U.S Deputy Secretary of State, Mr Antony Blinken

U.S Deputy Secretary of State, Mr Antony Blinken

The U.S Deputy Secretary of State, Mr Antony Blinken, said on Thursday that his government had devised new plans for fighting terrorism globally.

Blinken said at a Global Counter-Terrorism Forum in New York, that the U.S. government would partner with Turkey in protecting restaurants, sports arenas and other areas from terrorist attacks.

According to him, the U.S. government will this year come up with two additional initiatives for fighting terrorism.

“The first, in partnership with Turkey, is aimed at developing a set of internationally recognised best practices for protecting restaurants, sports arenas, and other soft targets from terrorist attacks.

“The U.S. will provide a million dollars to help fund this research effort which we believe could save many lives.

“Our second initiative is a “Dialogue on Countering Foreign Terrorist Fighters and Radicalisation to Violence in Central Asia.

“This idea grew out of discussions with all five governments in that region and reflects the high priority that they and members of this forum attach to the issue,’’ he said.

The deputy secretary of state also said the group had launched an initiative to include the role of families in detecting and preventing their loved one’s radicalisation to violence.

Blinken added that the initiatives also included efforts to counter terrorist recruiters and facilitators, as well as knowing if, when and how to process juvenile offenders through the criminal justice system.

The U.S. official also announced his government’s provision of additional N930.8 million (about 3 million dollars) to the Strong Cities Network and the Global Community Engagement and Resilience Fund in 2017.

He said that the past year had been a tumultuous one in the fight against violent extremism and terrorism.

Blinken noted that with all countries working together, important progress had been made in countering the activities of Daesh, al-Qa’ida, Boko Haram, Al-Shabaab and affiliates globally.

“We have been effectively combating violent extremist narratives on social media, and exchanging information and coordinating law enforcement and counter terrorism resources.

“Sixty countries have updated laws to enable prosecution of foreign terrorist fighter activities; and more than fifty have used these laws to make arrests and bring cases against foreign terrorist fighters,’’ he said.