Trans-Atlantic Legislators Gather to Discuss Jihadist Terrorism
by DR. WALID PHARES
September 18, 2009
Next week, an important summit will be held by a number of legislators from the European Parliament, the U.S. Congress and the Canadian Parliament to discuss "al Qaeda's and other Jihadi forces' campaigns worldwide against Democracies." The closed meeting, to take place in the U.S., is sponsored by the newly formed "Transatlantic Group on Counterterrorism (TAG)," launched in Washington and Brussels last year. TAG was launched in the winter of 2008 by members of the European Parliament, led by MEP Jaime Mayor Oreja, Vice Chairman for Policy of the EPP Group at the European Parliament (present majority Party) and Members from both Parties of the U.S. Congress, led by Rep. Sue Myrick, Co-Chair of the Anti-Terrorism Caucus in the U.S. House of Representatives. The goal of TAG is to create a working relationship between legislators from Europe and the United States (North America) to address terrorism and the threat it poses to democracies.
The first TAG summit was held April 30, 2008, in Washington, D.C., where participants signed a joint declaration of principles. The Third summit of TAG will take place in Brussels. The Second summit to be held in Washington is comprised of meetings between U.S. Members and Senators and Members of the European parliament as well as one member of the Canadian Parliament to discuss issues surrounding Jihadi terrorism and radical Islamists.
These meetings are important steps in forming a strong counter-terrorism trans-Atlantic partnership. It will allow legislators on both sides of the Atlantic to share insights and best practices, as well as talk about how democracies can best address terror threats – not only as individual countries, but as an international community.
The European delegation will include MEPs from France, Spain, Netherlands, Hungary, Germany, Italy, Austria, Bulgaria, Portugal, Romania, Sweden and the United Kingdom. The North American delegation will include a Canadian MP and members of the U.S. Congress.
The subjects to be addressed, are divided in three categories:
1) Terrorism and International Relations: Ideological Radicalization, the so-called “Islamophobia,” and the role of international organizations in mitigating extremism.
2) International Jihadist Threats: Discussion of the Terror strategies and counter strategies in several areas such as Afghanistan, Pakistan, Iraq, Iran, Lebanon and Somalia. European and North American legislators will address and analyze these various issues in their respective realms.
3) "Trans Atlantic Threats" Discussion on new strategies being employed by terrorists and radical Islamists, and the counter-terror strategies to combat them, inside Europe, Canada and the United States. European and American legislators will address and analyze these various issues in their respective realms.
Updates and material will be posted after the meeting.
FamilySecurityMatters.org Contributing Editor Dr Walid Phares is the author of The Confrontation: Winning the War against Future Jihad. He is the Director of the Future Terrorism Project at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies and a visiting scholar at the European Foundation for Democracy. He also serves as a Co-Secretary General of the Trans Atlantic Legislative Group on Counterterrorism.