The identification of potential foreign terrorist fighters at the borders was the focus of a two-week train-the-trainer course and curriculum development workshop for border security officers, organized by the OSCE Secretariat’s Transnational Threats Department. Twelve participants, who are selected members of the OSCE-led Mobile Training Team (MTT), which provides a pool of qualified trainers that are ready to be deployed across the OSCE area, gathered in Vienna from 20 to 31 March 2023 and came from Albania, Georgia, Greece, Italy, Montenegro, North Macedonia, Romania and Türkiye.
Over the course of two weeks, MTT members were trained by a team of international experts. A representative of the Spanish National Police and an international expert from Serbia showed how to deliver interactive and participatory trainings on the identification of cross-border movement by foreign terrorist fighters and other terrorism-related crimes at the borders. With the support of OSCE’s respective thematic units, participants also engaged in interactive exercises on the gendered aspects of terrorism and discussed the nexus between gender mainstreaming and effectively managed borders as well as gendered vulnerabilities in the field of trafficking in human beings. In addition, participants identified ways to combat illicit trafficking of small arms and light weapons at the borders.
Representatives of the United Nations Office of Counter-Terrorism, INTERPOL and Frontex introduced the audience to tools for and good practices in the identification of forged documents and foreign terrorist fighters at the borders, with a focus on identity management and travel security.
Under the guidance of a former FBI Special Agent, the MTT members engaged in interactive exercises on behavioural analysis and advanced techniques to interview potential foreign terrorist fighters, examining harmful biases and stereotyping, including a strong human rights, gender, youth and child perspective.
The OSCE MTT was established by the Transnational Threats Department in 2016. It consists of 12 operational border and counter-terrorism experts from OSCE participating States who are being deployed to various locations in the OSCE area to train border and law enforcement officers.
This event marks the beginning of the second phase of the OSCE MTT project, which is funded by the United States.