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Enhancing capacities to prevent the trafficking of radiological and nuclear (RN) material in the Middle East

The main objective of the project is to improve the capability of state security and law enforcement officials to devise, plan and carry out intelligence operations to thwart radiological and nuclear (RN) trafficking attempts and to foster regional cooperation.

This is the first international project in the Middle East that focuses on intelligence operations to counter RN illicit trafficking. Previous international projects have concentrated efforts on the provision and use of radiation detection equipment to identify illicit trafficking. However, the “human factor” is of equal importance, as demonstrated by the fact that the majority of successful seizures of radiological and nuclear material is attributable to soundly planned and executed intelligence operations. With this project, UNICRI is working with countries in the Middle East to share good practices and reinforce capabilities to effectively and carefully plan intelligence and law enforcement operations as well as the exchange of information.The main activities implemented in 2019 allowed for the identification of capabilities, gaps and needs in the Middle East countries and included the preparation of the first draft of a training curriculum for experts in the related area.

The project helped agencies responsible for combatting nuclear trafficking in Iraq, Jordan and Lebanon to reinforce their training system by identifying training priorities, particularly the profiling of potential traffickers and the planning and conducting of intelligence/law enforcement operations to thwart attempts to traffic RN materials. The three countries also started a development process for the training of an Inter-Agency Team composed of nuclear security authorities, law enforcement, intelligence and customs.