Chapter 2. Country Reports: Europe and Eurasia Overview
European countries remained a focus of terrorist plots in 2010, a year marked by several attempted attacks by violent extremists in Denmark, the first suicide bombing in Scandinavia, and bombings on the Moscow metro and in the Russian North Caucasus. Non-religious violent extremist groups also remained active; anarchists in Greece repeatedly targeted government offices, foreign missions, and symbols of the state in both Greece and other European capitals. Long-active radical 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. Concerns about potential terrorist activities prompted countries ranging from the UK to Germany to raise their terrorism threat alert levels at various times during the year.
For the most part, however, the year was marked by counterterrorism successes. European countries from Spain to Sweden attempted to strengthen counterterrorism legislation by criminalizing training in terrorist camps and terrorist recruitment. The Government of Spain, with cooperation from the Government of France, had continued success against ETA. Turkey shared draft legislation with the Financial Action Task Force designed to address identified shortcomings in its counterterrorism-finance laws, and also worked with Iraq and the United States on joint steps against the PKK. Successful prosecutions of terrorist suspects took a toll on facilitation networks across the continent. In Belgium, for example, seven defendants in an ongoing terrorism case, including Malika El-Aroud (the so-called “Internet jihadist”) were convicted in May, the first convictions under the country’s 2005 terrorism law.
The continuing effectiveness of European security services, close cooperation between and among European countries, and the sheer technical capabilities available to most partner countries enabled authorities to prevent any major terrorist plot from coming to fruition in 2010.
Overview: The Government of Albania worked on amendments to the terrorism statutes on the Criminal Code, maintained asset freezes against two individuals and thirteen foundations and companies on the UN Security Council's list of identified financers of terrorism, and established a law on the civil forfeiture of assets acquired through criminal activity. The Albania Border Police consistently improved security at border crossing points.
Legislation and Law Enforcement: The Government of Albania sought to revise terrorism statutes of the Criminal Code and established a law on the civil forfeiture of assets acquired through criminal activity. The draft, pending approval by Parliament since November 2010, contains statutes covering acts with terrorist purposes, financing of terrorism, and money laundering. The amendments are based on Financial Action Task Force (FATF) and Committee of Experts on the Evaluation of Anti-Money Laundering Measures and the Financing of Terrorism (MONEYVAL) recommendations, as well as several UN conventions ratified by Albania.
On December 10, local imam Artan Kristo, who in 2002 worked with the al-Qa’ida-linked charity al Haramain Foundation, was found guilty by a court in Durres and sentenced to five years in prison for "publicly inciting and propagating terrorist acts" in the AlbSelafi.net online forum. Kristo, also known as Muhamed Abdullah, appealed the decision and remained in detention.
On December 22, 2009, the First Instance Court for Serious Crimes found Hamzeh Abu Rayyan guilty of hiding funds used to finance terrorism. Rayyan was sentenced to four years of imprisonment and ordered to pay a fine of US $6000. Rayyan appealed to the Supreme Court and on March 24, 2010, the Chief Justice suspended execution of the sentence pending a hearing of the case.
The Albania Border Police (ABP) consistently improved security at border crossing points and the vast areas between the formal crossings, and implemented roving patrols in the mountains along the border resulting in arrests and narcotics seizures.
Countering Terrorist Finance: Albania maintained asset freezes against two individuals and 13 foundations and companies listed under UNSCR 1267. There were no new cases of asset seizure or confiscation for 2010. In total, by the end of Fiscal Year 2010, the government was administering seized assets having a value of US$ 6,848,893, and had confiscated assets valued at US$ 851,998.
The government of Albania has continued to try and improve its Anti-Money Laundering/Counterterrorist Financing (AML/CTF) Regime. In 2010, the Albanian government proposed amendments to the AML/CTF legislation in order to address deficiencies that had been previously identified by MONEYVAL, the FATF style regional body to which Albania belongs. Albania recently underwent its fourth round of mutual evaluation in April 2011. The report stated that Albania has made “significant progress” in its AML/CTF regime since its last mutual evaluation in 2006, but noted that further progress was required to ensure that its terrorist financing law fully meets international standards, that the FIU has complete operational independence, and that more cases are developed, investigated, and prosecuted.
