Office of the Spokesperson
January 30, 2017
The State Department’s Bureau of Counterterrorism, in partnership with the Department of Justice’s Office of Overseas Prosecutorial Development, Assistance and Training (DOJ/OPDAT), hosted a regional workshop of counterterrorism practitioners from the Western Balkans in Tirana, Albania on January 25-26. The workshop advanced the United States’ effort to disrupt, degrade, and defeat ISIS – in particular by raising awareness among Balkan governments about the return of foreign terrorist fighters from Iraq and Syria and ISIS’s modus operandi for launching external operations. Participants included investigators, prosecutors, border security and sanctions officials, and policy makers who shared threat assessments and expertise on law enforcement, border security, and counterterrorism finance methods and tools. Albania, Croatia, Kosovo, Macedonia, Montenegro, Serbia, France, Germany, the United Kingdom, and the European Union participated. The participants agreed on concrete steps to tighten regional cooperation that will prevent ISIS’s external operations and address the flow of foreign terrorist fighters returning from Iraq and Syria.