Countering the Terrorist Threat
By By Fatmir Mediu
Albanian Daily News
Published May 14, 2016
A Balkan Intelligence Coordination and Cooperation Centre must be established that will better coordinate the collection and sharing of vital information between states and contribute to building cooperation with EU and U.S. intelligence services and Europol.A database (clearing house) system must be built that begins a more serious and comprehensive screening of refugees and migrants traveling through the region. This system must combine all aspects of intelligence acquisition that are more easily accessible to states in the region and that will help identify potential ISIS infiltration in a more timely and efficient manner.Regional leaders and institutions must cooperate in developing an immediate reaction plan and proposals for resolving the migrant crisis.States should, with support and expertise from NATO and the EU, immediately start working on developing a more adequate cyber security strategy, addressing ISIS propaganda and communication.The EU must provide a clear strategy for Euro-Atlantic integration of the countries in the Balkans. This would eliminate uncertainty, fear, and frustration within regional states and would give more space for addressing the ISIS and refugee challenges in a more confident and efficient manner.A more open and serious discussion about the ISIS threat to our nations must begin. States should better inform citizens through education and cooperate better with local religious leaders, in order to close public space for ISIS recruitment and indoctrination.Greater efforts should be made with religious communities to identify the groups and mosques that are under the influence of extremists.A coordinated strategy should be developed for dealing with returning foreign fighters and their families.