Regional and International Cooperation: Albania continued to cooperate with regional and multilateral organizations focused on countering terrorism.
Overview: Armenia took a number of positive steps in the fight against international terrorism, which included improvements to its border security, significant changes to export control laws, and participation by Armenian experts in internationally sponsored anti-terrorism training courses.
Legislation and Law Enforcement: In recent years, Armenia has achieved measured progress in improving its border security. This progress has included the installation of radiation portal alarms at all ports of entry including its main airport, the addition of sensors for increased monitoring of Armenia's border with Georgia, and significant legislative changes in its export control laws. The Armenian Border Guard Service used the automated Border Management Information System (BMIS) at all points of entry, including a BMIS criminal and terrorist watch list updated by the Armenian National Security Service (NSS). In November, the heads of the Armenian NSS, Ministry of Defense, and State Revenue Committee (Customs) established a new Border and Customs Enforcement Operations Task Force to oversee and further enhance border security operations. In November, President Sargsian approved a National Integrated Border Management Strategy.
Regional and International Cooperation: Armenia ratified the International Convention for Suppression of Acts of Nuclear Terrorism in 2010. Armenia participated in bilateral and multilateral assistance, security, and training initiatives targeted at strengthening its ability to counter terrorism, terrorist financing, and the smuggling of illicit and hazardous materials. Armenia’s activity in these initiatives in 2010 included the EU's South Caucasus Integrated Border Management project, which will provide funds to make major upgrades to several of Armenia's border crossing points, thus facilitating enhanced integrated border security operations.
Armenia continued to make progress in counterterrorism cooperation with NATO. Armenia submitted a new Individual Partnership Action Plan that noted Armenia's desire to continue cooperation with NATO on counterterrorism issues, and it participated in the Partnership Action Plan on Terrorism. This participation included sharing intelligence and analysis with NATO, enhancing national counterterrorism training capabilities, and improving border security. NATO and Armenia also cooperated on the establishment of a "situation center" in Yerevan, which assisted in crisis management and counterterrorism coordination.
In December, the OSCE hosted in Yerevan a national expert workshop on countering terrorist use of the Internet and comprehensively enhancing cyber-security.
Countering Terrorist Finance: In January, the Council of Europe's Committee of Experts on the Evaluation of Anti-Money Laundering Measures and the Financing of Terrorism (MONEYVAL) published an evaluation report on Armenia. In the report, MONEYVAL noted that the criminal provisions relating to terrorism financing are broadly in line with international standards but further amendments were necessary. The report added that the continuing development of human and technical resources with regard to terrorism financing remained an ongoing challenge.
Overview: Austria passed new legislation to outlaw participation in terrorist training camps abroad, signed a bilateral agreement with the United States on Preventing and Combating Serious Crime (PCSC), and concluded a bilateral agreement, also with the United States, on the sharing of forfeited assets from criminal activities. Austria's Parliament adopted a government-sponsored amendment package effective in July that brought its anti-money laundering/countering terrorist financing (AML/CTF) regime more in line with the Financial Action Task Force's (FATF) standards.
According to Austria's counterterrorism agency, the Bureau for the Protection of the Constitution and Counterterrorism (BVT), homegrown violent extremism and terrorism within transnational networks constituted the greatest threat to Austria. Counterterrorism experts noted a growing number of radicalized individuals among second- and third-generation Muslim immigrants and among converts to Islam.
Legislation and Law Enforcement: The BVT served as the key counterterrorism agency within the Ministry of the Interior. An internal review by the National Audit Court called on the Ministry to increase the BVT's human resources for the fight against terrorism, to train more analysts for the protection of critical infrastructure, and to draft strategies for intercultural dialogue and countering violent extremism.
Key counterterrorism legal initiatives included new legislation criminalizing participation in terrorist training camps abroad, signing of a bilateral Austrian-U.S. agreement on PCSC, and a bilateral agreement on sharing confiscated assets from criminal activities.
