Initiative on Maritime Security and Terrorist Travel

As technologies and terrorist methodologies continue to evolve, the United States, under the auspices of the FTF Working Group, is organizing a series of region-specific workshops to raise awareness of known or suspected terrorists and foreign terrorist fighters (FTFs) potential use of the maritime domain as a potential attack or travel vector. Specifically, workshops review existing best practices related to screening people, cargo and emerging technologies (drones, GPS spoofing, etc.) in the maritime domain. The aim is for CT practitioners to increase their understanding of relevant international maritime security protocols and practices, and consider how to address gaps within the existing counterterrorism and border security frameworks to specifically address the terrorist risk. Topics to discuss include: insider risk and vetting of crews, port and terminal security, piracy, human trafficking and smuggling, and screening at ports of entry and departure. 

At the completion of a series of workshops, the GCTF plans to draft an addendum to the GCTF New York Memorandum on Good Practices for Interdicting Terrorist Travel, with additional recommended good practices for government and private sector partners to address and prevent potential terrorist misuse of the maritime sector. The resulting addendum, which would be presented for endorsement at the GCTF Ministerial Plenary Meeting in September 2021, would look to complement existing Interpol exercises in the Mediterranean basin and Southeast Asia, as well as other international efforts.