16 September 2005

Counter terrorism experts hold secret Belfast meeting


16/09/2005 - 01:18:02

**This is a joke, right?

Some of the world’s leading counter terrorism specialists have been meeting in secret in Belfast this week, it was revealed today.

While it has been combating loyalist street violence over recent days the Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI) has also been hosting a major counter terrorism programme.

Senior officers from the US, Canada, the UK and Ireland have been taking part.

The “Leadership in Counter Terrorism” programme , which finishes today, addresses intelligence and counter terrorism, policy development and resource assignment matters.

The programme was developed by the PSNI Police College in partnership with the FBI Academy and Scottish Police College.

Superintendent Gary Gracey, head of leadership development at the PSNI, said the Police College had been involved in the development and delivery of the counter terrorism programme for some time.

The service had been delighted to welcome the delegates to Belfast this week, he said.

“This programme, specialising in counter terrorism, is designed to meet the ever-changing demands of policing these threats.” Mr Gracey said.

He added: “A worldwide forum coming together to learn together and from each other is truly the best way to ensure that we are prepared to deal with the global threat of terror and crime.”

David Corderman, his counterpart at the FBI Academy, said: “This programme is unique in its approach to the issue of global counter terrorism and the only one if its nature available.

“It provides the opportunity to create a truly global network in the counter terrorism field, an opportunity that had to be taken post 9/11.”

He said the PSNI and Scottish police colleges and the FBI were working with academics from the Univesity of St Andrews and Harvard University in Boston to “deliver an outstanding programme tailored to meet the needs of senior officers in this field.”

The PSNI said the aim of the programme was to develop skills and perspectives required to provide leadership to organisations and communities, to minimise the fear and threat of global crime and terrorism and to deal with the chaos, confusion and destruction which it causes.

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