In February, a Vienna appellate court rejected the request for early release from prison of a 22-year-old Muslim extremist and her husband convicted in 2009 for making terrorist threats against Austria on the Internet. In September, an Austrian court sentenced the 2009 killer of a Sikh guru visiting Austria to life imprisonment. This murder triggered violent riots in India in 2009. In December, an alleged terrorist from Chechnya living in Neunkirchen, Lower Austria, was arrested at Vienna's Schwechat Airport upon his return from Saudi Arabia. The subject of a European arrest warrant issued by Belgian authorities, the man was allegedly part of a terrorist organization suspected of terrorist activity. Extradition proceedings were pending at the end of the year.
Countering Terrorist Finance: Austria closely followed EU policies to fight terrorist financing. Austria has become a more active member of the FATF. In reaction to FATF criticism of Austria in 2009, Austria's Parliament adopted a government-sponsored amendment package, effective July 2010, which brought Austria's AML/CTF regime more in line with FATF standards. The new legislation extends the scope of money laundering offenses to self-laundering, and broadens the conditions for disclosure of information on bank accounts and bank operations during criminal proceedings. It also facilitates processing of mutual legal assistance requests, introduces stricter identification for savings deposits and stronger due diligence obligations for banks, and authorizes Austria's Financial Market Authority to issue regulations mandating additional measures where there are heightened risks, particularly in connection with states where higher money laundering or terrorist financing risks exist. The revised legal framework also provides for more transparency for trusts and foundations and extends the power and responsibility of Austria's Financial Intelligence Unit.
Austria's new Sanctions Act, effective July 1, 2010, facilitates asset seizure, forfeiture, and other counterterrorism measures; and asset freezes pursuant to UN and EU sanctions are based on the Sanctions Law rather than on the Foreign Exchange Act. The new law significantly expands and improves implementation of financial sanctions on terrorists (including measures set forth in directly applicable EU Regulations), expands the range of assets seized, provides for banning travel, bans the rendering of services to designated entities, and establishes administrative and criminal penalties for violations. The Austrian government used the new law, effective July 26, to implement enhanced EU sanctions on Iranian entities.
Regional and International Cooperation: Austria has security partnerships 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 participated in various regional security platforms, including the Central European Initiative and the Salzburg Forum. It was a founding member of the Pruem Treaty, an agreement among various European states to exchange information regarding DNA, fingerprints, and vehicle registration data of concerned persons and to cooperate against terrorism. Austria chaired the al-Qa'ida/Taliban 1267 Sanctions Committee during its two-year tenure as a non-permanent member of the UNSC in 2009-2010. Austria ratified the two 2005 Protocols on Suppression of Unlawful Acts against the Safety of Maritime Navigation and Fixed Platforms.
In October, Austria, Turkey, and Bosnia-Herzegovina co-sponsored a workshop on national coordination and regional cooperation in counterterrorism matters in Sarajevo. More than 15 countries and regional security organizations attended the UN-organized event. In December, Austrian Interior Minister Maria Fekter signed a cooperation protocol with Russia's Interior Ministry codifying deportation and repatriation procedures for illegal immigrants and Russian/Austrian criminals involved in terrorism, money laundering, and human and drug trafficking.
Countering Radicalization and Violent Extremism: A main component of Austrian efforts to counter violent extremism is to support integration in a holistic way. The Austrian government committed to a National Action Plan for Integration. Most initiatives to promote integration were publicly subsidized and took place at the local and regional level. A national integration award promoted on national TV mobilized many schools and businesses to submit creative project proposals.
Overview: Azerbaijan actively opposed terrorist organizations seeking to move people, money, and material through the Caucasus. The country stepped up efforts and has had some success in reducing the presence of terrorist facilitators and hampering their activities.
Legislation and Law Enforcement: Law enforcement bodies continued to pursue terrorist groups and facilitators operating in Azerbaijan. In October 2009, a Baku court sentenced two Lebanese nationals, Ali Muhammad Karaki and Ali Hussein Najmeddin, to prison terms of 15 years each, and sentenced four Azerbaijani accomplices to terms of two to 14 years. The court found that the group was planning attacks on the Israeli Embassy. The investigation revealed that Karaki and Hussein were linked to Hizballah and others in Iran. According to press reports, Karaki and Najmeddin were released in a prisoner exchange with Iran and deported in August 2010, along with 12 Iranian nationals.
