Sean Griffin is the former Deputy Head of the Europol counter terrorism unit, having worked for the organisation between 2003 and 2014. He now works as a consultant, specialising in international law enforcement, counter terrorism and countering violent extremism.
In 2015 he was engaged on the Rutgers University Faith Based Community Security Programme with an emphasis on developing policy and programmatic guidance that local and national law enforcement authorities, faith-based organizations and the broader security community can use to partner more effectively in detecting and addressing threats to their communities; and working directly with communities and law enforcement agencies in the United States and Europe, in the implementation of best practices in this arena. The programme continues.
Upon leaving Europol, Mr Griffin was selected for the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) expert’s roster as a subject matter expert concentrating on the Criminal Justice Response to Terrorism. In 2015 he contributed to OSCE capacity building workshops in Skopje, Sofia and Tashkent.
During his time at Europol he was responsible for coordinating operational support to European Union Member States’ investigations into al-Qaeda inspired terrorist activity and was project manager for Europol activities around foreign terrorist fighters. He also represented Europol in the EU Commission CT working group and various international bodies, including the Global Counter Terrorism Forum (GCTF) and the United Nations Counter Terrorism Executive (UN-CTED).
As a result of lessons learned in implementing the Europol Preparedness Programme (following terrorist attacks in the EU in Madrid 2004 and in London 2005), he developed the concept of what is now known as the EU First Response Network (FRN), which effectively became the EU counter terrorism task force in waiting. The FRN was first activated in the wake of the Anders Breivik attacks in Oslo in July 2011. Mr Griffin headed this first ever ‘First Response Team’, charged with supporting the Norwegian authorities and with assessing the further response required at the EU level via a report to the EU Council of Justice and Home Affairs Ministers.
In 2012 Mr Griffin took on responsibility for developing and managing a series of activities in conjunction with the US Department of Homeland Security programme on Countering Violent Extremism (CVE) resulting in a number of joint (Europol/DHS) activities.
Mr Griffin joined the Police Service in 1978, moving into plain-clothes work as a Detective in 1983. After a period on the Major Crime Team he moved into covert operations in 1989 where he first became involved in the field of National Security. He later joined the Special Branch in 1998 where he remained until his move to Europol.