DUBAI, 27th March, 2022 (WAM) — Major General Khalifa Hareb Al Khaili, Under-Secretary of the UAE’s Ministry of Interior (MoI), witnessed the conclusion of the activities of the virtual joint exercise (ISALEX 2.0), the first of its kind in the world, which included the participation of specialised teams from nine countries of the International Security Alliance (ISA).
These countries met in metaverses with scenarios and simulations of the real world, including enhancing preparedness for security threats.
For three days, the Fazaa Pavilion at Expo 2020 Dubai hosted the Operations Room of the Ministry of Interior. This new experience enhanced international work and coordination by investing in modern technologies in facing the challenges of the present and the future of police work.
In a world-first, Expo 2020 Dubai hosted a live, VR-based joint cybersecurity exercise. The unique simulation saw 50 law enforcement professionals from nine ISA member states come together in the metaverse to tackle fictional but realistic criminal threats.
The exercise operated in real-time and in a replicated urban environment in the fictional city of Brinia. International security professionals applied the latest cybersecurity and drone mitigation techniques as they stress-tested their coordination and decision-making, threat assessment and mitigation capabilities, capacity to manage crisis scenarios, and ability to respond under pressure in a dynamic and virtual social media landscape.
Crisis response, drone defence and cyber resilience units from across the alliance cooperated in dealing with forensic evidence, tackling drone threats to critical infrastructure and foiling dark web-based ransomware attacks. In addition, strategic communications, legal and regulatory experts supported their teams’ investigations, presenting their cases to prosecutors to secure international support across INTERPOL.
Lt. Colonel Dana Al Marzouqi, Director of the International Affairs Office at the Ministry of Interior, said, “The Ministry of Interior in the UAE is keen to maintain readiness to deal with all emergencies and events according to well-thought-out, scientific and pre-prepared plans. The Ministry is proactive in adopting the concepts of future foresight and new technologies to achieve its goal and the vision of the UAE.”
Major Hamad Khatir, Director of the International Operations Department at the Ministry of Interior of the UAE, said, ”The UAE is on the front line to tackle next-generation safety and security threats, and ISALEX 2.0 marks an exciting step into the future. It shows just how crucial hands-on experience in a VR environment can be to support real-time police training, facilitate sharing knowledge and expertise, and boost international cooperation. Today we take law enforcement into the metaverse, but ultimately, we will reap the benefits in the real world.” Held under the auspices of the ISA Secretariat, based in Abu Dhabi, the VR live simulation (ISALEX 2.0) followed a successful first joint exercise held in the UAE in 2019, focused on counter-terrorism, crisis and disaster management, communications and civil defence.
Formally launched in 2017 by the UAE and France, bringing together interior ministries from Bahrain, Israel, Italy, Morocco, Senegal, Singapore, Slovakia and Spain, the International Security Alliance (ISA) functions as a working group committed to protecting communities’ safety and prosperity. The ISA aims to enhance collaboration, knowledge sharing and partnerships on global security issues, such as transnational organised crime, border control, radicalisation, and violent extremism. Hosted within the Ministry of Interior, the ISA’s Secretariat is responsible for coordinating all activities, from high-level strategic and technical engagement to live exercises, training and joint operations, allowing it to dynamically respond to the world’s emerging security threats.