Countering Terrorist Finance: The Azerbaijani government continued to implement its law on anti-money laundering and counterterrorist financing (AML/CTF) and established a Financial Investigative Unit (FIU). In October, the Central Bank prepared an action plan to bring Azerbaijan's AML/FIU into conformity with the standards of the UN, the Financial Action Task Force (FATF), and other international organizations and conventions. In addition, the Azerbaijan government submitted its plan to the Council of Europe’s Committee of Experts on the Evaluation of Anti-Money Laundering Measures and the Financing of Terrorism (MONEYVAL), the FATF-style regional body. MONEYVAL reviewed Azerbaijan's proposals in December and agreed to withdraw its advisory on non-compliance for Azerbaijan, and removed Azerbaijan from the FATF Watch List. The United States worked with the FIU to improve the legal AML/CTF framework, establish information systems, build capacity for AML/CTF stakeholders, and develop a strategy plan for the FIU. Azerbaijan continued to identify possible terrorism-related funding by distributing lists of suspected terrorist groups and individuals to local banks.
Regional and International Cooperation: In September, Azerbaijan and Russia signed a border demarcation agreement regarding Azerbaijan's 390-kilometer border with Russia. On November 18, Azerbaijan signed a security cooperation agreement with Caspian Sea littoral states to coordinate law enforcement efforts aimed at smuggling, narcotics trafficking, organized crime, and terrorism.
Overview: Belgium’s government remained vigilant in its counterterrorism efforts. The Ministers of Interior and Justice oversee a capable but understaffed federal police corps, state security service, threat analysis unit, and federal prosecutor’s office. Belgian courts set a high standard for prosecutors to prove a suspect is a terrorist. Terrorism investigations were often long, requiring several months to more than a year before a case can be built that leads to arrests.
Legislation and Law Enforcement: Belgium instituted enhancements to airline passenger screening in December 2009. Air cargo screening enhancements were adopted in summer 2010. A law that allows Belgium’s security services to use new investigative techniques against suspects in terrorism and national security cases came into effect in September 2010.
Seven defendants in an ongoing terrorism case, including Malika El-Aroud (the so-called “Internet jihadist”) were convicted in May under Belgium’s 2005 terrorism law. This was the first successful prosecution under the law. Nine suspected terrorists were detained on November 23 and were held in custody through the end of the year. Seven of the nine, plus an additional suspect detained later, were arrested in Antwerp; they were accused of membership in the Caucasus Emirate, a terrorist organization that seeks to create an emirate in the northern Caucasus. Two suspects were detained in Brussels for financing and recruiting in Iraq and Afghanistan.
The Belgian government continued to work with the U.S. government on the extradition to the United States of convicted terrorist Nizar Trabelsi, who had not yet exhausted his appeal options on the extradition request.
Countering Terrorist Finance: Belgium led the effort in late 2009 to find a solution that would allow EU countries to continue to freeze terrorist assets under UNSCR 1267 after European court cases ruled there must be a workable means for a person to contest his or her listing and be delisted, if appropriate. Belgium also hosted meetings to respond to the European Court’s 2010 ruling that UNSCR 1904 did not go far enough in allowing those listed to contest a listing. Belgium is a member of the Financial Action Task Force.
Regional and International Cooperation: Belgium chaired the EU’s counterterrorism working group during Belgium’s Rotating Presidency of the European Council from July 1 to December 31. Belgium voted in favor of UNSCR 1904.
Countering Radicalization and Violent Extremism: Belgium’s Ministry of Interior began developing its own Countering Violent Extremism (CVE) strategy in 2010. The Belgian Federal Police distributed a Community Policing Preventing Radicalism and Terrorism guide to assist local police to recognize the signs of radicalization. The Belgian police worked on this guide for several years with seven other EU member states.
