Mr. Manuel Navarrete, Director, European Counter-Terrorism Centre (ECTC), EUROPOL
The session was part of the ICT's 16th World Summit on Counter-Terrorism: "Unpuzzling Terrorism". Mr. Navarrete described the role of EUROPOL and the European Counter-Terrorism Centre in fighting terrorism, claiming that understanding the "how and why" of past attacks can help develop indicators of future attacks. In regards to online terrorism, Navarette claimed that open source scanning helps discover radical content and those behind it. Navarette stated that the main benefit behind EUROPOL is its ability to create and enhance international cooperation.
Mr. Navarette claimed that we face an unprecedented challenge in terrorism today. Navarette reviewed the context, challenges and EUROPOL response to those challenges online and offline. Terrorists are moving quite fast—they have an international encrypted network of communication, and it is hard to detect and monitor their movements. As such, Navarette argues, international cooperation is paramount.
The reaction of the EU to these emerging forms of terrorism and terrorist communication was to set up the ECTC, the European Counter Terrorism Center. Why do we need that? Security is still not effective transnationally; it has previously been left up to each national agenda. This center brings experts in to provide information to the member states to become an information hub for counter terrorism.
After the attacks in Paris and Brussels, EUROPOL assembled teams to help those member states. EUROPOL does not hold any political power—it is simply a platform for communication. After a terrorist attack happens, it is important for member states that have been attacked to answer the questions: What happened? Who did it? How did this happen? Why did this happen?