Event Reports

4th ASPI-KAS 1.5 Track Australia/Europe Counter-Terrorism Dialogue

by Katja Theodorakis

“Shifting Frontiers: Addressing Post-Caliphate Terrorism Dynamics”

In cooperation with the Australian Strategic Policy Institute (ASPI), KAS Regional Programme Australia and the Pacific brought a high-level delegation of Counter-Terrorism policymakers and experts from Germany and the EU to Australia to discuss current trends, effective counter-strategies and increase cooperation regarding these developments.
Despite military victory over the Islamic State in Syria and Iraq, where the group has lost 98% of its territory, it is important to evaluate whether there are new potential geopolitical hotspots arising and how threat dynamics evolve and intersect at the global, regional and local level. Moreover, understanding cooperation among terrorist actors, and the shift to informal networks on-and offline are emerging topics in this area, as well as devising whole-of-government, soft-power approaches to deal with violent extremism in its various forms. The German/European delegation was headed by Professor Gunter Krings MP, who is

Parliamentary State Secretary at the German Federal Ministry of the Interior, Building and Community and specializes in domestic security issues, especially from a legal perspective. The dialogue was officially opened by keynote addresses from both Prof Krings and, representing the Australian side, the Hon Senator Linda Reynolds, Assistant Minister for Home Affairs.

The dialogue’s central event, a 2-day closed-door conference under Chatham House Rule at the Australian Strategic Policy Institute in Canberra was centered on assessing key developments, sharing experience from the operational level, critically examining existing methods and initiatives as well as looking at how current practices could be further developed to meet evolving challenges. It focused on the key topics of the contemporary threat landscape, including assessing the proliferation of the crime-terror nexus, how to disrupt the radicalization process online, in prisons and in local communities, as well as the global-local jihadi connections in regions other than the Middle East. This was followed by meetings at various ministries and institutions in Canberra and Sydney, where the German/European delegation was able to further exchange expertise and share experiences with Australian CT experts and decision-makers. Widening the focus to include other security challenges, this also included a cybersecurity roundtable with Prof. Krings and industry experts from the German-Australian business community, organized by the German-Australian Chamber of Industry and Commerce, which discussed threats by cyberattacks on government, companies and individuals as well as public infrastructure.
Contact Person

Katja Theodorakis