Belgium held two CVE seminars in September and October during its rotating EU presidency. Participants, including representatives of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, the State Department, and the National Counterterrorism Center, discussed approaches governments can take to recognize and counteract violent extremism.
BOSNIA AND HERZEGOVINA
Overview: Bosnia and Herzegovina made progress increasing its counterterrorism capacity in 2010 and improved its interagency communication and cooperation between the various state and entity-level law enforcement agencies. Joint operations were conducted against suspected terrorist groups, the State Court prosecuted perpetrators of acts of terrorism, and Bosnia revamped its Counterterrorism Task Force to better counter potential terrorist threats.
2010 Terrorist Incidents: On June 27, a bomb was detonated at a police headquarters in the central Bosnian town of Bugojno resulting in the death of one police officer and injuries to six other officers. The State Prosecutor indicted six suspects on terrorism charges for their roles in the attack. The suspects reportedly belonged to a local violent extremist movement.
Legislation and Law Enforcement: In order to harmonize Bosnia and Herzegovina’s criminal code with UN and EU standards related to countering terrorism, the parliament adopted new legislation in January to criminalize terrorist recruitment, terrorist training, and the incitement of terrorist attacks.
The trial against Rijad Rustempasic and three other defendants on terrorism and weapons trafficking charges commenced in February. In early February, in an extensively coordinated effort involving several different law enforcement institutions and police forces, approximately 600 police and law enforcement officers conducted a raid on the village of Gornja Maoca, where authorities suspected the local religious extremist movement of involvement in criminal activity. A significant amount of evidence was seized during the raid and the suspects remained under investigation by law enforcement authorities at year’s end.
In December, the State Prosecutor’s Office and State Investigative and Protective Agency (SIPA) began discussions on forming an operational Joint Task Force based on the FBI model to deal with counterterrorism. The Ministry of Security will fund the Joint Task Force and it will operate out of SIPA. The Ministry of Security recently adopted a strategy to prevent and counter terrorism covering the period of 2010-2013.
Countering Terrorist Finance: In August, the Directors of the Federation and Republika Srpska Tax Administrations and SIPA agreed to form an operations team to evaluate financial information of persons and groups of interest to counter terrorist financing. This initiative will assist the Joint Task Force’s focus on the financing of terrorism-related activity.
Regional and International Cooperation: Bosnia and Herzegovina’s law enforcement agencies regularly interact with their U.S. and European counterparts on counterterrorism investigations. Bosnia ratified the Amendment to the Convention on the Physical Protection of Nuclear Material.
Countering Radicalization and Violent Extremism: In December in Sarajevo, the Ministry of Security co-sponsored the OSCE’s workshop on Suppressing Terrorist Financing and Countering Violent Extremism and Radicalization that Leads to Terrorism. The OSCE sponsored-event brought together representatives from the NGO-sector, banking industry, and representatives from 15 countries and regional organizations.
Overview: The Government of Cyprus was responsive to efforts to block and freeze terrorist assets, implemented Financial Action Task Force (FATF) recommendations, and conformed to EU counterterrorism directives. Cyprus continued to allow blanket overflight and landing rights to U.S. military aircraft supporting operations in Iraq and Afghanistan, and provided regular, routine protection for transiting personnel. Since 1974, the northern part of Cyprus has been administered by Turkish Cypriots and proclaimed itself the “Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC)” in 1983. The United States does not recognize the TRNC, nor does any country other than Turkey. The largely porous, lightly patrolled “green line” separating the two sides is routinely exploited for trafficking people, narcotics, and other illicit goods.
Members of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) engaged in fundraising in Cyprus and transited Cyprus en route to third countries. Cypriot authorities believed there was little risk the group would conduct operations in Cyprus and maintained that the Cypriot government was fulfilling all responsibilities with respect to the EU designation of the PKK as a terrorist organization.
