WASHINGTON — Boosting Europe’s shaky ability to thwart jihadist attacks will be the focus at a nuclear security summit hosted by President Barack Obama in Washington Friday, amid concerns the Islamic State group is trying to get a "dirty bomb."
The White House is worried that attacks in Paris and Brussels have exposed.
The inability of European intelligence agencies to deal with fighters returning from the Middle East.
On Thursday Obama spoke of the need to increase trans-Atlantic co-operation aimed at "rooting out foreign fighters, identifying potential attacks, cutting off financing."
Fears of attack were given a nuclear edge with the discovery of 10 hours of surveillance footage recorded by Islamic State operatives of a senior Belgian nuclear scientist.
"We have had good progress in ramping up airstrikes and pressure on ISIL in Iraq and Syria," Obama foreign policy advisor Ben Rhodes said, using an alternate acronym for the IS group.
"We also believe it’s critically important that we’re working to disrupt plots, given ISIL efforts to move to more external plotting in Europe and other parts of the world."
"I think a focal point of the discussion tomorrow is going to be on what are we doing around intelligence and information sharing? How can we make sure that that’s happening as fast as possible?
How can we make sure that we are aligning our respective protocols, so that we’re able to better monitor foreign fighters who may be leaving Iraq and Syria, and trying to come not just to
The summit opened on Thursday with Obama trying to forge consensus among East Asian leaders on how to respond to Pyongyang’s recent nuclear and missile tests, which he said "escalate tensions" in the region.
This is the fourth in a series of nuclear security summits convened at Obama’s behest. With Obama leaving office next year, it may well be the last.
But it risked being overshadowed by two men who were not even there: Republican presidential frontrunner Donald Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin.
Experts say Putin’s refusal to attend has made substantive reductions in fissile material -- the vast majority of which is held by the militaries of Russia and the United States -- or make leaps on safeguards almost impossible.
"This nuclear security summit is supposed to address all of the (fissile) stocks, but truth is that all they address really is a small proportion of civilian stocks," Patricia Lewis, international security research director at British think tank Chatham House said. — AFP.