Although terrorist groups continued to plot attacks against European targets and interests, 2011 was marked by a smaller number of attacks than the previous year due in part to the efforts of European security services, close cooperation among European countries, and the sheer technical capabilities available to most partner countries. Nonetheless, the January 24 Domodedovo airport suicide bombing in Moscow that killed more than three dozen people, as well as the July 22 attacks in which Anders Behring Breivik, a Norwegian citizen, bombed government buildings in Oslo, killing eight, and then shot dead 69 people at a Labor Party youth camp on the island of Utoya, highlighted the continuing serious threat from terrorists.
A wide range of violent extremist ideologies remained a threat. During otherwise peaceful anti-austerity protests, anarchists in Greece continued to launch attacks against government offices, foreign missions, and symbols of the state , although the overall level of violence was at a lower level than in previous years . Long-active radical ethno-nationalist groups like the Kurdistan Workers Party (known as the PKK) in Turkey and dissident Republican groups in Northern Ireland continued their campaigns of violence.
Transatlantic cooperation on terrorism involving the sharing of intelligence and judicial information, capacity building in non-European countries, extradition of suspects, and efforts to counter violent extremism remained generally very good, although differing perspectives on issues like data privacy and long-term detention sometimes complicated these efforts. A number of European countries signed or ratified agreements with the United States on preventing and combating serious crime, and in December the European Union's (EU) Council of Ministers voted to approve a U.S.-EU Agreement on the exchange of passenger name records in the field of commercial aviation. The EU and a number of European countries served as founding members and played leading roles in the new Global Counterterrorism Forum.
Prosecutions of suspected terrorists continued apace, with significant trials and/or convictions of suspects taking place in Bosnia and Herzegovina, France, Germany, and Greece, among other countries. Both the Netherlands and the UK released new and comprehensive national strategies laying out strategic frameworks for counterterrorism, and European countries ranging from Belgium to Italy continued to implement programs designed to counter violent extremism.
Overview: Armenia made progress in improving border security. The Armenian government worked closely with the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) and other partners to establish and outline responsibilities for a 24-hour Situation Center within the Armenian Ministry of Emergency Situations. The Situation Center is intended to assure effective interagency coordination in crisis management, including in response to terrorist attacks.
Legislation and Law Enforcement: In the area of border security, progress included the addition of sensors designed to detect the movement of people and vehicles on the Georgian border. Armenia continued to improve its export control laws and procedures, as well as its maintenance of recently installed radiation portal alarms at all ports of entry, including the main airport. Furthermore, the Defense Threat Reduction Agency reached an agreement to provide support in the form of equipment and infrastructure upgrades along the Georgian border, including border post towers and relay stations, to improve Armenia Border Guard Service communications. The Border Guard Service continued to optimize its use of the automated Border Management Information System (BMIS) at all points of entry, to include a BMIS criminal and terrorist watch list updated by the Armenian National Security Service. The Armenian government planned to update the BMIS and bring all border crossing checkpoints with Georgia up to European Union (EU) standards. The Armenian government began to implement a National Integrated Border Management Strategy, to include a complete re-building of northern points of entry over the next two to three years.
Countering Terrorist Finance: Armenia is a member of the Committee of Experts on the Evaluation of Anti-Money Laundering Measures and the Financing of Terrorism, a Financial Action Task Force-style regional body. Armenia is also a member of the Egmont Group of Financial Intelligence Units. Armenia is not a regional financial center, and no cases of terrorist financing have been discovered. Within the Armenian Central Bank, a Financial Monitoring Center analyzed suspicious financial transactions to detect evidence of money laundering and other financial crimes. For further information on money laundering and financial crimes, we refer you to the 2011 International Narcotics Control Strategy Report (INCSR), Volume 2, Money Laundering and Financial Crimes: http://www.state.gov/j/inl/rls/nrcrpt/index.htm.
Regional and International Cooperation: Armenia participated in several bilateral and multilateral assistance, security, and training organizations and initiatives targeted at strengthening its ability to counter terrorist financing and the smuggling of illicit and hazardous materials. These included: the Global Initiative to Combat Nuclear Terrorism, the Nuclear Smuggling Outreach Initiative, the Biological Threat Reduction Program, and related training programs sponsored by the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe and the EU Advisory Group.
Overview: Austria continued its efforts to strengthen its counterterrorism measures, and to provide its law enforcement and intelligence agencies with better tools to counter terrorism. According to Austria's Agency for State Protection and Counterterrorism (BVT), the key counterterrorism agency within the Ministry of the Interior, terrorism did not pose a serious or imminent threat to Austria in 2011. Cooperation between U.S. and Austrian law enforcement agencies was generally strong.
The pace of approving and implementing counterterrorism legislation was often slowed by concerns over data privacy protections. Counterterrorism efforts were further complicated by a general public perception that Austria is safe from terrorism. Nevertheless, the BVT said the threat from violent transnational Sunni extremism remained a concern. The BVT estimated the number of radicalized individuals among second- and third-generation Muslim immigrants and among converts to Islam in the country has risen to approximately 500.
On January 24, two Austrian citizens were killed in a suicide attack in Russia at Moscow's Domodedovo airport. The Caucasus Emirate's leader, Doku Umarov, claimed responsibility.
Legislation and Law Enforcement: The Ministry of the Interior reintroduced to Parliament draft legislation originally proposed in 2010 to enhance the ability of law enforcement agencies to conduct counterterrorism investigations. In October, legislation was approved that lowered the threshold for prosecution for the criminal act of expressing public support for terrorist acts or activities. In November, following concerns expressed by opposition parties, the Interior Minister temporarily withdrew from parliamentary consideration the bilateral U.S.-Austrian Preventing and Combating Serious Crime agreement for renewed review by Austria's Data Privacy Council. In December, Austria abstained in the European Union (EU) Council of Ministers' vote that approved the U.S.-EU Agreement on Passenger Name Records.
In April, Austria passed data retention legislation in accordance with a 2006 EU counterterrorism directive. Austria is in compliance with an EU directive (in force since May) requiring a uniform biometric format for residence permits for non-EU nationals.
Law enforcement actions:
Countering Terrorist Finance: Austria is an active member of the Financial Action Task Force (FATF). In reaction to an October FATF statement on jurisdictions with anti-money-laundering/counterterrorism financing deficiencies, the Austrian Financial Market Authority issued a regulation mandating additional special due diligence by financial institutions doing business with FATF-designated countries.
For further information on money laundering and financial crimes, we refer you to the 2011 International Narcotics Control Strategy Report (INCSR), Volume 2, Money Laundering and Financial Crimes: http://www.state.gov/j/inl/rls/nrcrpt/index.htm.
Regional and International Cooperation: Austria has security partnerships in place with several countries in the region and the Ministry of the Interior has dispatched counterterrorism liaison officers to a number of Austria's embassies in southeastern Europe. Austria participates in various regional security platforms, including the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), the Central European Initiative, and the Salzburg Forum. Austria provides customs administration training to Afghan customs officials under the auspices of the OSCE.
Countering Radicalization and Violent Extremism: Austria continued its efforts to better integrate immigrants, particularly second- and third generation Muslim immigrant youth. Government measures included the creation of a state secretary for integration serving within the Ministry of Interior, the drafting of a national inter-ministerial integration strategy, and initiatives in educational institutions and at the community level. Beyond broad integration strategies, however, there were few specific government-sponsored efforts to counter violent extremism.
Overview: Azerbaijan actively opposed terrorist organizations seeking to move people, money, and material through the Caucasus. The government has had some success in reducing the presence of terrorist facilitators and hampering their activities.
Legislation and Law Enforcement: Government law enforcement bodies pursued suspected terrorist groups and facilitators operating in Azerbaijan and implemented measures to strengthen border security and maritime domain awareness. The Government of Azerbaijan completed the modernization of its Central Reference Laboratory, a state-of-the-art biosafety facility that will make joint research on potential bioterrorism threats possible. Through the Weapons of Mass Destruction Proliferation Prevention Program, the Azerbaijan government assumed responsibility for the sustainment of seven radar stations along the Caspian coast used by the Navy, Coast Guard, and State Border Service to conduct maritime surveillance and detect smuggling threats. On border security, the State Border Service installed new portal monitors during its upgrade at the Ganja international airport, a project assisted by the Department of Energy's Second Line of Defense Program (SLD). Azerbaijan also launched the National Communication System pilot project, a new SLD initiative to centralize information received from portal monitors at various border crossings.
Countering Terrorist Finance: Azerbaijan is a member of the Committee of Experts on the Evaluation of Anti-Money Laundering Measures and the Financing of Terrorism (MONEYVAL), a Financial Action Task Force-style regional body. The Government of Azerbaijan has demonstrated an increasing level of professionalism in anti-money laundering and counterterrorist financing (AML/CTF) since 2009, when it adopted AML/CTF legislation. Azerbaijan continued to work with MONEYVAL to address the full range of AML/CTF issues identified in its Mutual Evaluation Report.
For further information on money laundering and financial crimes, we refer you to the 2011 International Narcotics Control Strategy Report (INCSR), Volume 2, Money Laundering and Financial Crimes: http://www.state.gov/j/inl/rls/nrcrpt/index.htm.
Regional and International Cooperation: Throughout 2011, working groups composed of representatives of Azerbaijan and the other four Caspian Sea littoral states met to coordinate law enforcement efforts aimed at countering terrorism as well as smuggling, narcotics trafficking, and organized crime on the Caspian. This work followed up on a November 2010 security cooperation agreement among the Caspian Sea littoral states.
Overview: Belgian authorities maintained a well-coordinated and effective counterterrorism apparatus overseen by the Ministries of Interior and Justice. The primary actors in this apparatus were the Belgian Federal Police, State Security Service, Office of the Federal Prosecutor, and the inter-ministerial Coordination Unit for Threat Analysis. Belgium continued to investigate, arrest, and prosecute terrorism suspects and worked closely with U.S. authorities on counterterrorism matters.
Legislation and Law Enforcement: On October 28, Belgian police arrested Ventura Tome Queiruga, a suspected member of Basque Fatherland and Liberty, who was wanted under a European arrest warrant submitted by Spain for terrorist attacks committed in the 1980s. The warrant was based on a 2000 Spanish judgment sentencing him to a 17-year prison sentence for attempted murder. Queiruga was handed over to Spanish police on December 13.
On September 20, Belgium and the United States signed a Preventing and Combating Serious Crime agreement, which was undergoing parliamentary ratification procedures at year's end. In late November, Minister of Justice Stefaan De Clerck signed an order to extradite convicted terrorist Nizar Trabelsi to the United States. Trabelsi, a Tunisian national, is serving a 10-year sentence in Belgian prison. He was arrested in Belgium in 2001 and later was convicted for plotting an attack on the Belgian Air Force base at Kleine Brogel, where U.S. military personnel are stationed. His lawyers filed an appeal against the extradition order with the European Court of Human Rights.