Legislation and Law Enforcement: In November, the Republic of Cyprus Parliament passed a law to bring Cyprus into conformity with European Council terrorism guidelines. The law specified what constituted a terrorist group and formally accepted the list of terrorist organizations compiled by the European Council. The law identified terrorist offenses and corresponding criminal penalties. In October, the Government of Cyprus designated a Counterterrorism Coordinator. In June, an amendment was made to the Constitution with the intent of enabling police to obtain information – provided the Attorney General secured a court order – from telephone and other communications of persons suspected of serious crimes and in the interest of national security.
Countering Terrorist Finance: The United States and Cyprus cooperated closely on anti-money laundering and counterterrorist financing (AML/CTF) issues. The Cypriot Anti-Money Laundering Authority implemented new UNSCR 1267 listings immediately and informally tracked suspect names listed under U.S. Executive Order 13224. The Cypriot government maintained a “Prevention and Suppression of Money laundering Activities Law” that contained provisions on tracing and confiscating assets. In June, Cyprus amended its legislation to enhance its asset freezing and confiscation regime. All financial entities must have a national AML/CTF coordinator who will be responsible for the group's domestic and foreign offices, and banks must have a separate compliance department and apply risk management procedures.
In 2008, the FATF listed the Turkish Cypriot-administered area as a jurisdiction susceptible to money laundering. In February 2009, FATF found “significant progress” had been made. However, implementation of Turkish Cypriot measures to counter AML lagged in 2010.
Regional and International Cooperation: The de facto division of the island has precluded counterterrorism cooperation between the two communities’ law enforcement authorities, and between Cyprus and Turkey. In the Turkish Cypriot-administered area, issues of status and recognition inevitably restricted the ability of authorities to cooperate on counterterrorism with international organizations and countries other than Turkey. Turkish Cypriots cannot sign treaties, UN conventions, or other international agreements, and lacked the legal and institutional framework necessary to counter money laundering and terrorist financing effectively. Within these limitations, however, Turkish Cypriots cooperated in pursuing specific counterterrorism objectives.
Cyprus signed the Beijing Convention on the Suppression of Unlawful Acts Relating to International Civil Aviation and the Protocol to the Convention for the Suppression of Unlawful Seizure of Aircraft at the conclusion of an ICAO diplomatic conference in September.
Overview: Denmark has developed both short-term and long-term counterterrorism strategies. In the short term, terrorist networks and groups were constantly monitored through intelligence, police, and military efforts. In the long term, Denmark focused on factors that counter radicalization and recruitment to terrorism, including integration, anti-discrimination, active citizenship, democratization, protection of human rights, conflict prevention, and focused development assistance.
Since the re-printing of the cartoons of the Prophet Mohammed in February 2008 by newspapers across Europe, Denmark and Danish interests have been considered high-priority terrorist targets among violent extremists. There were new indications that terrorist groups abroad conspired to send terrorists to Denmark to carry out terrorist attacks. Statements from al-Qa'ida members and related groups underlined their continued focus on Denmark.
2010 Terrorist Incidents: There were at least three attempted terrorist attacks in 2010. In January, an individual sought to attack Danish cartoonist Kurt Westergaard in his residence. The perpetrator was arrested before he could harm Westergaard and was charged with attempt to commit a terrorist act. In September, an individual prematurely detonated a bomb at the Hotel Joergensen in Copenhagen, injuring himself. The bomb was possibly meant for Jyllands-Posten, the newspaper that originally commissioned and published the cartoons. In December, police in Copenhagen and Stockholm arrested five individuals for conspiring to commit acts of terrorism. The target was also thought to be Jyllands-Posten.
Legislation and Law Enforcement: Two Danish agencies were most involved in countering terrorist threats in Denmark: the Danish Security and Intelligence Service (PET) and the Danish Defense Intelligence Service (FE). PET and FE maintained a close and collaborative relationship. This relationship was deepened through the establishment of the Center for Terror Analysis (CTA). CTA provided strategic and tactical support in the form of systemically prepared assessments of terrorist threats against Denmark.
In March, the Copenhagen City Court ruled in a case involving terrorist financing, sentencing an individual to six-months in prison for attempting to provide financial support to terrorist groups such as the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Columbia and the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine.
