an area of the map for world news.
2002 issue of
World Press Review
(VOL. 49, No. 3)
Pushes for Euro-Sleuthing
Europes Shared Security
Hopkins, The Guardian (liberal), London, England, Jan.
is spearheading plans to create a pan-European anti-terrorist
task force to help track down and prosecute members of Osama
bin Ladens Al-Qaeda network.
A senior metropolitan police officer was also put in charge
of a new counterterrorism unit that will concentrate on rooting
out Al-Qaeda terrorist suspects living in or traveling through
the United Kingdom.
Both initiatives are seen as essential in reducing the likelihood
of attacks in Britain and reflect growing concern within the
police and security services about the number of potential terrorists
Scotland Yard estimates that there are substantially more
than 100 Al-Qaeda-linked suspects and activists
Fifteen countries in Europe have signed up to create an international
anti-terrorist task force. It will not be a separate agency,
but will enhance existing protocols so that there is much closer
cross-border cooperation between police forces and prosecutors.
This should ensure that evidence against terrorists is shared
and that there are no territorial conflicts.
As an example, a Briton arrested in Madrid for terrorist offenses
would normally be extradited to Britain to stand trial. But
if pooled evidence against the suspect indicated that a prosecution
abroad would be more likely to succeed, then he would remain
We want to leap above the chauvinism of criminal justice
systems, said [Scotland Yards Head of Special Operations
David] Veness.We want to use existing laws more wisely.
We could have made more of an impact on terrorism if we had
a more coordinated approach. He said the task force would
help investigators knit together the tracks of terrorist
The separate police international counterterrorism unit (Pictu)
is in the process of being set up. Reporting to Alan Fry, head
of Scotland Yards anti-terrorist branch, it will be staffed
by officers from the police, MI5, and MI6. Veness said Pictu
would coordinate the activities of special branch units around
the country to help early assessment of any perceived terrorist
threat. The unit will also be proactive in launching operations
against suspects to help investigators get on the front
Veness said officers had identified potential terrorist suspects
from seven proscribed groups, including Al-Qaeda, the Armed
Islamic Group, Egyptian Islamic Jihad, Jaish-e-Mohammed, Lashkar-e-Taiba,
and Harakat Mojahedin.
He said the Metropolitan Police would not hesitate to use recent
anti-terrorist legislation against anyone it thought posed a
The international task force and Pictu are the two main pillars
of a 10-point counterterrorism program drawn up by Veness in
recent weeks to reflect what he called the seismic shift
in threats posed by the attacks in the United States on Sept.