Countering Terrorist Finance: Belgium is a member of the Financial Action Task Force. The Belgian Financial Intelligence Unit, CTIF, directed an efficient and comprehensive interagency effort to prevent terrorist financing. According to the CTIF, most of the criminal proceeds laundered in Belgium are derived from foreign criminal activity. In 2011, Belgian authorities responded to changes in money laundering patterns by accelerating the process of freezing suspicious transactions through more efficient cooperation between different levels of the law enforcement authorities.
For further information on money laundering and financial crimes, we refer you to the 2011 International Narcotics Control Strategy Report (INCSR), Volume 2, Money Laundering and Financial Crimes: http://www.state.gov/j/inl/rls/nrcrpt/index.htm.
Regional and International Cooperation: Belgium participated in European Union (EU), United Nations, and Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe counterterrorism efforts. As an EU member state, Belgium supported EU aid to Sahel countries for counterterrorism capacity building.
Countering Radicalization and Violent Extremism: In 2011, the Coordination Unit for Threat Analysis undertook further steps on the Action Plan on Radicalism. The goal of the action plan was to develop measures to limit the impact of extremist messaging. In addition, the Ministry of Interior continued to coordinate Belgium's effort to develop a government-wide strategy to counter radicalization and violent extremism. In October, Belgian officials working on this strategy visited the United States to exchange views and learn about U.S. efforts in this area.
BOSNIA AND HERZEGOVINA
Overview: Bosnia and Herzegovina increased its counterterrorism capacity in 2011 and was a cooperative counterterrorism partner with the United States. Bosnian law enforcement agencies regularly interact with their U.S. and European counterparts on counterterrorism investigations. Bosnian law enforcement and security bodies conducted searches and interrogations against suspected terrorist actors and supporters in the aftermath of a car bombing in April and the shooting attack against the U.S. embassy in October. The Joint Terrorism Task Force worked towards improving coordination between the country's many security and police agencies to better counter potential terrorist threats and acts of terrorism, and Bosnia and Herzegovina continued to participate in the Department of State's Antiterrorism Assistance program. The efforts have had mixed results due to the fragmented nature of Bosnia and Herzegovina's security and police sectors. Potential threats of violent extremism included religious extremist ideological influences from Europe and the Middle East, and regional nationalist extremist groups found in the former Yugoslavia.
2011 Terrorist Incidents: There were two incidents of note:
Legislation and Law Enforcement: Following the October 28 attack at the embassy, the Bosnian Ministry of Security established a working group to evaluate methods to improve the coordination of police and security agencies charged with responding to terrorist incidents. The challenge of coordination stemmed primarily from overlapping jurisdictions, particularly in Sarajevo, where at least three distinct police forces have a role in responding to terrorist incidents: the State Investigative and Protective Agency (SIPA), the national-level police authority; Sarajevo cantonal police; and Federation entity police. State-level laws give SIPA a lead role in responding to attacks and the Bosnian Prosecutor's Office the lead in investigating and prosecuting acts of terrorism. The Ministry of Security consulted with relevant police and security agencies to determine whether a revised legal framework could be created to facilitate better coordination in countering terrorist threats and responding to attacks. The Joint Terrorism Task Force, led by Bosnia's Chief Prosecutor, began operations in April and included members of Bosnia and Herzegovina's state and entity law enforcement agencies and the Brcko District Police.
The Ministry of Security worked toward implementing its 2010-2013 strategy on preventing and combating terrorism, which was adopted in 2010.
To help improve the tracking of people entering Bosnia and Herzegovina, the Bosnian Border Police (BP) worked to install a new computerized database and software system to support immigration and passenger information collection. The new system will link all 50 border crossings and all four airports (Sarajevo, Tuzla, Mostar, and Banja Luka) via the State Police Information Network, a network developed and donated by the U.S. Department of Justice's International Criminal Investigative Training Assistance Program (ICITAP). The new system will provide the BP with immediate access to other supporting databases, such as the Bosnian Ministry of Security, Bosnian Foreigner Affairs Service, and INTERPOL, to run appropriate checks.
The Bosnian Foreigner Affairs Service (FAS) continued to build upon its capacity to maintain long-term custody in the Immigration Center in Sarajevo of aliens who raise terrorism concerns and have been deemed a threat to Bosnian national security. With support from ICITAP, FAS has also been successful in conducting in-depth interviews of aliens in the custody of the Immigration Center, and developing intelligence with this information that is made available to other state law enforcement agencies, including the Border Police, Bosnian Ministry of Security, and SIPA. This has strengthened the capabilities of Bosnian agencies with direct immigration and border management enforcement responsibilities.
Bosnia and Herzegovina saw its first major conviction in a case related to terrorist planning on November 11, when the Court of Bosnia and Herzegovina found Rijad Rustempasic and two other defendants guilty on charges of planning a terrorist act. The indictment alleged that the suspects were violent extremists who obtained weapons and military equipment with the intent of carrying out a terrorist attack in the country. The conviction was being appealed at year's end.
On March 22, the trial began of Haris Causevic and five other persons accused of carrying out the June 27, 2010 bombing of the Bugojno police station, which killed one police officer and injured six others.
Countering Terrorist Finance: Bosnia and Herzegovina is a member of the Committee of Experts on the Evaluation of Anti-Money Laundering Measures and the Financing of Terrorism, a Financial Action Task Force-style regional body. The Bosnian Parliament passed no new counterterrorist finance laws in 2011. However, on November 9, the Bosnian Council of Ministers passed a decision authorizing the freezing of economic resources and funds of individuals and entities listed under relevant United Nations Security Council Resolutions. This decision authorizes the freezing of economic resources and funds, publishing a web-based list of those identified as falling under the resolution, restrictions against those known to associate with persons and entities under sanction, and exchanging information with INTERPOL.
Regional and International Cooperation: Regional cooperation with Croatia and Serbia improved. In international organizations, Bosnia and Herzegovina supported several United Nations General Assembly resolutions related to terrorism.
Countering Radicalization and Violent Extremism: The main religious communities in Bosnia and Herzegovina (Islamic, Orthodox, Catholic, and Jewish) worked together through the Inter-Religious Council to promote tolerance and confront extremism. As part of their efforts, they are conducting exchange programs of young theologians from three major theological educational institutions (Catholic, Islamic, and Orthodox) and offering workshops for high school students to promote inter-religious dialogue and tolerance. Additionally, in the wake of the October 28 embassy attack, the head of the Islamic Community, Reis-ul-ulema Mustafa Ceric, openly and strongly criticized extremist thought in his public sermons.
Overview: The Kingdom of Denmark (Denmark, Greenland, and the Faroe Islands) dedicated resources from several government agencies to prevent and counter terrorism and violent extremism, both domestically and abroad. Denmark is a strong and dynamic security partner that cooperated closely with the United States and other countries on potential terrorist threats. Denmark remained a target of terrorist groups, including al-Qa'ida (AQ), largely as a result of cartoons depicting the prophet Mohammed that were published in a major Danish newspaper in 2006 and reprinted in 2008.
Legislation and Law Enforcement: There was no legislation exclusively pertaining to terrorism passed in 2011, nor were there significant changes in border security. On January 21, the Danish Prosecution Service brought charges in two cases regarding financial support to the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia and the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine . On August 15, the trial against Roj-TV and its parent company, Mesopotamia Broadcast, began. The Danish Ministry of Justice had charged the companies with promoting the activities of the Kurdish Workers' Party in August 2010.
Updates on prosecutions of terrorist suspects arrested in 2010:
Countering Terrorist Finance: Denmark is a member of the Financial Action Task Force. For further information on money laundering and financial crimes, we refer you to the 2011 International Narcotics Control Strategy Report (INCSR), Volume 2, Money Laundering and Financial Crimes: http://www.state.gov/j/inl/rls/nrcrpt/index.htm.
Regional and International Cooperation: Denmark is a founding member of the Global Counterterrorism Forum and actively participates in the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, the Middle Europe Conference, the Bern Club, the EU Counterterrorism Group, and Europol (the European Police Office).
Countering Radicalization and Violent Extremism: New initiatives that address radicalization and violent extremism included nationwide cooperation among schools, social services, and police to identify, prevent, and counter radicalization and violent extremism; a Freedom Fund to contribute to democratic development in North Africa and the Middle East; and “Stop Hate Crimes,” a program and conference by the Copenhagen Police, City of Copenhagen, Frederiksberg Municipality and the Danish Institute for Human Rights.
The Ministry of Refugee, Immigration, and Integration Affairs, in close collaboration with the Danish Prison and Probation Service, launched the project “Deradicalization – Back on track.” Sponsored by the EU, this multi-year project aims to develop tools to persuade convicted terrorists and other extremists to distance themselves from extremist circles while reintegrating back into society after serving a prison sentence. The project will focus particularly on mentoring programs, training mentors, and involving families and networks in the reintegration phase. After the October 3 change of government, the Ministry of Refugee, Immigration, and Integration Affairs was abolished and the integration function was merged with the Ministry of Social Affairs and Integration.
Overview: The United States and France maintained strong counterterrorism cooperation and were partners in fostering closer regional and international cooperation. U.S. government agencies worked closely with their French counterparts on the exchange and evaluation of terrorist-related information. France's security apparatus and legislation affords broad powers to security services for the prevention of terrorist attacks, which helps mitigate the risk of home-grown terrorist plots from developing and advancing. In 2011, two major trends tied to potential terrorist activities heightened concerns for security officials. First, government attention to the problem of individual radicalization through internet sites has led to increased surveillance of extremist websites. Second, the government is concerned about the use of pre-paid credit cards that are transferred across borders by criminal and terrorist organizations and not declared on customs forms.
Instability resulting from the Arab Spring heightened concerns in France about the ability of terrorists to operate and recruit in North Africa and the Middle East. Nevertheless, France was encouraged by a more open dialogue with the governments in North Africa about al-Qa'ida (AQ) and terrorism.
Legislation and Law Enforcement: No new legislation pertaining to terrorism was passed in 2011. However, on June 1, France implemented new police custody regulations that allow the presence of a lawyer during the interrogation of a suspect. This reform resulted from rulings by the European Court of Human Rights and the French Supreme Court, which called the presence of a lawyer at such a time an “imperative necessity.” This regulation applies with retroactive effect, although the time period for challenging the validity of a custodial statement on these grounds is limited. In December, a court struck down the custodial statement of a terrorism defendant that was challenged on the basis of the new regulation. Because the judicial investigation was largely derived from the tainted statements, the future of the prosecution was at risk at year's end.
