A key component of effective National Security is countering terrorism. This involves preventing, responding to and recovering from a terrorist act.
The Australian Federal Police (AFP) has a dedicated Counter Terrorism function which conducts investigations into terrorism related offences in Australia and overseas, where there is an Australian connection. The primary objective of the division is to uphold Australia’s national security, and a key way in which this is achieved is through national and international cooperation.
The AFP website outlines its key Counter Terrorism activities, as well as its international and national presence.
How does the AFP work internationally to counter terrorism?
The AFP has Counter Terrorism Liaison Officers posted around the world, which help to support offshore efforts to counter terrorism and develop strong international relationships. AFP Counter Terrorism Liaison Officers are posted to:
- London, United Kingdom
- Washington, United States of America
- Islamabad, Pakistan
- Beirut, Lebanon
- Amman, Jordan
- The Hague, Netherlands
- Ankara, Turkey
Regional cooperation teams are also located in Jakarta, Indonesia and Manila, Philippines.
Key International Counter Terrorism Measures
The AFP’s Offshore Counter Terrorism measures include:
- The investigation of Australians involved in support of terrorism
- Disrupting terrorism syndicates where there is an Australian involvement, through national and international cooperation with partner agencies and law enforcement
- Operational assistance and capacity building activities – e.g. providing training and equipment
The AFP also maintains a rapid response capability based in Australia, which can be deployed overseas at short notice if additional support is required.
How does the AFP work domestically to counter terrorism?
Joint Counter Terrorism Teams (JCCTs) are located in each jurisdiction and comprise of AFP, state and territory police, as well as other security and law enforcement partners. The teams conduct investigations into terrorist threats and attacks in Australia.
Significant resources are devoted to investigating individuals and groups throughout Australia where there are suspicions of terrorism activity or financing, including supporting the prosecution of suspects in Australia.
The AFP also runs a Counter Terrorism graduate program, where graduates can develop the skills required to uphold Australia’s national security over the long term.