Building on the longstanding relationship between the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and the Ministry of Interior of the State of Qatar (MOI), DHS Under Secretary for Policy Robert Silvers met Prime Minister and Minister of Interior H.E. Sheikh Khalid bin Khalifa bin Abdulaziz Al-Thani in Doha to discuss shared security priorities and re-affirm their joint commitment to expand cooperation to enhance the security of the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022. They affirmed a shared commitment to work bilaterally to strengthen Qatar’s event security, port security, screening, contraband interdiction, and risk management capabilities.
Under Secretary Silvers and Prime Minister and Minister of Interior H.E. Sheikh Khalid bin Khalifa Al-Thani discussed ongoing security cooperation between DHS and MOI, including information sharing and operational support for passenger screening and airport and aviation security. These efforts form the bedrock for deeper collaboration to secure World Cup Qatar 2022, and Under Secretary Silvers and Prime Minister and Minister of Interior H.E. Sheikh Khalid bin Khalifa Al-Thani committed to multiple partnerships to expand related cooperation.
First, Under Secretary Silvers committed that DHS will partner with the MOI to provide additional technical assistance and security training in preparation for World Cup Qatar 2022, including that:
- The Transportation and Security Administration (TSA) committed to provide support for screening, baggage inspection, insider risk management, and other security-related priorities. TSA also committed to host a Qatari delegation at a U.S. airport to share best practices in airport safety and security, provide technical assistance to the Qatari Civil Aviation Authority, and contribute personnel to bolster a Joint Operations Center that will provide daily screening and operational support to Qatar’s airports during World Cup Qatar 2022. These efforts build on TSA’s existing support to MOI, which include inspections and assessments of operations and facilities to ensure the security of Hamad International Airport.
- U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) committed to provide support for passenger and cargo screening operations, automated targeting and risk management, fraudulent document detection, use of plain-clothes personnel to help detect suspicious travelers, port courtesy procedures for VIP personnel, and air cargo, passenger, and seaport interdiction. CBP also committed to host a Qatari delegation at its National Targeting Center and expand information sharing to improve detection of suspicious travelers and fraudulent visas.
- The Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency committed to provide resources on infrastructure security.
Second, Under Secretary Silvers and MOI Under Secretary H.E. Major General Sheikh Abdulaziz Bin Faisal Al Thani signed a Memorandum of Cooperation to establish a Joint Security Program (JSP) between CBP and MOI. Under the JSP, DHS and MOI committed to partner to identify air passengers linked to terrorism and trafficking of narcotics, weapons, currency, and people. JSP officers will enhance security for World Cup Qatar 2022 by detecting watchlisted travelers and monitoring potential security risks at Hamad International Airport.
Third, Under Secretary Silvers and the Chairman of Qatar’s National Cyber Security Agency (NCSA) H.E. Abdurrahman Ali Al-Maliki signed a Joint Statement of Intent on Cybersecurity Cooperation (JSOI). The JSOI will strengthen DHS’s and NCSA’s cooperation on cybersecurity policy and strategy, information sharing, advisory services, and human capital development.
Fourth, Under Secretary Silvers and Prime Minister and Minister of Interior H.E. Sheikh Khalid bin Khalifa Al-Thani committed to collaborate on countering threats from unmanned aircraft systems (C-UAS). DHS is committed to sharing lessons learned and best practices on C-UAS to help secure World Cup Qatar 2022.
DHS and MOI look forward to further strengthening their partnership and cooperation on these critical security matters, including to secure the first World Cup in the Arab World.