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IRIS 2017-3:1/9

Czech Republic

Centre Against Terrorism and Hybrid Threats

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Jan Fučík

Česká televize, Prague

On 1 January 2017, the newly created Centre Against Terrorism and Hybrid Threats started operating. On 1 December 2016, the Prime Minister, together with the Interior Minister, presented the conclusions of the national security audit. The audit verified two basic capabilities of the State: the ability to identify specific security threats and to take preventive measures against them, and the ability to respond to crises which need to be addressed. Each chapter provides answers to questions such as: is the current legislation sufficient? Does the State have sufficient capacity? Does it have the ability to take appropriate action when needed? One of the recommendations that stemmed from the preliminary conclusions of the National Security Audit, which identified various types of hybrid threats as serious internal security threats, including terrorism, radicalisation and foreign disinformation campaigns,  was creating a Centre Against Terrorism and Hybrid Threats.

The Centre is essentially a specialised analytical and communications unit. Given the competencies of the Ministry of the Interior, the Centre monitors threats directly related to internal security, which implies a broad array of threats and potential incidents relative to terrorism, soft target attacks, the security aspects of migration, extremism, public gatherings, the violation of public order and various crimes, as well as disinformation campaigns related to internal security. Based on its monitoring work, the Centre evaluates detected challenges and comes up with proposals for substantive and legislative solutions that it will also implement where possible. It also disseminates information and spreads awareness about the given issues among the general and professional public.

The Centre is a department of the Ministry of the Interior. It will have 15 to 20 employees. The Centre is not a new law enforcement agency, nor an intelligence service. It does not aim to censor nor remove content from the internet or other (printed) media. It works primarily with open sources available to all, and openly communicates with civil society, the media, and other subjects. The Centre does not initiate criminal proceedings, conduct interrogations, or lead proceedings against anyone.

References
Audit národní bezpečnosti CS
 http://merlin.obs.coe.int/redirect.php?id=18397
 
  Audit of national security      
Centrum proti terorizmu a hybridním hrozbám CS
 http://merlin.obs.coe.int/redirect.php?id=18380
 
  Centre Against Terrorism and Hybrid Threats