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Service for Foreign Policy Instruments
News article19 June 2024Service for Foreign Policy Instruments1 min read

Enhancing anti-terrorism capabilities in prisons

From 10 to 13 June, Larnaca, Cyprus hosted a significant meeting of around 30 officials from the Middle East, North Africa, and the European Union, aimed at reinforcing the fight against terrorism within prison systems.

Enhancing anti-terrorism capabilities in prisons
European Commission

The meeting, as a part of the CT JUST project funded by the European Union to promote international collaboration in the fight against terrorism, was attended by institutional representatives from Finland, Romania, and Spain and brought together experts from Eurojust and countries including Egypt, Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon, and Morocco. It focused on enhancing capabilities to combat terrorism within detention facilities.

Prisons, designed for rehabilitation, are increasingly becoming breeding grounds for terrorist networks. Overcrowding and limited resources create fertile ground for radicalisation, with extremist inmates exploiting these conditions to recruit and spread propaganda. These networks pose significant security threats, orchestrating violence and maintaining connections with the outside world. Understanding these networks is crucial. Experts from various fields (judicial, social, security) must collaborate to develop effective solutions. Prison staff, with their valuable insights, are key to this process. The meeting aimed to analyse the problem, identify best practices, and create a roadmap for combating this growing threat.

During the event, the importance of balancing security with human rights was emphasised, highlighting that adherence to international human rights standards is essential to prevent further radicalisation due to perceived injustices.

Julián Cabrero López, a senior judge and key expert of the CT JUST project, stressed the necessity of interagency cooperation and the shift from a "need to know" to a "need to share" mindset among institutions to enhance the overall effectiveness of counter-terrorism measures.

The CT JUST project aims to strengthen the capacities of authorities across the counter-terrorism criminal chain, contributing to the effective dismantling of terrorist and recruitment networks, and ensuring reparation and dignity for victims. The project focuses on three key lines of action to combat terrorist networks: fortifying the anti-terrorism legal framework, boosting preventive and operational efforts of involved institutions, and fostering essential multilateral and cross-border collaboration. This comprehensive approach facilitates the sharing of insights, strengthens the fight against terrorism, and addresses its transnational challenges more effectively.


Publication date
19 June 2024
Service for Foreign Policy Instruments