Serbian Minister of the Interior, Nebojsa Stefanovic, said today in Belgrade that Serbia is a reliable partner of the international community in the fight against terrorism and that it will remain committed to the goals recognized by the advanced world, namely that terrorism be eradicated.
At the opening of the international conference on foreign terrorist fighters, the prevention of radicalism and the fight against terrorism in the Balkan region, Stefanovic stressed that Serbia will shortly adopt the Strategy for the Fight against Terrorism and the accompanying Action Plan.
“The Strategy will create a framework and institutionalize a new way of treating police officers in terms of increasing the importance of policing in the local community, with the aim of directly gathering information and intelligence, which will continue to be used in preventing radicalization and recruitment of persons as perpetrators of terrorist activities “Explained Stefanovic.
The police minister strongly condemned the terrorist attack on a police station in Zvornik, where two days ago, a policeman lost his life, while two wounded, as well as all other terrorist attacks that killed innocent civilians around the world.
Stefanovic stressed that the Republic of Serbia will prosecute all that are suspected of propagating radical Islamist ideology and recruiting members and sympathizers. He recalled that due to criminal acts related to terrorism, the Serbian police filed criminal charges against eight people, and that five persons started litigation against him.
“We have traveled more than thirty of our citizens from the Republic of Serbia to Syria and Iraq,” Stefanovic said, adding that some of them returned to Serbia, while some managed to move to entire territory with Syria.
Also, as he said, of the Serbian citizens who went to the battlefield, ten of them lost their lives.
The Minister of the Interior warned that the Western Balkan region is becoming more and more attractive for recruiting and recruiting citizens who are increasingly taking part in the terrorist actions of Islamic jihadists.
Head of the European Union Delegation to Serbia Michael Davenport said that online recruitment and radicalization of violent extremism must be avoided, and that the key to success is close cooperation between EU member states and the Balkan region.
“All of our countries face great dangers that threaten terrorism, and the main threat comes from groups operating in Syria and Iraq,” Davenport said.
US Ambassador to Belgrade Michael Kirby pointed out that there is an increasing number of people going to Syria and Iraq and growing threat from terrorism every year. “Targets are all, radicalism is ubiquitous,” Kirby said.
The head of the OSCE Mission to Serbia, Peter Burkhard, assessed that recruitment is being done from around the world, including Serbia, and that there is a large influx of fighters in conflict zones.
The two-day conference on foreign terrorist fighters, the prevention of radicalism and the fight against terrorism in the Balkans region is organized by the Government of the Republic of Serbia and the United States of America.
The aim of this Conference is to strengthen regional and international cooperation in the field of the fight against terrorism. Terrorism is a phenomenon that affects the entire world, and this high-level meeting is a good opportunity to review the current regional cooperation and assess the progress made in improving our efforts in the fight against terrorism.
Source: Serbian Police