IIJ Academic Unit: Online Counter-Terrorism Academic Curriculum (eCTAC)

Starting Date2020-11-02

On 2 – 20 November and 30 November – 11 December 2020, the IIJ Academic Unit delivered two iterations of its online Counter-Terrorism Academic Curriculum (eCTAC), one each for English-speaking and French-speaking practitioners. The eCTAC courses were supported by the Government of France. The Academic Unit’s founding donors are the Governments of Denmark, France and the United States.

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The eCTAC is equipping investigators, prosecutors, and examining magistrates with the skills they need to proactively investigate terrorist plots before attacks occur. The eCTAC expands practitioners’ knowledge on gathering electronic, telecommunication, and financial evidence to prevent attacks, lawful and proportionate use of special investigation techniques, efficient inter-agency coordination, and effective international cooperation.

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The eCTAC builds on and complements two IIJ Core Courses delivered by the IIJ Programmatic Unit, specifically, Using Information Derived from Intelligence to Generate Evidence for Terrorism Investigations and Prosecutions and Successful Prosecution of Counterterrorism Cases.

Each iteration of the eCTAC course, facilitated by the Academic Unit staff, along with the IIJ Senior Investigations Advisor, consisted of three main components:

  • Participants’ individual review, via a secure and collaborative online platform, of 15 pre-recorded lecturettes, case study videos of successful investigations, an online library of more than 75 resources and a workbook with practical tools to advance proactive investigations.
  • Eight live interactive sessions, including three small-group, interactive tutorial sessions for each cohort on “Effective Coordination Between Investigators and Prosecutors,” “Collection of Evidence for Successful Prosecutions,” and “Cross-Border Investigations.” In these sessions, participants presented their work on developing a mock counter-terrorism coordination plan, tested their strategic decision making for proactive investigations, and drafted a mutual legal assistance request for deployment of special investigation techniques.
  • A two-day immersive exercise during which participants proactively investigated a cross-border terrorist plot to attack critical infrastructure.
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During the dynamic sessions, participants presented their work in the exercises on developing a counter-terrorism coordination plan, assessing intelligence and decision making in an investigation, and drafting a mutual legal assistance request.

In total, 39 participants, including investigators, prosecutors, and examining magistrates from Burkina Faso, Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Mali, Morocco, Niger, Senegal, Somaliland, Tanzania, and Uganda completed the eCTAC and will now move onto the next stage – an in-person CTAC course on Successful Prosecutions, to be held in Malta in 2021 when pandemic conditions permit.

Participants were highly engaged and reported that the eCTAC course was immensely valuable to their work. In their feedback, participants appreciated the detailed feedback they received throughout and the course’s practical and rigorous nature.

For more information on the Academic Unit Counter-Terrorism Academic Curriculum (CTAC) or the online eCTAC, please contact Academic Unit Programme Manager Mr. Dallin Van Leuven.