As the Gulf state gears to be the first in the Middle East to host the World Cup, it has partnered with various countries to help maintain the security of the event.
South Korea’s army will dispatch five police officers specialising in counter-terrorism to Qatar to exchange security expertise as part of efforts to secure the 2022 FIFA World Cup, Seoul’s news agency reported on Tuesday.
“Sending an instructor to Qatar, which hosts the World Cup, a global event, means that our military police capabilities are being recognized internationally,” a military official said, as quoted by Yonhap.
The officers will be passing on their expertise on law enforcement, security, close combat, and arrest techniques to the Qatari police until October. This is also set to be the first time South Korea’s military police dispatches its personnel abroad.
Qatari officials had travelled to South Korea last year and requested support after seeing the Korean army’s capabilities during the Korea-Japan World Cup and Pyeongchang Olympics.
The dispatch plan is set to take shape after the signing of a memorandum of understanding (MoU) between the two countries. In 2014, Qatar and South Korea’s military signed an agreement over defence cooperation and military education.
Other security deals
As the Gulf state gears up to be the first in the Middle East to host the World Cup, it has partnered with various countries to help maintain the security of the event.
In December last year, Turkey announced plans to send some 3,000 members of its riot police units to Qatar for the World Cup. Turkish Interior Minister Suleyman Soylu told the press in Ankara that the decision came following discussions with Qatari officials that have been held since as far back as 2017.
Soylu also noted the number of officers may be increased, with a general coordinator from Turkish law enforcement, more than 40 security advisers, and search dogs to be dispatched to Qatar.
During the same month, France agreed to send personnel and material to the Gulf state, including a BASSALT anti-drone system that detects and identifies incoming drones.
France also said it will be sending one of its Air Force’s four E-3F Airborne Warning and Control System (AWACS), which can track hundreds of targets.
In January this year, members of Qatar’s police forces met with the New York Police Department’s (NYPD) Transit Bureau team in the US to exchange expertise over safety and security best practices during major events.
More recently, the US Department of Homeland Security (DHS) signed agreements with Qatar over World Cup security.
The DHS would help “identify air passengers linked to terrorism, trafficking, detecting watchlisted travelers, and monitoring potential security risks at Hamad International Airport,” as it explained in a joint statatement.
Both parties also agreed on further commitment to collaborate on countering threats from unmanned aircraft systems (C-UAS), and “DHS is committed to sharing lessons learned and best practices on C-UAS to help secure World Cup Qatar 2022.”
Beyond North America, the Birtish Royal Air Force and Royal Navy will provide counter-terror policing. The announcement came in May after Qatar’s Amir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani met with former UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson in London.
The Ministry of Defence will support Qatar with military capabilities to counter terrorism and other threats to the tournament through maritime security, operational planning, and command and control support.
Closer to the Gulf state, Morocco said it deployed “thousands” of police officers to Qatar in June to aid the gulf nation in bolstering security for the upcoming event.
This came days after the director of Morocco’s General Directorate of National Security and General Directorate of Territorial Surveillance (DGSN-DGST) paid a visit to the Lusail stadium, which will host the World Cup’s final match in December.
At the time, Morocco also agreed to deploy a team of cybersecurity experts to Qatar.
Meanwhile, NATO recently announced that it will help Qatar with security measures during the event as part of the alliance’s tight collaboration with Doha.
“The support will include training against threats posed by Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Nuclear (CBRN) materials, which will be delivered by Slovakia and NATO’s Joint CBRN Defence Centre of Excellence in the Czech Republic,” the North Atlantic alliance explained in a statement.