Global center to combat extremism launched in Riyadh

U.S. President Donald Trump (R) and other leaders tour the new Global Center for Combatting Extremist Ideology in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia on Sunday. (REUTERS)
Updated 22 May 2017
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Global center to combat extremism launched in Riyadh

RIYADH: King Salman and US President Donald Trump on Sunday inaugurated the Global Center for Combating Extremist Ideology (GCCEI), which aims to promote moderation and counter the spread of extremism.
The center is “the fruit of collaboration between Muslim countries that believe in the importance of combating terrorism,” said Nasir Al-Biqami, secretary-general of the GCCEI in his inaugural speech.
The center — named “Etidal,” or “moderation” — embodies the international cooperation in combating terrorism and enhances constructive dialogue to fight the problem. The selection of the board of directors, consisting of 12 members from different countries and organizations, is intended to reflect its independence.
On the center’s Twitter account, @etidalorg, it was explained that the mission of the new entity is “to expose, combat and refute extremist ideology.”
In his speech, Al-Biqami said: “Today in this historic moment that witnesses further partnership and cooperation to fight extremist ideology. This comes as part of the efforts paid by Muslim countries to combat terrorism and to recognize that fighting terrorism is a priority to Muslims and the rest of the world. These countries took the initiative to establish this center to combat extremist ideologies with its different shapes and means.”
Advanced technology has been used to operate the center, which is based on three pillars — ideological, digital and informational.
The center monitors and analyzes any extremist content as it detects several languages and dialects that are mostly common in addressing these ideologies. The processing and analyzing of data is done within six seconds of detecting content that may reflect extremist ideologies.
“The center will develop artificial intelligence technology to determine geographical spots that incubate terrorism to reach the roots of extremist ideologies, while creating an informational content that encourages tolerance and moderation under the supervision of a high committee that consists of thinkers and Muslim scholars from different countries,” the center’s secretary-general said.
The opening of the center came on the same day as the Riyadh Forum on Countering Extremism & Fighting Terrorism.
It concluded a two-day visit to Saudi Arabia by the US president, during which three key summits were held: The Saudi-US Summit, GCC-US Summit and the Arab-Islamic-American Summit. Trump’s visit also coincided with the Saudi-US CEO Forum and Tweeps 2017.


US highlights Saudi Arabia’s key role in global fight against terrorism

Saudi Arabia has continued to maintain a strong anti-terrorism relationship with the US. (SPA)
Updated 20 September 2018
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US highlights Saudi Arabia’s key role in global fight against terrorism

  • The US State Department pointed out that the Kingdom has achieved a high level of accuracy in its counterterrorism operations

WASHINGTON: The US State Department has praised Saudi Arabia for its efforts to combat terrorism, describing the Kingdom as an active and key member in the global coalition to defeat Daesh.
“Saudi Arabia has continued to maintain a strong anti-terrorism relationship with the United States and has supported the strengthening of bilateral cooperation between the two countries,” the State Department noted in its annual report on the global state of terrorism. It also highlighted the joint strategic vision between the two countries and a number of new initiatives to counter terrorist messages and disrupt the financing of terrorism launched last year during US president Donald-Trump’s visit to the Kingdom.
The report said Saudi Arabia has implemented systems to follow UN Security Council sanctions on groups and individuals linked to Daesh and Al Qaeda, and has expanded existing counterterrorism programs and projects to rehabilitate terrorist fighters who leave extremist groups. It has also adopted laws to counter the financing of terrorist groups.
The State Department pointed out that the Kingdom has achieved a high level of accuracy in its counterterrorism operations, and has carried out a number of arrests and disrupted active terrorist cells throughout the country.
The report referred to terrorist plans that were thwarted in the Kingdom, noting the efforts being made in legislation, law enforcement and border security, as well as the country’s positive contribution as a member of the Financial Action Task Force for the Middle East and North Africa, a regional body that imposes financial sanctions on individuals and groups that help to fund terrorism.
"The Kingdom has maintained strict control over the banking sector and tightened sanctions on the financing of terrorism," the report said.
It also pointed out that the Kingdom provided 100 million euros ($117 million) to fight terrorism in the Sahel countries in Africa, as the Kingdom is a founding member of the Global Counter-Terrorism Forum.