BEIJING: The Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) launched a joint online anti-terrorism exercise in China which simulated a complete crackdown against online terrorist activities amid rising cybersecurity challenges.
The exercise was held in Xiamen, East China’s Fujian Province where delegates from eight SCO member countries attend the Regional Anti-Terrorist Structure (RATS) joint drill on countering cyber-terrorism.
The drill set a scenario where an international terrorist organisation spread information of terrorism, separatism and extremism through the internet, including instant chat groups and social media platforms, in SCO member states, to recruit new members, gather funds, purchase weapons and plan terror activities, which intensified terror attacks and threatened regional security, according to report published by Global Times.
The exercise coordinated competent authorities of each SCO member state, who started investigating cases in their countries, gathering information on the terrorists’ organization, member identities and their locations, before launching a concentrated capture mission and cracking down the organizations secret members hiding across SCO member states once for all.
During the drill, cyber anti-terrorist experts sit in front of computers, deploying a variety of technical measures in eight separated “combat zones,” each for one member state. If the drill was to be real, these “combat zones” will be thousands of kilometres away, in each member state’s territories, sharing information in real time.
During the drill, the SCO members tested their capacity in uncovering and tackling cyber-terrorism, and further promoted cooperation in fighting against regional terrorist organizations with the coordination of RATS, said Dzhumakhon Giyosov, director of the executive committee of RATS and chief commander of the drill.
RATS has played an important role for the SCO members to combat terrorism, separatism and extremism during the past 15 years since its founding. China pledged to further enhance cooperation with the SCO members to improve law enforcement and security, said Liu Yuejin, a senior anti-terrorism official at China’s Ministry of Public Security.
This is the third time such exercise has taken place. The past two editions were held in October 2015 and December 2017. Pakistan, Kazakhstan, China, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan and India are full members of SCO.