The United States and Morocco, under the auspices of the Global Counterterrorism Forum (GCTF), launched the GCTF Terrorist Travel Initiative in New York on the margins of the UN General Assembly. Formally named the “Initiative on Improving Capabilities for Detecting and Interdicting Terrorist Travel through Enhanced Terrorist Screening and Information Sharing,” the Terrorist Travel Initiative will bring together national and local governments, law enforcement and border screening practitioners, and international organizations to share expertise on how to develop and implement effective counterterrorism watchlisting and screening tools.
One of the most effective ways to counter terrorist travel is through traveler data such as Advanced Passenger Information (API), Passenger Name Record (PNR), and biometrics. In December 2017, the UN Security Council unanimously adopted resolution 2396 (UNSCR 2396), requiring all member states to use these tools, including by implementing systems to collect traveler data and develop watchlists of known and suspected terrorists.
The GCTF Terrorist Travel Initiative will convene a series of four regional workshops in 2018 and 2019 to develop a set of good practices that will be endorsed at the 2019 GCTF Ministerial. The resulting document will reinforce how countries and organizations can use the border security tools prescribed in UNSCR 2396 to stop terrorist travel.