The initiative was launched at an event Held in Valletta, Malta, under the auspices of the Global Counterterrorism Forum and in partnership with the International Institute for Justice and the Rule of Law. The event brough together over 70 government officials, law enforcement officers, academics, and non-governmental representatives from 25 countries.
The initiative aims to address the growing threat posed by ISIL/Da’esh-inspired and linked Homegrown Violent Extremists (HVEs), exploring ways for stakeholders to tackle these issues in a coordinated manner.
“ISIS’s prolific use of social media has expanded its reach throughout the world, allowing the group to direct or inspire adherents, including those who have never stepped foot in a conflict zone, to commit acts of terrorism in their own countries,” said the US State Department in a statement announcing the launch of the initiative.
“The homegrown terrorism threat is growing as ISIS attempts to compensate for the loss of control of territory in Iraq and Syria by encouraging and directing attacks elsewhere, including by leveraging foreign terrorist fighters relocating from the conflict zone. Recent attacks in Barcelona, New York, and Manchester, show no country is immune to these terrorist attacks,” the statement said.
The participants in the Malta event discussed the trends and issues associated with homegrown terrorism, and highlighted available tools and programs to address this threat. Participants reviewed ways to improve information sharing, both within and among governments, and examined prevention and intervention programs. This initiative will result in non-binding good practices for policymakers and practitioners that will highlight comprehensive and integrated approaches to preventing and detecting homegrown terrorists.