Countering Terrorist Finance: In January, PET published a pamphlet in conjunction with the Professional Association for Fundraising Organization entitled "Your Contributions Can Be Misused," as part of its work in preventing terrorist financing. Based on recommendations identified in the Financial Action Task Force Mutual Evaluation of June 2006, Denmark has made significant advances with respect to Anti-Money Laundering and Combating the Financing of Terrorism (AML/CTF). Because of its close cooperation with Greenland and the Faroe Islands, over which it has sovereignty, Denmark has sufficiently implemented the Financial Action Task Force recommendations in order to be considered for removal from the regular follow-up process, with a view to only submitting biennial updates. However, Denmark needs further development in areas such as incorporating Greenland and the Faroe Islands in legislation with respect to AML/CTF.
Regional and International Cooperation: The Danish government continued to cooperate with international organizations, particularly within the UN framework and through the EU.
Countering Radicalization and Violent Extremism: In order to understand the dynamics behind terrorism and become more effective in countering it, the Danish Institute for International Studies (DIIS) has conducted research on the different aspects of radicalization and the link with terrorism. As part of its 2010 budget, the Danish government allocated approximately US$ 1.8 million to DIIS for its continued research on terrorism.
The Danish government also supported the establishment of the Center for Studies in Islamism and Radicalization (CIR) based in the Political Science Department at Aarhus University. CIR research has focused on three major topics: radicalization, recruitment, and the international consequences of political Islam. Because of efforts of Danish and foreign researchers, CIR published four major research reports during 2010 on radicalization and recruitment in Denmark, Italy, and England.
Development assistance was an important part of the overall Danish effort against international terrorism and radicalization. In April, the Danish government established a new US$ 25+ million inter-ministerial stabilization fund to promote the coordination of civil and military efforts. There was also a strong civil society component to the Danish strategy. Groups such as the International Humanitarian Service (IHB) contributed by sending civilians to conflict and crisis areas to encourage peace and stability. The IHB is a collection of civilians who are trained to participate in international development projects that are coordinated through the Danish Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
Overview: Several public announcements by al-Qa’ida (AQ) and other groups reiterated that French interests remained key targets. In September, concerns about the threat of al-Qa’ida in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) prompted the Government of France to raise the color-coded alert system to the second highest security posture. Several false alerts occurred in the latter part of 2010 resulting in evacuations of the Eiffel Tower (on two occasions), two Paris train stations, an airport in Martinique, and the Notre Dame de Lourdes shrine. The French have responded by becoming more involved in the Sahel and the Maghreb, working closely with the United States to build the capacity of African nations to counter terrorist groups in Africa before they can attack in France itself. French authorities made multiple arrests throughout the year and claimed to have prevented two planned attacks in 2010. France has shown both a robust capability to track and prevent internal threats as well as a readiness to engage in regional dialogue, training, and capacity building to minimize the risk of terrorist events.
2010 Terrorist Incidents: Traditionally, local Corsican separatists, Basque Fatherland and Liberty (ETA) members, and ultra-left anarchist factions have been responsible for the majority of attacks and arrests classified as terrorism in France. In 2010, there were no attacks related to the ultra left or violent extremists on French soil; there were however more than 80 persons arrested in cases related to terrorism.
Corsica: While there were a larger number of attacks by Corsican separatists in 2010 than in 2009, there were fewer fatal attacks by Corsican separatists in 2010.
ETA: Arrests and weapons seizures in 2010, combined with the cumulative effect of years of joint French-Spanish counterterrorism operations, effectively decapitated ETA's leadership and neutralized its capacity to sustain a prolonged operational campaign.
Kidnapping: Kidnapping for ransom has become a major concern for the French government. In 2010, 10 French citizens were taken hostage by AQ affiliates. AQIM claimed responsibility for eight hostages, five were taken on September 16 in Niger and three were taken on September 22 in Nigeria. The Taliban claimed responsibility for two hostages taken in Kabul on November 3. In addition, one French intelligence officer who was kidnapped in 2009 in Somalia remained in captivity. French hostage Michel Germaneau was killed in July by AQIM.
