The recent attacks on the European soil carried out by transnational terrorist networks have disclosed failures in counter-terrorism liaison and provoked a profound need for better cooperation beyond borders of national state intelligence and law enforcement entities. Understanding the acute need for more thoughtful discourse and having an ambition of a constructive contribution, GLOBSEC has embarked on high-profile intelligence cooperation oriented initiative – entitled: the GLOBSEC Intelligence Reform Initiative (GIRI). The GLOBSEC Intelligence Reform Initiative (GIRI) is a pan-European and North American network of serving and former counter-terrorism officials and academics who recognise the need for change in the transatlantic security architecture. The Initiative itself addresses the problem of increased terror thereat by providing the means for the efficient pre-emption of the terrorist attacks, rather than solely concentrating on the means of effective investigation post factum.
We believe that the evolving nature of transnational terrorism necessitates a joint transatlantic approach and updated security strategies that rest on 21st-century means, technology and alliances. In the wake of the attacks in France, Belgium and Germany, the public criticism of counter-terrorism failures has reached a new pitch, increasing political pressure for the reform of European and transatlantic counter-terrorism cooperation. The key problem this report addresses is that of intelligence and personal data sharing and its operationalisation at the domestic as well as transnational level. Although many intelligence agencies have been at the centre of counter-terrorism efforts since 9/11, this report recognises that as terrorism is fundamentally viewed as a crime in both Europe and North America, law enforcement is increasingly at the centre of better transatlantic counter-terrorism cooperation. Our approach is not to recommend new top-down institutions or bureaucracies. This report advocates a continuous build-up of capacities and capabilities to address existing problems by implementing best practises already utilised in some nations, through existing institutions and innovative technologies.
Within the area of executive practice, the GIRI offers four key bottom-up practical solutions to address the evolving threat of terrorism, such as:
- the establishment of a permanent Core Transatlantic Counter-Terrorism Hub;
-the introduction of Operational Case-Based Task Forces;
- creation of a single search interface enabling real-time information exchange;
- finally the launch of a transatlantic Counter-Terrorism Centre of Excellence.
The GLOBSEC Intelligence Reform Initiative (GIRI) is strategically guided by the Honorary Steering Committee consisting of:
- Hon. Michael Chertoff (Chair), former Secretary of US Department for Homeland Security, cofounder and Chairman of The Chertoff Group.
- Hon. Carl Bildt, former Prime Minister of the Kingdom of Sweden. John, Baron Reid of Cardowan, former Home and Defence Secretary, Member of the House of Lords.
- Dr August Hanning, former State Secretary in the Federal Interior Ministry of the Federal Republic of Germany and Director of the Federal Intelligence Service (BND).
- Lord John Reid, former Secretary of Defence and Home Secretary of the United Kingdom.