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Ministers and experts outline how IMCTC will combat terrorism across four key strategic domains
  • Ideology - Dr. Mohammad bin Abdul Karim Al-Issa, Secretary General of the Muslim World League
  • Communications – Dr. Mohammad Al Momani, Jordanian Minister of State for Media Affairs and Communications
  • Counter-terrorist Financing – Dr Ahmed al-Kholifey, Governor of the Saudi Central Bank
  • Military  – Gen. Raheel Sharif, Military Commander, IMCTC

RIYADH November 26, 2017:  Efforts to combat terrorism across the Islamic world will be focused on four key domains including ideology, communications, counter-terrorist financing and military, experts told the inaugural meeting of the Islamic Military Counter Terrorism Coalition (IMCTC) Defense Ministers Council.


The meeting, confirming the creation of a pan-Islamic, unified front to support the global struggle against terrorism and violent extremism, saw subject-matter experts address Ministers of Defense from more than 40 Muslim majority countries.


“This meeting confirms the resolve of an Islamic consensus, one that takes its true meaning from the Islamic values of peace, tolerance and moderation, values around which we gather here today,” said Dr. Mohammad bin Abdul Karim Al-Issa, Secretary General of the Muslim World League, who articulated the work of the Ideology domain of the IMCTC. 


“The ideological path within this alliance represents a crucial element in this battle. It hits extremism at its core. This constitutes the real conflict in defeating and overcoming terrorism, since this terrorism hasn’t been based on a political or military interest, but rather is founded on an extremist ideology.    


Dr. Al-Issa said historical facts and scientific records of Islamic heritage prove with certainty that Islam has welcomed peace by all means. “Peace has become an integral part of its teachings, and a central term in its vocabulary.”


“The ideological decline leading to extremist stances started with the abbreviation of sacred texts, the distortion of their meanings, and the failure to comply with the precepts of their interpretation. This is compounded by the phenomenon of groupthink, the manipulation of popular emotions that are devoid of conscious thinking, the flawed readings of facts and events, and the psychological conditions of some people, all of which result in a significant impact on the rising trend of extremism.”


Gen. Raheel Sharif, the Military Commander of the IMCTC addressed the military domain. “A number of our member countries are under tremendous pressure while fighting well established terrorist organizations due to capacity shortages of their armed forces and law enforcement agencies,” he said. “The IMCTC will act as a platform to assist member countries in their counter terrorism operations through intelligence sharing and capacity building.


“In line with the coalition’s mandate a strategy has been developed to utilize the expertise and resources of member and friendly countries. Support will be provided to build capabilities of military, law enforcement and intelligence agencies of member countries. This will be practically manifested through proper planning, cross training and exercise in urban, rural and varied terrain conditions under hostile environment. 


“To improve coordination, joint exercises will be conducted based on near real-time scenarios demanding quick response and promoting a sense of solidarity and shared responsibility in fighting terrorism.


“In addition, the IMCTC will create a state-of-the-art intelligence and information sharing platform to counter terrorist networks, their facilitators, abettors, sympathizers and financiers. After correlating and incisive analysis of critical information, actionable intelligence will be shared with all concerned.”


Addressing delegates on the Communications pillar of the IMCTC, Dr Mohammad Al Momani, Jordan’s Minister of State for Media Affairs and Communications, said: “Perhaps one of the most important roles that various media outlets in the Arab and Islamic countries should assume is to refute the false allegations and the major fabrications that terrorist groups use to justify their global crimes. 


“In addition to refuting these allegations, the role of the media should be to proactively broadcast and produce truthful content that cherishes the true values of Islam, with all its lofty human dimensions. The media should sow these seeds in the minds of young people and future generations, to make them protective shields for their societies against plans aimed at destroying the Nation and eradicating its history.”


Dr Ahmed al-Kholifey, Governor of the Saudi Central Bank, discussed the on-going Counter financing efforts in relation to Counter Terrorist Finance. “Terrorist organizations execute their finance operations through official and non-official sectors, using fake names and businesses. Thus, the importance of strengthening international cooperation to combat these crimes that threaten our security and our societies and future generations.


 “The establishment of the Counter Terrorism Financing Center of Excellence within the Islamic Military Coalition to Counter Terrorism is a pioneering project and a cornerstone in supporting and assisting member countries to combat terrorism financing. This Center of Excellence will contribute to strengthening mechanisms of cooperation and enhancing the human resources capabilities of Coalition countries regarding the methods of countering terrorism financing.”


Meeting under the theme “Allied Against Terrorism”, the Ministers of Defense are expected to agree the coalition’s strategy, governance, activities and future plans across the four key domains: ideology; media; counter-terrorist financing; and military.


The Islamic Military Counter Terrorism Coalition was announced in December 2015 by His Royal Highness Prince Mohammed bin Salman Al Saud, Crown Prince and Minister of Defense of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. The IMCTC is a willing coalition of 41 countries that form a pan-Islamic, unified front in the global fight against terrorism and violent extremism. The Coalition provides a platform for member countries to unite and coordinate their counter-terrorism efforts across four domains - Ideology, Communications, Counter Terrorist Financing and Military—in collaboration with supporting nations and international organizations. The IMCTC acts in response to the threat of terrorism that has impacted Muslim and non-Muslim countries and has distorted the image of Islam. 


For further details on the IMCTC please visit: http:///www.imctc.org 

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