France worked diligently to maintain strong border security, and implemented national and European Union (EU) border security legislation. On November 15, the European Parliament implemented a new law that stipulates member states are not required to use body scanners at airports, but if they do, the scanners must comply with EU standards. For example, security scanners cannot store, copy, print, or retrieve images, and any unauthorized access and use of the image is prohibited. Also, for privacy reasons, the person monitoring the scanner's image should be in a separate location to prevent any link between the person being scanned and the image. France began testing body scanners in two of its airports in 2010, but had not implemented their use across the country by the end of 2011.
Several major internal threats prompted France to increase its security threat level to red (the highest) in 2011. In January, the Ministry of the Interior declared that “French interests were targeted by Islamic radicals.” Several threats were made against the Eiffel Tower, including a phone threat on March 23 that reportedly resulted in the evacuation of 2,000 to 3,000 people.
According to French media and government sources, 40 people were arrested for having active links to Islamist terrorists in the first nine months of 2011. Fifteen of the 40 were specifically arrested for collecting funds for terrorist organizations, and for suspicious travel to and from Afghanistan and Pakistan. The remaining 25, including seven arrested in a May sweep, were suspected of receiving logistical support, materials, clothes, sophisticated equipment, and fake papers from terrorist networks. Also in 2011, 32 alleged members of the Kurdish Workers Party (PKK) were arrested in France. Among these were three “major leaders of the PKK in France” who were arrested on June 4 and held on suspicion of extortion to fund terrorist activity. In the first 10 months of 2011, 15 suspected members of Basque Fatherland and Liberty (ETA) were also arrested. As of October, 144 ETA members were in prison, of which 75 were awaiting trial at year's end.
High profile prosecutions included:
Countering Terrorist Finance: In addition to being a member of the Financial Action Task Force (FATF), France assumed one of two rotating memberships on the Committee of Experts on the Evaluation of Anti-Money Laundering Measures and the Financing of Terrorism, a FATF-Style Regional Body. However, following the mutual evaluation of France by the FATF in February, the French government dramatically expanded its counterterrorist finance (CTF) efforts within the Ministry of Finance (MOF). The staff of the MOF's autonomous Financial Intelligence Unit, TracFin, was expanded from 16 to 100 people, and a newly created counterterrorism team will serve as the focal point for all CTF bodies within the government.
Regional and International Cooperation: France is a founding member of the Global Counterterrorism Forum. France actively engaged with the United Nations' (UN) Counterterrorism Committee (CTC). In April, the Council of Europe hosted the UN CTC's Special Meeting with International, Regional, and Sub-regional Organizations on the Prevention of Terrorism in Strasbourg, France. France also played a strong role on the UN Security Council Resolution 1267/1989 Sanctions Committee. France participated in the drafting of the European Council's Counterterrorism Strategy action plan. The French government undertook joint counterterrorism operations with other countries including the UK, Belgium, Germany, Italy, and Spain. France also played an active role in efforts to support counterterrorism capacity building in other countries both bilaterally and within the EU. On October 6, France and Turkey signed a bilateral security accord that will permit the two countries to coordinate their efforts and reinforce their counterterrorism cooperation.
Countering Radicalization and Violent Extremism: The French government does not have any programs in place that specifically counter violent extremism, however, it considers its integration programs for all French citizens and residents a major tool in countering radicalization and extremism. Many of these integration programs target disenfranchised communities and new immigrants. For example, the Ministry of Education works to instill “universal values” in all French pupils, regardless of ethnic origin or country of birth. Ministry regulations mandate that all French public schools teach civic education, and that all students attend school until age 16. The government also offered adult vocational training for older immigrants and minorities that never matriculated in the French school system.
Overview: In 2011, the Georgian government supported global counterterrorism efforts through a comprehensive strategy aimed at disrupting both internal and external terrorism threats. Over the course of the year, the Georgian government prevented several terrorist-related bomb plots, which appeared to originate in the break-away regions of Abkhazia and South Ossetia. The Georgian government alleged Russian ties to the bombings. The Georgian government's lack of control of Abkhazia and South Ossetia limited its ability to counter terrorism in these regions and secure its border with Russia.
The Georgian government continued to work closely and coordinate its counterterrorism activities with a variety of U.S. agencies on both the tactical and strategic level. The U.S. and Georgian governments continued to work together to improve border security. The U.S. government funded programs that focused on identification, investigation, and detention of criminals at the Georgian border; the detection of nuclear or radioactive materials; the targeting and inspection of high-risk conveyances, cargo, and travelers; detecting contraband; and surveillance techniques. In addition, the U.S. Coast Guard provided training to Georgian officials in maritime law enforcement and the use of the Incident Command System.
2011 Terrorist Incidents: A series of bomb plots were discovered and ultimately foiled by the Georgian Ministry of Internal Affairs (MOIA). The attempted bombings occurred over a four-month period from March to June. No injuries were reported and several arrests were made in connection with these incidents. In February, two individuals were arrested for attempting to smuggle Iridium-192, a radioactive material, through Georgia with the intent of selling it in a third country.
Legislation and Law Enforcement: The Georgian government passed several amendments aimed at strengthening its counterterrorism legislation and fulfilling its obligations under relevant United Nations Security Council Resolutions (UNSCRs). In October, the Georgian Parliament amended the Criminal Code, expanding the definition of who can perpetrate a terrorist act to include both international organizations and foreign authorities. The amendment went into force in November. The Georgian government also expanded the scope of what is considered a terrorist attack to include attacks against a person or institution under international protection.
The Georgian government continued to take steps to create a Permanent National Interagency Antiterrorist Commission (PNIAC) through the introduction of legislation establishing the PNIAC. Under the legislation, the minister of justice chairs the commission with the National Security Council as the deputy chair. The Commission will be responsible for enforcing UNSCRs and coordinating all counterterrorism activity in Georgia.
Countering Terrorist Finance: Georgia is a member of the Committee of Experts on the Evaluation of Anti-Money Laundering Measures and the Financing of Terrorism, a Financial Action Task Force style-regional body. In July, the Georgian Parliament amended the Criminal Code, expanding the scope of what was considered terrorist financing to the civil aviation field and hostage taking.
Georgia has designated an Anti-Money Laundering Counterterrorist Financing (AML/CTF) unit within the Ministry of Justice, which works directly with the MOIA to investigate and prosecute AML/CTF. Georgia has limited and unevenly applied oversight to nongovernmental organizations. Additionally, the licensing requirement for money and value transfer systems was eliminated in 2006.
Regional and International Cooperation: Georgia is a party to the Council of Europe Convention on the Suppression of Terrorism. At the regional level, Georgia actively participated in counterterrorism activities as a member of the Organization of Black Sea Economic Cooperation and the GUAM (Georgia, Ukraine, Azerbaijan, Moldova) Organization for Democracy and Economic Development. At the bilateral level, Georgia has signed agreements that includ counterterrorism cooperation with 20 countries.
Overview: The threat from violent extremism remained elevated and terrorist groups continued to target Germany in 2011. Authorities estimated that roughly 250 individuals, both German nationals and permanent residents, underwent paramilitary training since the early 1990s at terrorist training camps primarily located in the border regions of Afghanistan and Pakistan. Approximately 135 of these individuals have returned to Germany; 10 were in custody at year's end. Germany investigated, arrested, and prosecuted numerous terrorist suspects and disrupted terrorist-related groups within its borders with connections to al-Qa'ida (AQ), other radical Islamist, Kurdish nationalist, and Nazi terrorist organizations. Authorities conducted approximately 380 active investigations against 410 terrorists. Of these investigations, 95 were South Central Asia-related. Throughout the year, a number of German terrorist suspects released propaganda videos.
2011 Terrorist Incidents: On March 2, Arid Uka opened fire on U.S. airmen at Frankfurt Airport, killing two and wounding two others. On August 31, Uka's trial began in Germany. (In June, U.S. prosecutors of the Southern District of New York filed a complaint against Uka.)
Legislation and Law Enforcement: In December, Parliament approved legislation to establish a Visa Warning Database (VWD). The legislation allows the Federal Administrative Office to cross-check the VWD with the Anti-Terror Database. On June 29, Germany renewed its expiring post-9/11 counterterrorism laws for four more years. Federal intelligence agencies increased access to suspects' data in return for expanded parliamentary monitoring.
Arrests and prosecutions:
Countering Terrorist Finance: Germany is a member of the Financial Action Task Force and its Financial Intelligence Unit is a member of the Egmont Group. German agencies filed 11,042 suspicious transaction reports in 2010 (2011 figures were not available), designating 124 for suspected terrorist financing. Germany remained a strong advocate of the United Nations Security Council Resolutions' 1267/1989 and 1988 Taliban and AQ sanctions regimes.
On April 6, courts sentenced German citizen Fatih K. to 22 months imprisonment for supporting the German Taliban Mujahedin with money transfers. Fatih's confession and disassociation from extremist ideas mitigated the sentence. On March 9, courts sentenced Filiz Gelowicz, the wife of Sauerland Group terrorist Fritz Gelowicz, to two and a half years in prison for producing internet propaganda for the German Taliban Mujahedin and the Islamic Jihad Union and transferring the equivalent of U.S. $4,300 to terrorist contacts in Turkey.
Regional and International Cooperation: Germany is a founding member of the Global Counterterrorism Forum and continued to participate in multilateral counterterrorism initiatives.
Countering Radicalization and Violent Extremism: Germany has numerous programs to counter violent extremism (CVE), mainly at the state level. In North-Rhine Westphalia alone, there is the “Ibrahim Meets Abraham” community relations initiative; the Information and Education Center against Right-Wing Extremism; the former National-Socialistic Center Vogelsang, which is now used for cultural and civic education; the “No Racism in Schools” and “Prevention of Extremism in Sports” efforts; as well as city programs. Dortmund has a “Prevention of Extremism in the City of Dortmund” program. The German Soccer Federation awards a prize to organizations and persons who use their positions to work for freedom, tolerance, and humanity and against intolerance, racism, and hatred. Other cities, such as Cologne, host street soccer tournaments to bring together non-governmental organizations and at-risk youth.
The Ministry of Interior launched a security partnership between Muslims in Germany and security authorities to increase awareness of radicalization of young people. In January, the state of Berlin issued a pamphlet countering extremist interpretations of Islam and democracy, with text in German, Turkish, and Arabic.
Despite a reported lack of participants, Germany extended its HATIF (the Arab term for telephone) program to assist Muslim violent extremists in reintegrating. The Interior Ministry also continued a project first launched in 2001 to stop radicalization among young right-wing offenders. The Ministry expanded the program in 2007 to function in eight states. In 2011, the Interior Ministry also continued a project in three states to counter radicalization of young delinquents influenced by violent extremist ideology.
Overview: Following a series of attacks in late 2010, Greece experienced a notable drop in the number of domestic terrorist incidents during 2011. The Greek police made major arrests of two of the most active domestic terrorist groups, Revolutionary Struggle and Conspiracy of Fire Nuclei. The other most active terrorist group, Sect of Revolutionaries, whose members are still at large, did not take responsibility for any attacks in 2011.
