APEC needs to remain alert for terror threats amid pandemic: BNPT

APEC needs to remain alert for terror threats amid pandemic: BNPT

Chief of BNPT, Commissioner General Boy Rafli Amar (third right), poses for a group photo on the sidelines of the ‘16th APEC Counter Terrorism Working Group (CTWG) Meeting’, which was held online, in Surabaya on Thursday (October 22, 2020). (ANTARA/HO-Istimewa/FA)

The pandemic has caused short- and long-term risks of terrorism threats.
Surabaya, E Java (ANTARA) - Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) members must remain alert for potential terror threats in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, chief of the Indonesian National Counter-terrorism Agency (BNPT), Commissioner General Boy Rafli Amar, has said.

“It is necessary to strengthen the community’s preventive efforts through moderate, religious, tolerant, and pluralistic attitudes,” he said on the sidelines of the 16th APEC Counter Terrorism Working Group (CTWG) Meeting, which was held online. He joined the meeting from here on Thursday.

Amar, who led the Indonesian delegation at the meeting, highlighted the need for APEC members adopting a comprehensive strategy with soft and hard approaches to reduce short- and long-term risks for terror threats during and after the COVID-19 pandemic.

While many countries have closed their borders during the COVID-19 pandemic, terror organizations have capitalized on the pandemic to spread narratives, recruit new members, and raise funds, he noted.

Although social and economic activities have been sluggish as a result of COVID-19, Indonesia's view is aligned to the United Nations Counter-Terrorism executive director’s (CTED’s) draft policy on the impact of the pandemic on terrorism, counter-terrorism, and violent extremism, he said.

“The pandemic has caused short- and long-term risks of terrorism threats,” Amar remarked.

APEC CTWG is a forum aimed at stepping up cooperation among APEC economies to ensure economy, trade, and investment remain free from the threat of terrorism or the abuse of terror groups.

Malaysia hosted the meeting in its capacity as chief of APEC 2020. The meeting brought together representatives from all APEC members.

BNPT has played an active role in giving inputs and statements on several activities of APEC CTWG.

BNPT had hosted the ‘APEC Workshop on Strengthening Tourism Business Resilience Against the Impact of Terrorism Attack’ in Bali in 2017.

Related news: Terrorism victims to receive government-approved compensation funds
Related news: Kemendes PDTT, BNPT ink MoU on counterterrorism
Related news: Densus 88 arrests 12 terror suspects in three provinces