THE HAGUE, Jan 11 – The Netherlands will push for greater sharing of intelligence data, including lists of suspected foreign fighters, at a gathering of global counter-terrorism officials on Monday.
The Dutch, who hold the rotating European Union presidency, circulated a draft outlining the objective to roughly 250 delegates of the Global Counter Terrorism Forum (GCTF) and Anti-ISIS Coalition meeting in The Hague, an official said.
Although a framework for sharing confidential intelligence already exists, the Dutch hope to boost the use of databases at the European and international police agencies Interpol and Europol, in the wake of weak communication before the Paris attacks.
Several of the attackers, who killed 130 people on Nov. 13 with guns and suicide vests, had been on the radar of authorities in various countries, providing opportunities to stop them.
Turkish authorities detained suicide bomber Brahim Abdeslam and deported him to Belgium months before the attacks, warning that he had been “radicalised” and was suspected of wanting to join Islamic State fighters in Syria.
“A lot has been said and agreed, but what they want to achieve on Monday is to turn it into action,” the Dutch Foreign Ministry official told Reuters, citing the draft proposal. “There is a lack of trust and confidence that is preventing sharing of all information.”
One example is the failure to effectively share lists of suspects whose assets have been frozen. It is currently possible for someone blacklisted in the Netherlands to drive across the border and use their bank cards in neighbouring Germany or Belgium, the official said.
Another problem is that not all countries provide data or use information made available through systems at Europol and Interpol.
Among participants are the leading counter-terrorism officials from the European Union, Europol, Interpol, the United Nations and top government representatives from the United States, Turkey and Morocco, among others.
Foreign Minister Bert Koenders said on Sunday the “national terrorism” list in the Netherlands had doubled in a year to 42 Dutch citizens and organisations linked to militants in Syria and Iraq. (