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Combating Terrorism: Additional Steps Needed to Enhance Foreign Partners' Capacity to Prevent Terrorist Travel

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Eliminating the threat of terrorist attacks continues to be a primary U.S. national security focus. According to the 911 Commission, constraining the mobility of terrorists is one of the most effective weapons in fighting terrorism. This report does the following 1 describes key gaps the U.S. government has identified in foreign countries capacity to prevent terrorist travel overseas, 2 evaluates how U.S. capacity-building efforts address those gaps, and 3 assesses the extent to which the U.S. government is measuring progress in its efforts to close those gaps. To identify the key gaps, GAO reviewed government-wide assessments of vulnerabilities in the international travel system. GAO reviewed the strategies and documentation of U.S. agencies funding andor implementing foreign capacity-building efforts to prevent terrorist travel overseas, including those of the Departments of State State -- which coordinates U.S. efforts overseas -- Defense DoD, Homeland Security DHS, Justice DOJ, and the U.S. Agency for International Development USAID. GAO also interviewed officials from the National Security Staff of the National Security Council NSC, which oversees counterterrorism policy. GAO met with these agencies and conducted field work in Kenya, Pakistan, the Philippines, and Thailand. GAO has identified four key gaps in foreign countries capacity to prevent terrorist travel overseas. GAO recommends the following 1 that State develop a mechanism to improve coordination of various agencies efforts to provide fraudulent travel document training to foreign partners and 2 that NSC develop a mechanism to measure, track, and report on overall progress toward the goal of enhancing foreign partners capacity to prevent terrorist travel overseas. State concurred with the first recommendation. NSC did not comment on the draft report.

Subject Categories:

  • Government and Political Science
  • Sociology and Law
  • Unconventional Warfare

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