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7 Sep, 2007 00:17

Security chiefs hold anti-terrorism pow-wow in Khabarovsk

Today is the second day Sixth International Meeting of the Heads of special services, security agencies and law-enforcement organisations hosted in the Russia's Far Eastern city of Khabarovsk. The group of officials from 53 countries is discussing ways to

The meeting has become an annual affair since a 2002 initiative by Russia's Federal Security Service (FSB) to co-ordinate the world’s fight against terrorism.

This need became obvious after the 9/11 terrorist attack against America. Thirty-seven countries took part in the first meeting. This year, more than 200 participants from 53 countries are in Khabarovsk: from Germany’s BND, to the South African Secret Service, from the U.S.’ FBI and CIA, to Israel’s Mossad. As usual, the UN and the IAEA are represented.  Yet there could have been even more as Georgia and Great Britain, usually permanent participants, refused to take part.

On the contrary, for the first time, two Muslim countries are attending – Egypt and the United Arab Emirates. Two main issues are in focus – countering nuclear and cyber terrorism. The creation of an international counter-terrorism database is considered an essential instrument in the fight against terror.

“Counter-action to nuclear terrorism and joint resistance to the use of the Internet by terrorists are the issues of vital importance today. And here we see that only multi-lateral co-operation can help, because one-sided work is not effective,” commented Nikolay Patrushev, Director of Russia’s Federal Security Service.

Vitaly Churkin, Russian Ambassador to the UN stressed that “one of the main goals of the UN anti-terrorist activity is the development of international co-operation. The fact that this meeting has been held for the sixth time proves that it's useful for all the parties concerned.”

Just hours before the meeting started in Khabarovsk, two anti-terror operations ended successfully thousands kilometers away from there. A terrorist leader was killed in Russia’s Southern Republic of Karachaevo-Cherkessia, and three men were detained in Germany on suspicion of planning a “massive” attack on the Frankfurt/Main Airport and U.S. facilities in the country.

The heads of the Federal Intelligence Services of both countries were congratulated.

“The detention in Germany was carried out by the police but it's important to mention that such efficiency would be impossible without international, worldwide co-operation in the security sector,” Ernst Uhrlau, the Head of German Intelligence Service, responded.

In the evening the participants watched joint Russian-Chinese anti-terrorism exercises at Khabarovsk airport. The scenario involved a plane that was been hijacked by a group of terrorists. The task of the counter-terrorism unit was to rescue the passengers and arrest the criminals.