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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Terrorism Is the Focus at G8 Meeting

Itar-TassRashid Nurgaliyev
Senior law enforcement officials from G8 countries convened Thursday in Moscow for two days of talks on combating terrorism and organized crime.

Protection of transportation and communication networks should top the list of security concerns, Interior Minister Rashid Nurgaliyev said.

Sergei Sobyanin, head of the presidential administration, said Russian authorities had devised new strategies for shielding railways and metros from attack.

Nurgaliyev also called for fighting illegal immigration and Internet-based extremists and terrorists.

"The Internet is increasingly used by terrorists as a means to disseminate information containing detailed instructions for building bombs and other weapons," Nurgaliyev said.

Terrorists are routinely recruited online and propaganda and video-taped recordings of terrorist activities are widely distributed, he added.

Nurgaliyev and Sobyanin also warned against illegal immigration, with Sobyanin saying it corrupted the labor market and stoked ethnic tensions. He called on foreign governments to deny asylum to wanted terrorists and other criminals.

The comment appeared aimed at Britain and the United States, which have granted asylum to Chechen separatists.

Britain's attorney general, Peter Goldsmith, praised Russian law enforcement efforts in fighting terrorism and organized crime. He also called for illegal drugs to be addressed.

Interpol's general secretary, Ronald Noble, said the creation of a huge database of criminal records compiled by police in different countries had helped fight terrorism and identity theft.

Established in 2003, the database includes profiles of 10,192 suspected terrorists and data on more than 11 million stolen passports, Noble said. The database has helped many police investigations, including in Britain, he said.

The meeting also drew Lise Prokop, the interior minister of Austria, which now chairs the European Union, and Franco Frattini, the EU's justice and home affairs commissioner.

Andrei Soldatov, an independent security expert, said Russia and other G8 countries cooperated extensively on fighting crime but added that when it came to terrorism, little was being done.

"For several years now," Soldatov said, "it hasn't gone beyond declarations and round tables."