Experience shows that one of the most effective ways to protect Australia from the threat of terrorism is to take the fight to the source.
The Jakarta Regional Cooperation Team (JRCT) has provided assistance to the Indonesian National Police following terrorist attacks, including the Bali bombings in 2002, the Australian Embassy bombing in 2004 and the Marriot Hotel bombing in 2005. The JRCT also continues to support the Indonesian National Police in the successful disruption of terrorist activities throughout Indonesia.
The AFP has also contributed to the establishment of the Jakarta Centre for Law Enforcement Cooperation (JCLEC). The JCLEC was a joint initiative of the Australian and Indonesian Governments and its key objective is to enhance the ability of regional law enforcement partners to disrupt and investigate transnational crime, with a primary focus on counter terrorism.
As at 6 January 2014, over 14,000 regional law enforcement students from 69 countries have attended training programs at JCLEC. Programs include investigations management, criminal intelligence, forensics, financial investigations and communications.
The Manila Regional Cooperation Team has assisted the Philippines National Police investigate various terrorist incidents, including the Superferry 14 fire of February 2004, the General Santos City bombings of December 2004, and the multiple Valentine's Day bombings of 14 February 2005.
The Australian Government has also significantly invested in a project to help law enforcement authorities in the Philippines to develop capabilities in intelligence sharing, bomb investigation techniques, forensics and other skills particularly relevant to countering terrorism.
The AFP has assisted the Royal Thai Police in the establishment of a Bomb Data Centre as well as a Training and Development Centre in Thailand. Forensic and bomb data specialists from the AFP continue to support the Royal Thai Police with training and other measures to counter the threat of terrorism.
The AFP responds swiftly to requests for assistance from Asia-Pacific regional partners in areas including disaster victim identification, crime scene forensics, post-bomb-blast investigation, financial investigation, intelligence and technical support.
Examples of the assistance provided by the AFP include that during the Bali bombings in 2002, the Jakarta Embassy bombing and the Marriot Hotel bombing in 2005. The AFP deployed counter-terrorism assets to these regions specifically to provide assistance to the local authorities in the aftermath of these attacks and to provide support to the Australian consular operations.
Money laundering is an important source of terrorist funding. Australia is a founding member of the 29-member Asia-Pacific Group on Money Laundering (APG) which was formed in 1997 to help countries in the Asia-Pacific region enact laws that criminalise the laundering of the proceeds of crime, and to deal with mutual legal assistance, confiscation, forfeiture and extradition.
The APG also provides guidance for setting up systems to report and investigate suspicious transactions, and for the establishment of financial intelligence units.
Additionally, a dedicated Terrorism Financing Investigations Unit (TFIU) has been established within Australia to focus on terrorist financing investigations, intelligence, education and liaison.
The TFIU is a multi-agency unit and includes representatives from a number of Commonwealth and state government agencies, including the AFP.