time-sensitive information; 3. Planning for contingency operations; 4. Hostage negotiating expertise; 5. Reach-back to Washington, DC agencies; and 6. Specialized communications capabilities.

Global Counterterrorism Forum (GCTF)

The Global Counterterrorism Forum (GCTF) is a multilateral body that seeks to promote civilian cooperation and good practices to counter terrorism. The GCTF is composed of 30 countries and the EU. It consists of a strategic-level Coordinating Committee and five thematic and regional expert-driven working groups focusing on the criminal justice sector and rule of law; countering violent extremism; and capacity building in the Sahel, the Horn of Africa, and Southeast Asia. The GCTF aims to strengthen the international architecture for addressing 21st century terrorism and promotes a strategic, long-term approach to dealing with the threat. Since its launch in September 2011, the GCTF has mobilized over US $200 million to strengthen counterterrorism-related rule of law institutions, in particular, for countries transitioning away from emergency law. Other accomplishments since the launch include the adoption of various sets of good practices that are intended to both provide practical guidance for countries as they seek to enhance their counterterrorism capacity and bring greater strategic coherence to global counterterrorism capacity building efforts. In addition, the GCTF served as impetus for the development of three “inspired” institutions in order to address the Forum’s areas of strategic priority: countering violent extremism (CVE) and strengthening the rule of law. These institutions provide a vehicle for the operationalization, promotion, and implementation of some of the GCTF good practices surrounding CVE and rule of law. These three institutions include: 1. The Global Community Engagement and Resilience Fund (GCERF), based of its headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland, GCERF is the first global effort to support local, community-level initiatives aimed at strengthening resilience against violent extremism. 2. Hedayah, based in Abu Dhabi, UAE, serves as a CVE centre of excellence and a training hub. 3. The International Institute for Justice and the Rule of Law (IIJ), based in Valletta, Malta, provides lawmakers, law enforcement officers, prosecutors, judges, correctional officials, and other justice sector stakeholders with the training and tools required to address terrorism and related transnational criminal activity. The UN is a close partner of and participant in the GCTF and its activities. The GCTF serves as a mechanism for furthering the implementation of the universally-agreed UN Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy and, more broadly, to complement and reinforce existing multilateral counterterrorism efforts, starting with those of the UN.

International Security Events Group (ISEG)

The International Security Events Group (ISEG) coordinates U.S. government interagency efforts ensuring the highest level of safety and security for our citizens overseas at significant international events, such as the Olympic Games, World Cup, Presidential visits and Global Summits. The Bureau of Counterterrorism works closely with the Department of State’s Diplomatic Security within ISEG Counterterrorism Crisis Response and Exercise Planning Sub-Committees to evaluate major international events with an emphasis on planning and preparation for the possible deployment of the Foreign Emergency Support Team (FEST) or other U.S. government response to emerging terrorist crises. The Exercise Planning Subcommittee develops and conducts counterterrorism capacity building crisis response activities to enhance U.S. mission and host nation preparations for major international events.

Reigonal Strategic Initiative (RSI)

Terrorist groups often take advantage of porous borders and ungoverned areas between countries. The Bureau of Counterterrorism’s (CT’s) RSI programme enables flexible civilian responses to transregional threats and builds the partner capacity and cooperation necessary to promote regional responses to terrorism. Current RSI efforts focus on regional cooperation to stem the flow of foreign terrorist fighters to Syria and Iraq, counter terrorist safe havens, and counter Lebanese Hizballah’s global activities, among other counterterrorism priorities. RSI has supported a wide variety of projects focused on regional law enforcement cooperation and effectiveness against transnational threats. Examples include the counterterrorism rapid response project, which allows CT to quickly deploy advisors and experts to provide immediate assistance to partner nations in various technical areas. Other RSI projects have aimed to assist in the implementation of the Global Counterterrorism Forum good practices, including the The Hague-Marrakech Memorandum on Good Practices for a More Effective Response to the FTF Phenomenon (Hague-Marrakech Memorandum).

Technical Support Working Group (TSWG)

The Technical Support Working Group (TSWG) is an interagency forum that coordinates U.S. government-wide technology prototyping under the National Combating Terrorism Research and Development (R&D) Programme. The mission of the TSWG is to identify, prioritize, and coordinate interagency and international R&D requirements and to rapidly develop technologies and equipment to meet the high-priority needs of the combating terrorism community. The TSWG also addresses joint international operational requirements through cooperative R&D with select NATO members, major non-NATO allies, and other friendly foreign nations. The Bureau of Counterterrorism co-chairs the TSWG in partnership with the U.S. Department of Defence, Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defence for Special Operations and Low-Intensity Conflict (OASD SO/LIC). By leveraging common technical requirements and initiatives, the TSWG develops new products and capabilities for those on the front lines of the counterterrorism effort. The TSWG incorporates expertise from a variety of U.S. and international sources to deliver operational support to first responders, military forces, and to other federal, state, and local government security officials.

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