Overall, Greek counterterrorism cooperation with U.S. law enforcement was very good, and in regard to protection of American interests in Greece was excellent. Greek authorities worked closely with the Embassy to help safeguard the security of American citizens and American commercial interests in Greece.
2011 Terrorist Incidents: Large cities, especially Athens and Thessaloniki, continued to experience regular, generally small-scale anarchist attacks, utilizing mostly unsophisticated incendiary devices against political figures and party offices, businesses, municipal and police buildings, and random vehicles. There was just one reported attack against Greek interests within the country (see below) and none against Greek interests abroad by international/foreign violent extremist groups. The more significant attempted attacks included:
Legislation and Law Enforcement: The following arrests/court actions occurred in 2011:
Greek authorities worked closely with U.S. officials on the investigation of the 2007 attack at the U.S. Embassy in Athens (Chancery), and in 2010, made a number of arrests of suspected members of Revolutionary Struggle, the group that claimed responsibility. The trial of those arrested in 2010 began in December 2011.
The Greek Parliament passed legislation necessary to implement European Union (EU) Data Retention Directive 2006/24. The Directive requires EU member states' telecoms and internet service provider firms to retain customer records for 12 months. Such information can be valuable to law enforcement in terrorism and other criminal investigations.
Countering Terrorist Finance: Greece is a member of the Financial Action Task Force (FATF). Greece passed a new law in 2011 to expand and strengthen the capabilities of its Financial Intelligence Unit, the National Authority for Anti-Money Laundering, Counterterrorist Financing and Source of Funds Investigation. The latest FATF report, issued in October, was largely positive and indicated that Greece made significant progress on issues identified in its 2007 report. An important improvement mentioned in the 2011 report was the legal change enacted in 2011 to make the procedure for freezing internationally designated terrorist assets more expedient. In November, the Foreign Ministry established a new Sanctions Monitoring Unit tasked with ensuring that Greece is meeting its commitments to enforce international sanctions, including terrorism-related sanctions, in coordination with other responsible ministries.
Regional and International Cooperation: Greece participated in regional information exchange and seminars through such bodies as the EU, the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe, the Southeast European Law Enforcement Center for Combating Trans-Border Crime, and the Organization of Black Sea Economic Cooperation.
Given the tremendous problem of illegal migration to and through Greece in recent years, primarily via the Greece-Turkey border, the country has placed ever greater emphasis on improving border security. One of the cornerstones of this effort was the increasingly close and beneficial cooperation between Greece and EU border security agency Frontex.
Countering Radicalization and Violent Extremism: The Greek government has initiated a number of programs to promote integration, reduce intolerance, and prevent racist attitudes in society. Such efforts do not yet include programs to actively counter terrorist propaganda. General prison rehabilitation programs exist, but inmates serving sentences for terrorism-related offences have generally refused to participate.
Overview: The United States and Ireland collaborated closely in all aspects of bilateral and regional counterterrorism, law enforcement, and information-sharing relationships. An Garda Siochana (Irish Police at both the national and local level) has comprehensive law enforcement, immigration, investigative, and counterterrorism responsibilities, and continued to work closely with American counterparts. In 2011, as in 2010, violent actions committed in neighboring Northern Ireland by members of dissident groups were traced back to support provided by persons living in Ireland. There have been some incidents by dissident Republican groups in Ireland, generally targeting competing Republican factions and often involving other criminal activity. While Ireland handled these legacy issues stemming from “The Troubles,” authorities were actively involved in dealing with transnational terrorism issues.
Legislation and Law Enforcement: The Smithwick Tribunal, begun in 2006, continued reviewing the events surrounding the murders of Chief Superintendent Harry Breen and Superintendent Robert Buchanan of the Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC). The men were killed in a Provisional IRA (PIRA) ambush near the Northern Ireland/Ireland border in March 1989 as they returned from a cross-border security conference with senior Irish Garda officers in Dundalk. The tribunal has focused on whether or not the PIRA received information from a member of the Garda on the officers' planned route. Public hearings for the tribunal began in July and continued through the end of the year.
Countering Terrorist Finance: Ireland is a member of the Financial Action Task Force (FATF). The Criminal Justice (Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing) Bill of 2010 enacted the European Union's (EU) third money-laundering directive into Irish law, giving effect to several FATF recommendations. Ireland implemented all EU Council Regulations on financial sanctions against listed terrorists and related directives. During 2011, a number of EU Council Regulations on financial sanctions against listed terrorists were transposed into Irish law.
Law enforcement authorities monitored non-profits for breaches of criminal law, but Ireland has not fully implemented the Charities Act, which addresses the misuse of funding in non-profit organizations. Ireland is on the regular follow-up FATF list and was not yet eligible to be placed on the biennial review list.
Regional and International Cooperation: Ireland is a member of the Council of Europe, the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, and NATO's Partnership for Peace. Ireland co-sponsored the United Nations General Assembly Resolution passed in November condemning the Iranian plot against the Saudi Ambassador to the United States. U.S. officials continued to work with host government and neighboring governments on preparations for security efforts for the 2012 Olympics in London.
Overview: Italy aggressively investigated and prosecuted terrorism suspects, dismantled terrorist-related cells within its borders, and maintained high-level professional cooperation with international partners in all areas. Terrorist activity by domestic anarchists and other violent extremists remained a threat.
2011 Terrorist Incidents: On March 31, a letter bomb sent to a barracks in Livorno seriously wounded an army officer. On December 9, a letter bomb exploded at a Rome office of the national tax agency, injuring its director; on December 14, a second letter bomb was intercepted by the security office. A group called the Informal Anarchist Federation (IAF) claimed responsibility for these incidents. The IAF also claimed responsibility for a December 7 letter bomb delivered to the Deutsche Bank in Frankfurt that was intercepted by bank security.
Legislation and Law Enforcement: The Italian government continued to make use of reinforced counterterrorism legislation enacted in 2005 that facilitates detention of suspects, mandates arrest for crimes involving terrorism, and expedites procedures for expelling persons suspected of terrorist activities.
The Italian Civil Aviation Authority (ENAC) conducted a pilot program testing the use of Advanced Image Technology (AIT, otherwise known as body scanners) at two airports. ENAC collaborated with the U.S. Transportation Security Administration to identify software to address concerns about privacy and to improve operational protocols.
Law enforcement actions included:
Countering Terrorist Finance: Italy worked closely with the United States on anti-money laundering and information sharing, and cooperated with other foreign governments as an active member of the Financial Action Task Force and the Egmont Group. Italy also participated in the United Nations Security Council Resolution 1267/1989 and 1988 designation process both as a sponsoring and co-sponsoring nation. In June 2011, Italian Customs and Guardia di Finanza cooperated with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement in a Bulk Cash Smuggling Initiative (Operation Terzo Volo) to interdict international bulk cash smuggling and money laundering for purposes of organized crime and/or terrorism. In the six-day operation targeting flights between Italy and the United States, Italian customs officers made three seizures totaling $62,826.00 and inspected 815 passengers.
Regional and International Cooperation: Italy is a founding member of the Global Counterterrorism Forum and participated in all stages of its planning. Italy also supported counterterrorism efforts through the G-8 Roma-Lyon Group (including capacity building through the Counterterrorism Action Group), the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, the United Nations, and the European Union. Italy contributed personnel to various regional training centers, such as the South East Asia Regional Centre on Counterterrorism in Malaysia, the Joint Centre on Law Enforcement Cooperation in Indonesia, and the African Union's Anti-Terrorism Centre in Algeria.
Countering Radicalization and Violent Extremism: The Ministry of Justice Penitentiary Police financed a non-governmental organization-administered counter-radicalization program placing moderate imams in the three prisons where Muslims convicted of terrorism were incarcerated. Local governments in Milan and Turin expanded efforts to improve relationships with immigrant communities potentially at risk of radicalization.
Overview: The Government of Kosovo cooperated with the United States on terrorism-related issues and made progress in advancing counterterrorism legislation, including the new Criminal Code and another package of laws that were in the Assembly at year's end. This legislation should enhance cooperation among Kosovo's departments to better control its borders and individuals entering the country as part of an integrated border management (IBM) plan. The Kosovo Police (KP) acquired biometric information capture equipment, which will contribute to the ability of authorities to process cross-border traffic and identify and locate individuals of interest in Kosovo. The KP Counterterrorism Unit (CTU) shed some of its personnel and responsibilities and was renamed the Department of Counterterrorism (DCT). The DCT was operational on an intelligence-gathering level, but needs to develop a cooperative relationship with relevant government agencies and the religious communities. The security and political situation in northern Kosovo limited the government's ability to exercise its authority in that area, where the NATO-led international security presence known as Kosovo Force (KFOR) and the European Union Rule of Law Mission (EULEX) bear responsibilities for contributing to a safe and secure environment and strengthening rule of law, including at the borders, respectively. Kosovo and neighboring Serbia had no direct cooperation on counterterrorism issues, as Serbia does not recognize Kosovo as an independent, sovereign country, although EULEX played an intermediary role on some law enforcement cooperation matters.
Legislation and Law Enforcement: Kosovo made progress in advancing legislation to counter terrorism. The Ministry of Justice, in cooperation with U.S. Department of Justice resident legal advisors, drafted and submitted to the Kosovo Assembly a new Kosovo Criminal Code that has several articles to address terrorist acts, terrorist financing, and support for terrorism. The new articles substantially increase the penalties for terrorism offenses. The Kosovo Assembly also moved forward on three laws that together will enable Kosovo authorities to better control the country's borders and deal with aliens who raise terrorist concerns. When passed and implemented, the Law on Border Control will establish an IBM center to strengthen cooperation among government departments and require advance traveler data from airlines operating in Kosovo. The law will also promote cooperation with Kosovo's regional partners and strengthen the ability of the government to enforce existing laws by allowing for punitive measures against individuals who violate Kosovo's borders. The Law on Foreigners and the Law on Asylum will streamline the process for individuals seeking asylum or foreign resident status in Kosovo, making it easier for the KP to establish the identity of aliens who raise terrorist concerns; these laws will also make the system more resistant to abuse by individuals who try to enter Kosovo illegally and then transit to a third country.
In addition, government authorities worked closely with U.S. European Command officials who donated a number of mobile biometric information capture devices to the KP as part of an initiative to identify known or suspected terrorists, individuals who facilitate terrorist activity, and aliens who raise terrorist concerns. Using the devices, the Kosovo Border Policy (KBP) is now able to capture fingerprints, iris, and facial images of individuals who are refused admission at the Pristina airport or at a Kosovo Border Crossing Point; arrested for attempting to illegally enter or exit Kosovo; violate customs procedures; or apply for asylum or immigration benefits.
U.S. training programs, supplemented by donations of equipment through the office of Export and Border Related Security, improved the ability of Kosovo Customs and the KBP to control Kosovo's borders and detect and interdict weapons and other contraband at border crossing points.
