Countering terrorism


Terrorism in all its forms poses a direct threat to the security of the citizens of NATO countries, and to international stability and prosperity. It is a persistent global threat that knows no border, nationality or religion and is a challenge that the international community must tackle together. NATO’s work on counter-terrorism focuses on improving awareness of the threat, developing capabilities to prepare and respond, and enhancing engagement with partner countries and other international actors.



  • NATO invoked its collective defence clause (Article 5) for the first and only time in response to the terrorist attacks of 11 September 2001 on the United States.
  • NATO’s Counter-Terrorism Policy Guidelines focus Alliance efforts on three main areas: awareness, capabilities and engagement.
  • NATO has a Terrorism Intelligence Cell at NATO Headquarters and a Coordinator oversees NATO’s efforts in the fight against terrorism.
  • A regional Hub for the South, based at NATO’s Joint Force Command in Naples helps the Alliance anticipate and respond to crises arising in its southern neighbourhood.
  • NATO is a member of the Global Coalition to Defeat ISIS and supports it through AWACS intelligence flights.
  • NATO develops new capabilities and technologies to tackle the terrorist threat and to manage the consequences of a terrorist attack.
  • NATO cooperates with partners and international organisations to leverage the full potential of each stakeholder engaged in the global counter-terrorism effort.