Rabat – In a bid to upgrade terrorism prevention and alleviate the threats of radicalization, French and Belgian authorities announced yesterday in Paris a “quadripartite ministerial” unit with Morocco and Spain to lead their anti-terrorism agenda.
French Prime Minister Edouard Philippe and his Belgian counterpart Charles Michel announced the two countries’ plans to establish a common front with Morocco and Spain to “materialize and upgrade our governments’ engagements in terms of solidarity in the fight against radical terrorism.”
Expressing their determination to “work closely with our partners,” the two officials said that the joint anti-terrorism front will begin operating by the end of this year.
They said that they expect the new Euro-Moroccan security platform to bring their common security system to the next level, including comprehensive intelligence sharing and the “harmonization of identification criteria.” This will facilitate DNA testing, arrests of suspects, and allow for rapid field interventions in the event of a terrorist attack.
The “quadripartite unit” is set to bring together the justice ministries of Belgium, France, Morocco, and Spain to improve response coordination and intelligence sharing.
Expanding on the existing ties between the four countries, the new platform is expected to build a more solid system to reinforce border security and closely follow radicalization targets.
The joint press release suggested that the four countries create a common platform to share their experiences on target monitoring, prevention, deradicalization, and rehabilitation programs.
Much less was said about their plans to set specific measures and security frameworks to ease coordination between investigation agents and field operatives, although the authorities promised to push toward more integration and interdependence.
The press release finally noted the need for tougher measures on youth online activities and the circulation of explosive materials. Also needed are tighter security checks at EU borders to better monitor the movement of potential threats, while at the same time trying to contain, foresee, and prevent violent radicalization.