The DCT is operational but continued to develop its capacity to fully perform functions outlined in its mandate. In 2011, the DCT focused on intelligence gathering operations and had a good working and information sharing relationship with regional partners and the U.S. government. There was good coordination between the DCT and other departments within the KP, including the KBP, and other government agencies such as Kosovo Customs and the Kosovo Intelligence Agency. There were 20 officers assigned to the DCT in 2011. Members of the department took part in a number of trainings in conjunction with U.S. funded programs, the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, and European partners.
The Kosovo Assembly established the Agency for Data Protection in early 2011 and initial steps were taken to establish the Agency during the course of the year.
Countering Terrorist Finance: The Law on the Prevention of Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing (LPMLTF) was adopted in 2010 and implemented in 2011. The Financial Intelligence Centre (FIC) that had operated under UNMIK auspices was recast as the Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU), and the government made progress in transferring competencies to the new agency. Reporting requirements on transactions above 10,000 Euros (U.S. $12,400), suspicious transactions, structured transactions (repeated transactions below the threshold for reporting in an effort to avoid the reporting requirements), and most of the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) requirements were implemented. Kosovo is still working to fully implement FATF requirements.
The U.S. Department of Treasury's Office of Technical Assistance Economic Crimes Team placed an advisor in Pristina in April 2010. That advisor has worked with various counterparts to: improve the capacity of the FIU to gather financial intelligence and identify and analyze suspected money laundering and terrorist financing; improve the capacity of the Kosovo Police Economic Crimes and Corruption Directorate to investigate and prosecute money laundering and other economic crimes; enhance the Gaming Department's ability to monitor and deter potential money laundering through casinos and other gambling houses; improve the ability of the Tax Administration of Kosovo to promote voluntary compliance with tax law by increasing its capacity to identify and prosecute criminal tax violations; and increase the capacity of Kosovo Customs to identify and interdict bulk cash smuggling.
Regional and International Cooperation: The Government of Kosovo developed a number of initiatives to increase its cooperation within the region, most notably in connection with its immediate neighbors on the issue of border control. The KBP actively cooperated with Albania, Macedonia, and Montenegro to establish joint information centers and develop operational cooperation through joint patrols of the land borders between the countries. Over the summer, Albania and Kosovo operated a joint border crossing point at Vermica and the two governments now have plans to operate all mutual border crossings on a joint basis. The Government of Kosovo has also entered into discussions with the Government of Montenegro to operate a joint border crossing. The KP also supported regional law enforcement relationships and worked with the governments of Bulgaria and Turkey on border-related issues.
Overview: The Netherlands continued to respond effectively to the global terrorist threat in the areas of border and transportation security, terrorist financing, and bilateral counterterrorism cooperation. In its December quarterly terrorism threat analysis, the Dutch National Coordinator for Counterterrorism and Security (NCTV) maintained the national threat level at “limited,” meaning chances of an attack in the Netherlands or against Dutch interests were relatively small but could not be ruled out entirely. According to the report, the threat of violent extremist networks in the Netherlands remained small, and resistance to terrorism by the Dutch population continued to be high.
In February, the Ministry of Security and Justice published the National Cyber Security Strategy, under which the government and business communities will intensify cooperation to fight cyber criminals and terrorists. As part of this strategy, the Cyber Security Council was set up in June to advise the government and private parties about relevant developments in the field of digital security.
Legislation and Law Enforcement: In January, the government published the first assessment of Dutch counterterrorist measures over the past decade. The study, by the Nijmegen Radboud University, concluded that Dutch counterterrorism policy was solid and reliable and the measures taken were not contrary to the European Convention on Human Rights. Nevertheless, the government decided to withdraw its previously deferred Bill on Administrative National Security Measures, which, controversially, would have allowed the Security and Justice Ministry to issue restraining orders prohibiting a terrorism suspect's physical proximity to specific locations or persons.
The Netherlands remained strongly committed to effective cooperation with the United States on border security issues.
Law enforcement actions included:
Countering Terrorist Finance: The Netherlands is a member of the Financial Action Task Force. Dutch officials cooperated with the United States in designating terrorist organizations and interdicting and freezing their assets. In July, the Amsterdam district court annulled the foreign minister's decision to freeze the assets of the Netherlands International Humanitarian Relief Organization because it did not find any evidence that the group provided financial support to Hamas.
Regional and International Cooperation: The Netherlands is a founding member of the Global Counterterrorism Forum and pledged to contribute to the creation of the Forum's Center of Excellence for Countering Violent Extremism in the United Arab Emirates with expertise from Dutch scholars and institutes. The Netherlands also contributed to the counterterrorism work of the United Nations (UN) Office on Drugs and Crime.
The Netherlands continued to chair the Global Initiative to Combat Nuclear Terrorism's Nuclear Detection Working Group. In November, the NCTV, the UN Interregional Crime and Justice Research Institute (UNICRI), the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons, INTERPOL, and the Netherlands Forensic Institute organized a global exercise aimed at the prevention of chemical terrorism (CHEMSHIELD 2011), in which more than 120 representatives from 35 countries (including the United States) and international organizations participated. In December, the International Center for Counterterrorism – established in The Hague in May 2010 – and UNICRI organized an international conference on prison radicalization, rehabilitation, and reintegration of violent extremist offenders. In October, the Netherlands hosted the civil aviation security conference AVSEC 2011 organized by the International Air Transport Association.
In 2011, the Netherlands had counterterrorism capacity building projects in Pakistan, Yemen, Morocco, and Algeria.
Countering Radicalization and Violent Extremism: The Netherlands has been a leader in countering violent extremism (CVE) thought and practice, and hosted a number of events that helped shape international thinking on CVE, including a multilateral symposium on good practices in the disengagement of incarcerated violent extremists and an ongoing international dialogue on the creation of a CVE repository. According to the NCTV report, the threat of violent extremist networks in the Netherlands remained small, and resilience by the Dutch population to radicalization and violent extremism remained high because of special campaigns aimed at prevention of radicalization and polarization. An evaluation of the Justice Ministry's three-year “Netherlands against Terrorism” campaign, which ended in 2010, concluded that confidence in the government's approach to terrorism increased strongly over the period. The campaign intentionally did not emphasize the threat but, rather, the 200,000 professionals doing their best to stay on top of the threat.
The Netherlands has a leading role in efforts to counter terrorist use of the internet, especially with respect to self-regulation. The Notice-and-Take-Down code of conduct, drawn up in 2008, is internationally recognized as a best practice in the field of self-regulation in the approach to illegal content on the internet. The code of conduct provides companies with clarity as to whether and how they should act against perceived illegal content hosted by them.
Overview: The Norwegian government continued to build its counterterrorism capacity in a year that witnessed the worst acts of violence on Norwegian soil since World War II. Authorities focused on new terrorism prosecutions, expanded efforts to counter violent extremism, strengthened cyber security measures, and initiated a comment period on proposed legislative changes to penalize individual terrorists (those not affiliated with groups) and increase surveillance tools for the Police Security Service. The Norwegian government has created an independent commission to carry out a broad evaluation of the response to the July 22 attacks in Oslo and Utoya in order to identify lessons learned. In the wake of these attacks, the government has also re-examined security measures at government buildings and increased security for government officials.
2011 Terrorist Incidents: On July 22, Norwegian citizen Anders Behring Breivik detonated a large bomb next to government buildings housing ministries and the prime minister's office, killing eight persons and injuring scores. After detonating the bomb, Breivik drove to a Labor Party youth camp on the island of Utoya outside of Oslo and shot dead 69 persons (mostly youth), injuring many others. Shortly before the attack, Breivik posted a manifesto on the internet in which, among other things, he accused the Labor Party of treason for encouraging multiculturalism, feminism, and Muslim immigration.
Legislation and Law Enforcement: While the mandate of the independent July 22 commission does not include drafting new legislation, its objective is to ensure that Norwegian society is prepared to prevent and respond to future attacks. The commission is expected to deliver a report to the government in August 2012.
Norway is a part of European Union (EU) border control data sharing arrangements. Norwegian immigration authorities also obtained biometric equipment for the fingerprinting of arrivals from outside the Schengen area, though they have not yet implemented this program.
On November 15, prosecution commenced against three persons with Norwegian citizenship or residency on charges of conspiracy to commit terrorist acts and acquire explosive materials. According to open source reports, the three were born outside of Norway and are alleged to have had al-Qa'ida connections. Two of the men, Mikael Davud and Shawan Bujak, were in custody since their arrest in July 2010. The third man, David Jakobsen, was released from pre-trial detention in September 2010.
On December 6, the Norwegian Court of Appeal upheld a lower court's acquittal of Norwegian citizen Abdirahman Abdi Osman on charges of knowingly collecting approximately U.S. $34,000 for a terrorist organization and knowingly contributing funds to a terrorist organization. After a nine-week proceeding in the appellate court, the jury agreed with the lower court that the money Osman admitted transferring was not earmarked for terrorist purposes. Osman's conviction on the separate charge of “violating the United Nation's (UN) weapons embargo to Somalia by transferring money to an armed group” remained under appeal at year's end.
On July 22, police arrested Anders Behring Breivik for terrorist attacks in Oslo and on the island of Utoya. Breivik remained in custody at year's end as pre-trial investigations continued.
Mullah Krekar (aka Najmuddin Faraj Ahmad), the founder of Ansar al-Islam, continued to reside in Norway. He has been arrested on several occasions in previous years by Norwegian law enforcement. On July 11, he was indicted on violations of terrorism laws, including threatening private individuals and a public official. If convicted, Krekar could serve up to 15 years in prison.
Countering Terrorist Finance: Norway is a member of the Financial Action Task Force (FATF). The Government of Norway adopted and incorporated the FATF standards and recommendations, including the special recommendations on terrorist financing, into Norwegian law.
Regional and International Cooperation: Norway continued its support for the UN Counterterrorism Implementation Task Force (CTITF), contributing approximately U.S. $486,000 to a project to implement and disseminate information about a counterterrorism strategy in Central Asia. In September, Norway joined the EU's Radicalization Awareness Network, an umbrella network of practitioners and local actors involved in countering violent extremism that is designed to enable the members to share and discuss best practices in spotting and addressing radicalization and recruitment leading to acts of terrorism.
Countering Radicalization and Violent Extremism: On December 6, the Norwegian government launched a website designed to encourage the public to help identify and report signs of potential radicalization at an early stage. The website was one of 30 measures the government committed to undertake in its December 2010 action plan to counter extremist ideology. The plan covers 2010 to 2013 and focuses on four priority areas: 1) increased knowledge and information; 2) strengthened government cooperation; 3) strengthened dialogue and involvement; and 4) support for vulnerable and disadvantaged people. On December 5, the government held a conference to examine progress on implementing the action plan, and published a report indicating the current status of each of the plan's 30 measures. The government considers that it has fully implemented eight of the measures and partially implemented another six.
