Foreign Terrorist Fighters

Foreign Terrorist Fighters (FTF) Working Group  Foreign Terrorist Fighters (FTF) Working Group

Co-chaired by Jordan and the United States, the Foreign Terrorist Fighters (FTF) Working Group addresses the ongoing and salient challenges presented by the FTF phenomenon. The Working Group was established following an initiative led by the former FTF Working Group Co-Chairs, Morocco and the Netherlands in 2014.

The Working Group provides a critical platform for developing practical initiatives to help coordinate and build on efforts at the national-, regional- and international-levels to stem the flow of FTFs and address the complex issues related to their return. The FTF Working Group initiatives are guided by the GCTF’s The Hague-Marrakech Memorandum on Good Practices for a More Effective Response to the FTF Phenomenon (The Hague-Marrakech Memorandum), other Framework Documents, the Working Group’s work plan, as well as UN Security Council Resolution 2178 (UNSCR 2178) and 2396 (2017).

The Working Group is also leveraging other existing GCTF materials, including elements of the GCTF Initiative to Address the Lifecycle of Radicalization to Violence and the GCTF Border Security Initiative among others.

The current areas of focus of the FTF Working Group are inter alia:

The GCTF Initiative to Address Homegrown Terrorism, led by Morocco and the United States under the auspices of the GCTF FTF Working Group, in collaboration with the International Institute for Justice and the Rule of Law (IIJ), developed the GCTF Rabat – Washington Good Practices on the Prevention, Detection, Intervention and Response to Homegrown Terrorism. The Good Practices document aims to support practitioners and policy-makers to address homegrown terrorism in a practical and holistic manner. The document was endorsed at the Ninth GCTF Ministerial Plenary Meeting in New York in September 2018.

The GCTF Initiative on Addressing the Challenge of Returning Families of Foreign Terrorist Fighters (FTFs), co-led by the Netherlands and the United States under the auspices of the GCTF FTF Working Group, developed the Good Practices on Addressing the Challenge of Returning Families of Foreign Terrorist Fighters that can serve as the basis for international engagement, assistance, and training to address the potential challenges and security risks posed by family members of FTFs who return from conflict zones to their country of origin or relocate to a third country. The document was endorsed at the Ninth GCTF Ministerial Plenary Meeting in New York in September 2018.

The Initiative on Improving Capabilities for Detecting and Interdicting Terrorist Travel through Enhanced Terrorist Screening and Information Sharing is led by Morocco and the United States and is aimed at addressing potential weaknesses and gaps in a country’s capacity to watchlist, share information, and utilize that information for screening purposes. The Initiative will develop a set of good practices that can enable countries and organizations to build broader and more efficient watchlist and terrorist screening infrastructures.

The GCTF FTF Working Group was established in 2014, and until September 2017 Co-Chaired by Morocco and the Netherlands. In September 2017, GCTF Members decided that the activities of the former GCTF Detention and Reintegration (DR) Working Group will be integrated into the three thematic GCTF Working Groups. The GCTF DR Working Group was active between 2014 and September 2017.