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Anti-terrorism experts to gather at Victoria

11 August 2005

Anti-terrorism experts to gather at Victoria

The changing face of terrorism and New Zealand’s response to it will be under the spotlight when leading international and national anti-terrorism experts gather at Victoria University next week.

The National Counter Terrorism Capability Seminar, jointly hosted by the New Zealand Police and Victoria’s School of Government, will be held at the University’s Pipitea Campus in downtown Wellington on August 15-16.

Head of the School of Government, Professor Gary Hawke, said the seminar was designed to raise awareness and understanding of the many forms of terrorism.

“The 9/11 terrorist attacks on the United States, the bombings in Bali, Madrid and London, and the ongoing violence and kidnappings in Iraq show that terrorism in the 21st Century can take many forms. The seminar aims to highlight the trends and emerging threats of terrorism and look at the challenges of security in the Asia-Pacific region.

“It will also give those attending the opportunity to discuss intelligence processes with case studies and presentations providing the latest knowledge and research in terrorism, allowing those attending to update their thinking on managing terrorist threats at a strategic and national level.”

Professor Hawke said the seminar will also examine how New Zealand’s actions to counter the risk from terrorism contribute to international efforts to combat it.

“New Zealanders often consider terrorism to be something that occurs on the evening news, but as the Bali bombing showed, it can strike uncomfortably close to home. The seminar will examine the likelihood of an attack here and how we can reduce the chance of it occurring while also being prepared and ready to respond if an attack does happen.”

Professor Hawke said the seminar had attracted speakers of international standing from New Zealand and the wider world with expertise in strategic and military studies, psychology, the law, policing, trans-national crime, religious studies and human rights.

The seminar will be based in Rutherford House in the Pipitea Campus and plenary sessions by keynote speakers will be followed by concurrent open and closed sessions. Speakers include Professor Fernando Reinares, Professor of Political Science at Juan Carlos University in Madrid. He is an adviser on anti-terrorist policies for Spain’s Interior Ministry and a member of the United Nation’s Counter-Terrorism Committee.

ENDS

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