Overview: Terrorist attacks stemming from instability in the North Caucasus continued to be committed in Russia. Separatism, inter-ethnic rivalry, revenge, banditry, and/or extremist ideology were the primary motivating factors for terrorism-related violence. Violence originating in the North Caucasus occasionally spilled into other areas of Russia, as seen most notably in 2011 with the bombing at Moscow's Domodedovo airport in January, for which the Caucasus Emirate's leader, Doku Umarov, claimed responsibility.
Within the framework of the U.S.-Russia Bilateral Presidential Commission (BPC), the Counterterrorism Working Group advanced bilateral cooperation on current terrorist threats; transportation security issues, including aviation security; countering violent extremism; information sharing; and coordination on non-proliferation of weapons of mass destruction. In September, Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov participated in the launch of the Global Counterterrorism Forum (GCTF), co-chaired by the United States and Turkey. The BPC Military Cooperation Working Group co-chairs met in Saint Petersburg, Russia in May, where they signed a new memorandum of understanding on counterterrorism cooperation between the U.S. Department of Defense and Russian Ministry of Defense. Several of this working group's military exercises also reflected a focus on counterterrorism cooperation.
Russia continued to participate in the Four-Party Counterterrorism Working Group (Federal Security Service, the Foreign Intelligence Service, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), and the Central Intelligence Agency). Additionally, limited operational and intelligence information on terrorism-related threats was shared among these four agencies during the year. In November, the director of the U.S. Terrorist Screening Center visited Moscow. Investigative cooperation between Russia's Federal Security Service and the FBI improved moderately over the past year.
2011 Terrorist Incidents: The most significant attack occurred on January 24, when a suicide bomber detonated a device inside the international arrivals area of Moscow's Domodedovo airport, killing 37 civilians and wounding 148 others. Also notable were the February attacks on a ski resort near Mt. Elbrus in Khabardino-Balkaria where, over the course of several days, terrorists assaulted a tour bus, bombed a gondola, and assassinated a town official, killing five civilians and injuring eight. Other terrorist attacks occurred in the North Caucasus Federal District, primarily in the republics of Dagestan, Ingushetia, North Ossetia, and Chechnya.
On June 18, General Aleksandr Bortnikov, Director of the Federal Security Service, reported to the president that his service had averted a “major terror act” in the Moscow region in the preceding days. In a highly-publicized meeting with the Kremlin leader, Bortnikov said the suspects had planned to target “crowded facilities and transport infrastructure” and that security officers had confiscated homemade bombs, other weapons, and a map with an attack plan. The Russian government did not provide any additional information about these planned attacks.
With the exception of the Domodedovo airport attack, most terrorist incidents occurred in the Caucasus region and specifically targeted security services personnel.
Legislation and Law Enforcement: The National Antiterrorism Coordinating Committee, organized in 2006, is the main government body coordinating the Russian government's response to the terrorist threat. Terrorism-related legislation introduced in 2011 includes:
In 2010 the Russian Federation introduced biometric passports with strong security features. The latest version of the Russian passport is valid for ten years. Since most newly issued Russian passports, including official and diplomatic passports, are biometric, this more secure document is carried by an increasing proportion of Russian travelers, although many people still choose the less expensive, less secure document. Among Russian applicants for American visas in 2011, the majority used the new biometric passport.
Russia began implementing a major program to introduce paperless entrance and clearance systems for cargo. This system, currently operational in one port of entry (Kashirsky), implements automated risk management and cargo selectivity procedures. The Russian Federation is expanding this system nationally.
Countering Terrorist Finance: Russia is a member of the Financial Action Task Force (FATF). It is also a member of the Council of Europe Committee of Experts on the Evaluation of Anti-Money Laundering Measures and the Financing of Terrorism and a leading member, chair, and primary funding source of the Eurasian Group on combating money laundering and financing of terrorism (EAG), both FATF-style regional bodies. Through the EAG, Russia provides technical assistance and funding to improve legislative and regulatory frameworks and operational capabilities.
Russian banks must report suspicious transactions to the Financial Monitoring Service (Rosfinmonitoring), a Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU) whose head reports directly to the Prime Minister. The Central Bank and the markets regulator (the Financial Markets Federal Service) can access these transaction reports after requesting them from Rosfinmonitoring, which is a member of the Egmont Group of FIUs.
On November 10, President Medvedev signed into law a federal bill, “On changes to the Federal Law, ‘On countering the legalization (laundering) of proceeds obtained illegally, and terrorism financing,' and the Russian Federation Code of Administrative Offenses.” The new rules and requirements aim to enable authorized bodies, law enforcement, and intelligence agencies to work more efficiently in countering corruption and terrorism financing. The law specifies internal audit procedures for organizations performing monetary transactions and enumerates their responsibilities to provide information to responsible government agencies.
Regional and International Cooperation: Russia is a founding member of the Global Counterterrorism Forum and is an active member of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO)-Russia Council Counterterrorism Working Group. Together with NATO allies Norway, Turkey, and Poland, Russia participates in the NATO-Russia Council Cooperative Airspace Initiative (CAI), sharing airplane track data regarding civilian aircraft of concern (e.g., hijacked or otherwise suspicious aircraft) transiting sensitive border airspace. CAI provides a framework for coordinating cross-border military responses to identified potential threats, and for conducting exercises to test response coordination. In June, Poland, Turkey, and Russia participated in CAI Vigilant Skies exercises, the first time that Russian jets have participated with NATO counterparts in a live exercise.
Russia worked with other regional and multilateral groups to address terrorism, including the European Union, the Cooperation Council for Arab States of the Gulf, the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, and the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe.
Russia continued its cooperation with the United States as Co-Chair of the Global Initiative to Combat Nuclear Terrorism (GICNT). Working closely with the United States and the GICNT's Spanish Implementation and Assessment Group Coordinator, Russia continues to help lead the 82-nation partnership in conducting multilateral activities and developing best practices in nuclear detection, nuclear forensics, and other areas to prevent, detect, and respond to nuclear terrorism.
Countering Radicalization and Violent Extremism: The Russian government continued to develop constructive relations with established moderate Islamic organizations. Starting in November 2011, as part of the latest Four-Party Counterterrorism Working Group, Russia's Federal Security Service and the FBI began the first of ongoing dialogues to discuss and exchange best practices for countering domestic radicalization and violent extremism; particularly as those issues pertain to ultra-nationalists and white supremacist movements such as the Skinheads and Neo-Nazis.
Overview: The Government of Serbia sustained its efforts to counter international terrorism. Serbia's law enforcement and security agencies, particularly the Ministry of Finance's Customs Administration, the Ministry of Interior's Directorate of Police, and the Security Information Agency, continued close counterterrorism cooperation with the United States. Intra-governmental cooperation between these and other agencies also improved. Serbia has two main police organizations that operate as counterterrorism tactical response units, the Special Anti-Terrorist Unit and the Counterterrorist Unit. Serbian and U.S. law enforcement and intelligence agencies also had close counterterrorism collaboration. Serbia participated in U.S. government-funded counterterrorism training. Harmonization of law enforcement protocols with European Union (EU) standards was a priority for the Serbian government. Serbia does not recognize Kosovo as an independent, sovereign country, and therefore had no direct cooperation with Kosovo on counterterrorism, but the European Union Rule of Law Mission in Kosovo (EULEX) played an intermediary role on some law enforcement cooperation matters.
2011 Terrorist Attacks: No terrorist attacks occurred in Serbia during 2011. In October, however, Serbian national Mevlid Jasarevic opened fire on the U.S. Embassy in Sarajevo and wounded a police officer guarding the Embassy. Bosnia and Herzegovina authorities immediately arrested Jasarevic. The next day, Serbian police took into custody 17 people with suspected ties to Jasarevic in Sandzak, a Bosniak-majority region in southwest Serbia.
Legislation and Law Enforcement: The National Assembly did not amend the Law on Travel Documents, thus non-biometric passports will not be valid past December 31, 2011. These passports have not been valid for visa-free travel to EU countries since 2009. Serbia continued to participate actively in the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) Regional Program to promote the rule of law and human security in South East Europe, which primarily focused on increasing member states' counterterrorism capacities. Serbia established a working group in charge of drafting a law on counterterrorism that would provide a legal basis for the subsequent adoption of a counterterrorism strategy and specific action plans for relevant ministries and agencies.
In November, U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation agents traveled to Serbia and met with Serbian law enforcement counterparts in conjunction with an investigation into the October attack on the U.S. Embassy in Sarajevo.
The Export Control and Related Border Security (EXBS) Program, in coordination with other U.S. government agencies including Customs and Border Protection, Immigration and Customs Enforcement, the U.S. Coast Guard, and the Department of Energy, conducted nineteen border security exercises with Serbian government agencies. These exercises focused on controlling the movement of suspected terrorists, risk analysis, and the control of terrorism-related goods and materials. EXBS provided training and material assistance to Serbian Customs, Border Police, and other agencies with oversight on the manufacture and movement of strategically sensitive commodities. Many of the activities were conducted regionally with the participation of Serbia's neighbors.
Countering Terrorist Finance: Serbia is a member of the Council of Europe Committee of Experts on the Evaluation of Anti-Money Laundering Measures and the Financing of Terrorism. Although the National Assembly did not adopt any new terrorism related legislation, Serbia's Administration for the Prevention of Money Laundering developed a draft law on restrictions on property disposal with the goal of preventing terrorist financing. The Government of Serbia asked foreign experts, including the U.S. Treasury Department, to provide comments on the draft law. According to the Prosecutor's Office for Organized Crime, Serbian police did not arrest anyone involved in terrorist finance activities, nor were any cases related to terrorism financing prosecuted in 2011.
In June, the Council of Europe and the EU held a high-level conference on the Prevention of Money-Laundering and Terrorist Financing in Serbia, as part of Serbia's efforts to meet EU standards and advance its EU membership application. This conference initiated the Project against Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing in Serbia (MOLI-Serbia Project), which principally benefits the Administration for the Prevention of Money Laundering.
Regional and International Cooperation: In July, more than 80 counterterrorism specialists met in Belgrade for a two-day workshop organized by the UN Counter-Terrorism Executive Directorate, the Southeast European Law Enforcement Center (formerly SECI Center), the Regional Cooperation Council, and the UNODC. The discussion focused on terrorist financing in southeastern Europe and the link between terrorist financing and organized crime.
Overview: Spain continued to confront the threat posed by the domestic terrorist group Basque Fatherland and Liberty (ETA), as well as the transnational threat from al-Qa'ida (AQ) and its affiliates. With sustained focused international cooperation, in particular with France, Spain enjoyed such success in battling ETA that the weakened terrorist group announced a “definitive cessation of armed activity.” Spain's attention also focused on the continued kidnapping threat presented by al-Qa'ida in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM), by increasing its cooperation with Algeria, Mali, and Mauritania. Spain cooperated closely with the United States to counter terrorism and was a cooperative partner in joint investigations and information sharing.
