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Bahraini Royal Guard Commander Sheikh Nasser bin Hamad Al Khalifa (Center), opened the Seminar on Counterterrorism Strategies in Manama, Kingdom of Bahrain Sept. 2. (Courtesy Photo)

By Captain Thomas Welsh
Deputy Course Director, Program on Terrorism and Security Studies
 
George C. Marshall European Center for Security Studies

UPDATE: The local newspaper in the Kingdom of Bahrain printed two articles in Arabic. The first article was printed on the first day of the workshop on Sept. 2. The second article was at the end of the workshop.   

MANAMA, Kingdom of Bahrain (Sept. 4, 2018) – Bahraini Royal Guard Commander Sheikh Nasser bin Hamad Al Khalifa, opened the Seminar on Counterterrorism Strategies in Manama, Bahrain Sept. 2. 

The seminar is being hosted by the Bahrain Defense Force in collaboration with the George C. Marshall European Center for Security Studies.

Over four days, officials from the Bahrain Defense Forces, the Ministry of Interior, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, National Security Agency and the National Guard are receiving an executive version of the resident Program on Terrorism and Security Studies (PTSS) offered in Garmisch-Parkenkirchen, Germany.

The seminar was the idea of Major Ammar Algashar, a member of the Royal Guard who attended the PTSS in 2017 and was coordinated through the Office of Defense Cooperation and U.S. Embassy in Bahrain.

Addressing the Bahraini security officers on the first day, the Royal Guard Commander said he considered the seminar as “an opportunity to create a common understanding and a valued partnership that aims to build capacity and skills, exchange ideas, and create visions about how best to protect our values and sustainable long-term security.” 

He then outlined the numerous terrorism challenges the Kingdom of Bahrain is confronting, including extremism, state sponsorship of terrorism, and the use of technology and social-networking platforms for recruiting and inspiring individuals to join and commit acts of terrorism.

The Royal Guard Commander emphasized the elimination of terrorism required the establishment of international partnerships and effective frameworks under the principle of shared responsibility. 

He concluded his address by expressing his gratitude to Director Jim Howcroft, and faculty members Professor James Wither, Dr. Sam Mullens and U.S. Navy Capt. Tom Welsh for coming to the Kingdom of Bahrain to share their “experience and deep knowledge in this vital area of terrorism and counterterrorism.”

PTSS, the Marshall Center’s premier resident course, is a four-week program that focuses on contemporary terrorism and counter-terrorism issues.  PTSS is offered twice a year. 

More than 2,000 security professionals from more than 100 countries have attended PTSS, building a worldwide counterterrorism network. 

The next PTSS is scheduled for March 14 to April 10, 2019.