Acts of terror are almost always committed on land – but terrorist organisations use the sea lanes to move themselves and their weapons, and to raise money for their activities through smuggling. The purpose of Counter Terrorism is to prevent the movement of terrorists, their weapons and their illegal fund-raising activities on the high seas.
The sea lanes are an important route for terrorist organisations to ship their personnel, their weapons and their illegal shipments which fund many of their activities. They must be stopped.
Over the past decade, Royal Navy warships have conducted counter-terrorist missions all over the globe – from monitoring vessels to boarding suspicious ships.
The Royal Navy has scored some notable successes on the so-called Hashish Highway in the Indian Ocean, seizing drugs hidden in dhows to the tune of millions of pounds.
It’s estimated that 90 per cent of all the drugs produced in Afghanistan are eventually transported by sea – and the monies raised helps fund the insurgency.
The Navy and other maritime organisations monitor traffic on the high seas – all ships over a certain size carry a transponder, the Automated Information System, which provides details of a vessel’s destination and cargo – and, if necessary, carry out boarding operations.
Naval divers are ready to react to the risk of terrorism at sea and on land 365 days a year, providing expertise in disposing of potential explosive threats.
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