2011 Terrorist Incidents: While no terrorist attacks occurred in Spain in 2011, four Spanish hostages were kidnapped. On October 22, two Spaniards and an Italian were taken out of the Rabuni Sahrawi refugee camp in Tindouf, Algeria. Public reporting described the group claiming responsibility, Jamat Tawhid Wal Jihad fi Garbi Afriqqiya, as a breakaway faction of AQIM interested in kidnapping for ransom. On October 13, two Spaniards working with Doctors Without Borders were kidnapped allegedly by al-Shabaab from the Dadaab refugee camp in Kenya. The Spanish government was working on both cases with local authorities to find their citizens at year's end.
Legislation and Law Enforcement: Spain continued to focus on improved security and the detection of false documents at its borders in 2011. Spain participated in the U.S. Immigration Advisory Program, which maintained staff at Madrid-Barajas International Airport. The program allowed coordination between Customs and Border Protection officers, airline security personnel, and police regarding high risk passengers traveling to the United States. Spain continued to roll out an automated system to read European Union (EU) passports with biometric data. Explosive trace detection equipment was also deployed at Spain's five largest airports at passenger checkpoints. Spain installed a network of radar stations, known as the Integrated External Surveillance System, along its maritime borders. Spain continued its participation in the Megaports and Container Security Initiatives.
On September 27, Spanish security forces arrested five Algerians suspected of giving logistical and financial support to AQIM. Though released from custody by the Spanish courts for lack of evidence, Spanish police and judicial authorities cooperated with other countries (including Italy, France, and Switzerland) and maintained an active investigation to gather evidence in the case. In June, Spanish security forces also arrested a Moroccan national in the Canary Islands for terrorist recruiting activities and links to terrorists currently serving sentences in Morocco. The Civil Guard arrested a Moroccan national, previously expelled from Jordan, for running a violent extremist web forum and having alleged ties to AQIM members.
In cooperation with international partners, security services also arrested 52 alleged ETA members or associates, including 29 in France and three in other countries. Key raids included:
Spanish security forces and Spain's judicial system continued investigations into allegations of ETA training camps in Venezuela. In January, in a joint operation with French police, the Civil Guard arrested an ETA information technology specialist who had previously traveled to Venezuela to train ETA and Colombian Revolutionary Armed Forces (FARC) members. On June 17, Inaki Dominguez Atxalandabaso was arrested in France, under a National Court arrest warrant for allegedly training FARC members in Venezuela.
Countering Terrorist Finance: A longtime member of the Financial Action Task Force, Spain continued to demonstrate leadership in the area of anti-money laundering and counterterrorist finance. Spain enacted its current law on Preventing Money Laundering and the Financing of Terrorism in 2010; the law entered into force immediately. However, implementation of regulations will not be approved until 2012. The regulations will greatly enhance authorities' capacity to counter terrorist financing by placing greater requirements, with stiffer penalties for non-compliance, on financial institutions and other businesses, and by strengthening monitoring and oversight. The government diligently implemented relevant United Nations Security Council Resolutions and had the legal authority to impose autonomous designations.
Regional and International Cooperation: Spain is a founding member of the Global Counterterrorism Forum and worked to advance a number of counterterrorism initiatives through the EU, including work with the G-6 and the United States on cyber-crime. Spain continued its leadership role in the Global Initiative to Combat Nuclear Terrorism and served as Coordinator of its Implementation and Assessment Group, a working group of technical experts.
Spain has signed numerous bilateral agreements on police and security force cooperation, including on January 31 with Serbia, February 18 with Morocco and Jordan, March 3 with Bosnia and Herzegovina, October 21 with Mexico, and October 24 with Croatia. The Spanish Ministry of Interior organized the “International Seminar on the Fight against Terrorism and Organized Crime” on May 9-12 in the Sahel, with the participation of Spain, France, Algeria, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, and Senegal.
Countering Radicalization and Violent Extremism: Spain participated in several international meetings focused on countering violent extremism (CVE). Spain's inter-ministerial CVE working group emphasized the prevention of radicalization and sought to counter radical propaganda both online and in other arenas. In addition to promoting international cooperation on these issues, Spanish efforts to counter radicalization were tied closely to the fight against illegal immigration and the integration of existing immigrant communities. This strategy sought the support of civil society and the general public in rejecting violence. In fulfillment of applicable laws, Spanish prisons employed CVE rehabilitation programs designed to achieve the reintegration of inmates into society.
Overview: During the past few years, terrorism networks have showed an increased interest in carrying out attacks in Sweden. According to violent extremist groups, Sweden's military presence in Afghanistan and Swedish artist Lars Vilks' cartoons of the Prophet Mohammed continued to make Sweden a potential target. Authorities estimated that there were about 20 individuals from Sweden in terrorism training camps or fighting abroad, most commonly in Somalia but also in Pakistan. Conflict zones around the world remained one of the main sources of inspiration for violent extremist groups in Sweden. The National Threat Advisory level in Sweden remained “elevated” and has stayed at that level since it was first raised in October 2010.
On November 25, a Swedish citizen visiting Mali was kidnapped together with two other Westerners. Al-Qa'ida in the Islamic Maghreb claimed responsibility for the act in a communiqué, and the man remained their captive at year's end.
Legislation and Law Enforcement: In December, most Swedish political parties agreed on a formula for legislation to allow the Swedish Security Service (SAPO) renewed access to intelligence from the Swedish National Defense Radio Agency for the first time since 2009.
Resolution and continuation of cases from 2010:
Countering Terrorist Finance: Sweden is a member of the Financial Action Task Force (FATF), and in its 2010 Mutual Evaluation Report, FATF recognized that Sweden had made significant progress.
Regional and International Cooperation: Sweden continued to contribute to counterterrorism capacity building projects through its development aid work carried out by the Swedish International Development Agency as well as via funding to the United Nations Office of Drugs and Crime-Terrorism Prevention Branch and the Office of Security and Cooperation in Europe. Sweden also supported the European Union's (EU) work with capacity building projects in prioritized countries and regions such as Afghanistan/Pakistan, Yemen, the Horn of Africa, the Maghreb, and the Sahel. Sweden provided trainers to the EU Training Mission to assist with the training of Somalia's Transitional Federal Government security forces. Sweden gave direct funds to the UN's Counterterrorism International Task Force (CTITF), with most Swedish funds going to the CTITF workgroup that focuses on strengthening human rights.
Countering Radicalization and Violent Extremism: In March, the Swedish government hosted a conference on “National Action Plans against Political and Religious Extremism and Preventive Work at the Local Level.” On December 9, the Government released its first ever Preventing Violent Extremism plan, the “Action Plan to Safeguard Democracy against Violent Extremism.” The plan was based on government-commissioned studies on extremism in Sweden from the past three years and put equal focus on left wing, right wing, and Muslim extremists. The Swedish government has allocated U.S. $9 million for the plan's implementation through 2014.
The action plan has six overarching aims, to:
The Swedish National Police initiated a project to increase knowledge about and enhance work methods to detect radicalization. The project is partially connected to and financed by the EU's Community Policing, Preventing Radicalization, and Terrorism group, which has created an education package on radicalization for police officers. The education material has been translated into Swedish and training sessions to educate police officers will be carried out throughout Sweden.
Overview: Domestic and transnational terrorist groups have targeted Turkish nationals and foreigners in Turkey, including, on occasion, U.S. government personnel, for over 40 years. Most prominent among terrorist groups in Turkey is the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK). Composed primarily of ethnic Kurds with a nationalist agenda, the PKK operates from areas in southeastern Turkey and northern Iraq and targets mainly Turkish security forces. Other prominent terrorist groups in Turkey include the Revolutionary People's Liberation Party/Front (DHKP-C), a militant Marxist-Leninist group with anti-U.S. and anti-NATO views that seeks the violent overthrow of the Turkish state, and Turkish Hizballah (unrelated to the group similarly-named Hizballah operating in Lebanon). Public sources also highlight detentions of Islamic Jihad Union (IJU) members as well as supporters for al-Qa'ida (AQ) and other groups. The Turkish Workers' and Peasants' Liberation Army, though largely inactive, was still considered a potential threat by the Turkish government.
2011 Terrorist Incidents: The PKK continued to demonstrate its nation-wide reach. Typical tactics, techniques, and procedures included ambushes on military patrols in the countryside, improvised explosive devices (IEDs) along known military or police routes, and bombings of both security and civilian targets in urban areas. Six attacks garnered particular attention and condemnation:
A May attack on the prime minister's convoy in Kastamonu, near the Black Sea, using small arms and a roadside IED (the prime minister was not in the convoy at the time; one police officer was killed).
In July, Turkish national police arrested 15 alleged members of a Turkey-based, AQ-inspired terrorist cell. The group was reportedly preparing a large vehicle-borne IED-type attack against one of a small group of targets that included the U.S. embassy. Weapons, plans, photos of possible targets, and over 600 kilograms of explosives were seized during the arrests. As of December, one person had been released and 14 held for trial. Turkey continued to participate in the Department of State's Antiterrorism Assistance program.
Legislation and Law Enforcement: Counterterrorism law enforcement efforts in Turkey remained focused on the domestic threat posed by several terrorist groups, including the PKK. Turkey's methodology and legislation are geared towards confronting this internal threat. Efforts to combat international terrorism are hampered by legislation that defines terrorism narrowly as a crime targeting the Turkish state or Turkish citizens. This definition of terrorism posed concerns for operational and legal cooperation. A draft law before Parliament on the Prevention of Terrorist Financing was initially intended to address the definitional issue; however, according to the Financial Action Task Force (FATF), the current draft is insufficient to bring this and other areas of terrorist finance legislation up to international standards.
Separately, critics charged that Turkish authorities applied its counterterrorism laws overly broadly to stifle political discourse, arresting hundreds of political activists, journalists, military officials, and others over the year for crimes under Turkey's terrorism laws. Current regulations governing pre-trial detentions allow terrorism and other suspects to be held for up to five years while awaiting trial. Political leaders had begun speaking openly of reforming the current counterterrorism law, but no specific legislation had been drafted by the end of 2011.
Countering Terrorist Finance: Turkey is a member of the FATF, and in 2007, the FATF identified Turkey as a jurisdiction with significant anti-money laundering and counterterrorist financing (AML/CTF) vulnerabilities, chief among them Turkey's incomplete criminalization of terrorist financing and weak national asset-freezing mechanisms. In response, in 2010 Turkey drafted but ultimately did not pass a law on the “Prevention of Terrorist Financing,” intended to address all CTF deficiencies identified by the FATF. In its October 2011 review of Turkey's status, FATF found no improvement, reiterated its concerns that Turkey still has significant AML/CTF vulnerabilities, and included Turkey in its Public Statement. The same draft CTF law was resubmitted to parliament in October. The draft bill moved to the International Affairs Committee and two other parliamentary committees in November, where opposition parties have raised privacy and other legal concerns. The bill was under review in parliamentary committees at year's end .
The regulation of banks is carried out by the Banking Regulatory and Supervision Agency and regulation of financial exchange houses, insurance companies, and jewelers is carried out by the Under Secretariat of Treasury. Stock exchanges are regulated by the Capital Markets Board. There is little coordination or sharing of best practices among the agencies with specific regard to AML/CTF competencies. Money/value transfer systems are illegal and as such there is no regulatory agency that covers this area.
The nonprofit sector is not audited on a regular basis for counterterrorist finance vulnerabilities and does not receive adequate AML/CTF outreach or guidance from the Turkish government. The General Director of Foundations issues licenses for charitable foundations and oversees them, but there are a limited number of auditors to cover the more than 70,000 institutions.
Turkish officials circulated U.S.-designated names to the security services for their awareness, though only UN-listed names were subject to asset-freezes.
Regional and International Cooperation: Turkey is a founding member of the Global Counterterrorism Forum (GCTF) and together with the United States, co-chaired the Forum's inaugural session in September 2011 and worked assiduously to build international support for it. As co-chair, Turkey provided extensive secretariat support, including hosting a pre-GCTF launch conference in Istanbul in April.
Countering Radicalization and Violent Extremism: The Government of Turkey has two significant programs in place to counter radicalization and violent extremism. The first, administered by the national police, is a broad-based outreach program to affected communities, similar to anti-gang activities in the United States. Police worked to reach vulnerable populations before terrorists did, to alter the prevailing group dynamics, and prevent recruitment. Police utilized social science research to undertake social projects, activities with parents and in-service training for officers and teachers. Programs prepared trainers, psychologists, coaches, and religious leaders to intervene to undermine radical messages and prevent recruitment.
The second program, administered by the Religious Affairs Office (Diyanet) of the Government of Turkey, promoted a mainstream interpretation of Islam and worked to undercut the message of violent religious extremists. In Turkey, all Sunni imams are employees of the Diyanet. In support of its message of traditional religious values, more than 66,000 Diyanet imams throughout Turkey conducted individualized outreach to their congregations. Diyanet similarly worked with religious associations among the Turkish diaspora, assisting them to establish umbrella organizations and providing them access to mainstream Hanafi instruction. Diyanet supported in-service training for religious leaders and lay-workers through a network of 19 centers throughout Turkey.
In 2011, the Government of Turkey reiterated its intent to follow up on its 2009 “democratic initiative” (also known as the “national unity project” or the “Kurdish opening”). The initiative was designed to address the social and economic inequalities in Turkish society that fuel Kurdish dissent. Concrete steps within the scope of the initiative were clearly devised to reduce the PKK's support, by, for example, liberalizing laws governing the use of the Kurdish language in broadcasting, education, and state buildings; reducing the number of instances where counterterrorism laws are applied to non-violent crimes; and providing legal incentives to bring members of the PKK who have not engaged in violence back into civil society. To further these objectives, Turkish officials have announced plans to shift primary responsibility for counterterrorism efforts from the Turkish military to civilian security forces (National Police and Jandarma).
Overview: The United Kingdom (UK) continued to play a leading role in countering global terrorism. The UK government released its updated counterterrorism strategy, CONTEST, on July 12. This update, the first under the coalition government, set out the UK's strategic framework for countering the terrorist threat at home and abroad for 2011-2015. CONTEST's alignment with the U.S. National Strategy for Counterterrorism will help facilitate continued close counterterrorism cooperation between the United States and the UK.
In 2011, there were no terrorist incidents in England, Scotland, or Wales. At the end of 2011, however, the UK rated the threat level to the UK from international terrorism as “substantial”, indicating a strong possibility of a terrorist attack.
At the close of 2011, the UK rated the threat level for Northern Ireland-related terrorism within Northern Ireland as “severe,” meaning an attack is highly likely.
2011 Terrorist Incidents: A number of terrorist incidents occurred in Northern Ireland. Dissident republican groups the Real IRA (RIRA), Continuity IRA (CIRA), and Oglaigh na hEireann (ONH) remained actively opposed to the peace settlement in Northern Ireland. In June, the Police Service Northern Ireland (PSNI) estimated approximately 650 active members of dissident republican groups remained at large.
Through October 31, PSNI reported one fatality in Northern Ireland due to security related violence. On April 2, an undercar bomb exploded, killing a police constable outside of his home near Omagh, Co Tyrone, in Northern Ireland. A dissident Republican group claiming ties to the RIRA claimed responsibility for the attack. In July, police arrested five men in connection with the killing as part of a raid that spanned three counties and involved over 200 officers. All five men were subsequently released.
Legislation and Law Enforcement: The UK Terrorism Prevention and Investigation Measures (TPims) Bill 2010-2011 became law in December. The provisions of this bill are the result of the coalition government's January 2011 report “Review of Counterterrorism and Security Powers." The TPims replace the UK's widely debated control orders, set out in the Prevention of Terrorism Act 2005, which restricted movement and access to the internet by terrorism suspects. According to the UK Home Office, TPims are meant to be a “less intrusive system of terrorism prevention” that will “rebalance intrusive security powers and increase safeguards for civil liberties.” Key changes under TPims are that they can only be enforced for a maximum of two years, and additional measures can only be imposed if the person has reengaged in terrorism. Judicial oversight of the system will broaden, with the high court having to grant permission to impose the measure. In November, the bill was amended to extend the transitional period from 28 to 42 days to give law enforcement more time to prepare to transition to TPims, as TPims will require additional human and technical surveillance measures.
As part of the UK's “Review of Counterterrorism and Security Powers,” provided to the UK Parliament in January, the police will no longer be able to hold terrorism suspects for up to 28 days without charge; they will now be limited to 14 days.
On November 9, UK Home Secretary Theresa May proscribed Muslims Against Crusades (MAC), making membership in or support of the organization a criminal offence under the Terrorism Act 2000. May said that MAC is another name for organizations already proscribed: Al Ghurabaa, The Saved Sect, Al Muhajiroun, and Islam4UK.
The UK made several advances in border security. The UK implemented passenger biographic data collection for all modes of travel, to include rail and vessel. The UK is also collaborating on an intra-European Union (EU) Passenger Name Record (PNR) agreement that will allow collection of PNR data for intra-EU flights. The UK collects limited PNR data on non-EU arrivals. The UK also implemented biometric fingerprint collection for visa issuance at the majority of its foreign posts. The UK continued to check biometrics at its 31 major ports of entry.
In response to the November 2010 cargo bomb plot that originated in Yemen, the UK government suspended the transport of unaccompanied air freight from Yemen and Somalia. The government also worked with the aviation industry and with the European Commission to devise a security screening regime for cargo to better mitigate threats. Specifically, the UK Department for Transport (DfT) designed and continued to refine a risk-based approach that applies more robust checks for cargo from designated high-risk departure or transit points.
Arrests : The UK arrested and charged a number of individuals with a variety of terrorism offences, ranging from facilitation and fundraising to attack planning in new and pending cases. These included:
The trial of two men, Colin Duffy and Brian Shivers, accused of killing two soldiers and injuring four others at the Massereene Army barracks in 2009, began in November. The attacks, for which the RIRA claimed responsibility, marked the first British military fatalities in Northern Ireland since 1997.
In September, the Court of Appeal upheld the convictions of Paul McCaugherty and Dermot Declan Gregory for their parts in a dissident republican gun-smuggling plot. The pair was originally convicted in October 2010 following an MI5 sting operation. McCaugherty and Gregory were given 20 and four year sentences, respectively.
Cooperation between the United States and the UK on counterterrorism remained robust. Evidence provided by the United States was critical in securing the convictions in several of the cases described above. U.S. investigators similarly relied on cooperation from UK authorities in obtaining evidence relating to numerous counterterrorism investigations, including the investigation of Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, who pled guilty in October, to the attempted Christmas Day (2009) bombing of a flight bound for Detroit.
At the end of 2011, six U.S. terrorism prosecutions were on hold, pending decisions by the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR), which has stayed the extradition from the UK of six terrorism suspects wanted for trial in the United States: Abu Hamza, Babar Ahmad, Talha Ahsan, Haroon Aswat, Adel Abdul Bary, and Khaled al-Fawwaz. UK courts have approved the extradition requests for all six suspects. The cases of Aswat, Ahmad, and Ahsad were filed with the ECHR in 2007; Hamza in 2008; and Bary and al-Fawwaz in 2009. The issues on appeal include whether the potential sentence of life imprisonment without parole and U.S. prison conditions would violate the European Convention on Human Rights.
Countering Terrorist Finance: The UK is a member of the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) and an active participant in FATF-style regional bodies working to meet evolving money laundering and terrorism financing threats. The UK engages in efforts to freeze the assets of persons who commit terrorist acts, as required by the relevant United Nations Security Council Resolutions (UNSCR). In early 2011, the UK replaced temporary asset-freezing regulations implementing UNSCR 1373 with new legislation containing a higher standard of proof for freezing assets.
Regional and International Cooperation: The UK is a founding member of the Global Counterterrorism Forum and co-chairs its Countering Violent Extremism working group. It cooperated with other nations and international organizations to counter terrorism, including the United Nations, EU, North Atlantic Treaty Organization, Council of Europe, G-8, International Atomic Energy Agency, International Monetary Fund, World Bank, Global Initiative to Combat Nuclear Terrorism, and INTERPOL.
Countering Radicalization and Violent Extremism: The UK launched its “Prevent” strategy in 2007 to counter radicalization. Prevent is part of the government's overall CONTEST counterterrorism strategy. In 2011, Prevent was revised to correct several perceived problems. There had been complaints from members of Muslim organizations that all UK government interaction with their communities was focused on security concerns. As a result, the UK divided the responsibilities for various strands of Prevent among different government organizations. The Department of Communities and Local Government took over responsibility for integration work, designed to ensure that Muslim communities were receiving all the government services to which they were entitled and that immigrants were given assistance to integrate into British society. The Home Office will now focus on countering the ideology of violent extremism, including the identification of at-risk-youth and their placement in de-radicalization pre-programs. The revised strategy called for a much more focused effort to target those most at risk of radicalization. Finally, the government has decided that organizations that hold extremist views, even those that are non-violent, will not be eligible to receive government funding or participate in Prevent programs.
In February, Westminster and the Northern Ireland Executive collectively awarded the PSNI an additional U.S. $385 million over a four year period to combat dissident republican terrorism. The PSNI Chief Constable said the funds will be spent on “investigation, on more detectives, on more equipment, transport, air support, in sustaining our street presence in neighborhoods.”