Legislation and Law Enforcement: In the first half of the year, 62 suspected ETA members were arrested in France. In February, police arrested the group's top leader in France in a joint Spanish-French pre-dawn raid. In March, the shooting of a French police officer near Paris during a bungled getaway was ETA's last fatal attack and believed to be the first murder of a French police officer by that organization. In April 2009, the French government formed a joint security committee with Spain to fight terrorism and drug trafficking. The group, which is an expansion of existing police cooperation targeted at ETA, created a joint general staff headquarters on security to lead the fight on terrorism. Less than 18 months later on September 5, ETA called for a halt to all armed attacks and is actively seeking talks with the Spanish government.
The following high profile arrests took place in 2010:
- On February 28, French police arrested Ibon Gogeaskoetxea Arronategui, suspected military chief of ETA.
- On October 3, a French citizen suspected of being an AQ operative was arrested in Naples, Italy for possession of bomb making materials.
- On October 5, 12 individuals were arrested in the South of France and accused of running a foreign fighter pipeline to Afghanistan.
- On November 26, a 27-year-old French citizen was arrested and prosecuted under suspicion of having been involved in a terrorist cell. He is accused of participating in terrorist activities in the Afghan/Pakistan border region.
Countering Terrorist Finance: The French government has a comprehensive anti-money laundering/counterterrorist financing (AML/CTF) regime and is an active partner in international efforts to control money laundering and terrorist financing, including its prominent role as a founding member of the Financial Action Task Force. France actively participated in UN 1267 and 1373 Committee sessions. France maintains the ability to designate individuals or entities under French domestic authorities in addition to those designated by EU regulations.
Regional and International Cooperation: France was actively engaged with the UNSC Counterterrorism Committee, the G8’s Counterterrorism Action Group, the UNSCR 1267 Sanctions Committee (for the Taliban and AQ), and the European Council’s Antiterrorism Strategy action plan. The French government undertook counterterrorism operations with other countries including the UK, Belgium, Germany, Italy, and Spain.
Countering Radicalization and Violent Extremism: France continued implementing programs to address radicalization and extremism using social and economic incentives to reduce the susceptibility of at-risk populations. Of particular note, the French government went to great efforts to train police personnel to be aware of the signs of radicalization. In 2010, the French government began to consider ways to address radicalization through after school programs for at-risk youth, greater access to higher education, and increased economic mobility. In addition, the French government offered imams a professional training program run by mainstream Muslim leaders.
Overview: The Georgian government continued to improve border security and monitor terrorist finance. It also took steps to implement the requirements of several UNSCRs on counterterrorism and worked with the United States and several EU countries on counterterrorism issues. The Georgian government investigated and arrested several suspects involved in terrorism-related activities, including individuals involved in smuggling nuclear and radioactive substances. Its lack of control of Abkhazia and South Ossetia limited its ability to counter terrorism in these regions and to secure its border with Russia.
2010 Terrorist Incidents:
- On September 22, an improvised explosive device (IED) detonated about 100 meters from the U.S. Embassy buildings. Police destroyed another IED that was located in the same area. No one was injured.
- On October 7, an IED was discovered on a railway bridge near Chaladidi village in Western Georgia’s Samegrelo-Zemo Svaneti region. The IED failed to detonate, and no one was injured.
- On October 22, two IEDs exploded near a train station in Tbilisi. No one was injured.
- On November 28, one IED exploded in front of the Labor Party office in Tbilisi, killing one woman. On the same day, another device exploded in front of a building, which housed a grocery store and apartments, in the Mukhiani district in Tbilisi.
Open source reporting indicated that several possibly terrorism-related incidents occurred in the separatist territory of Abkhazia. Information on incidents in the separatist regions of Abkhazia and South Ossetia is limited and in many cases has not been corroborated because the Georgian government does not have control over these territories. Foreign embassies and international missions have limited access to these areas.
Legislation and Law Enforcement: In early 2010, President Saakashvili tasked the National Security Council with preparing a decree to establish the Permanent National Interagency Antiterrorist Commission. The purpose of this commission is to implement the requirements of UNSCR 1267 and subsequent resolutions, UNSCR 373, and Georgian policies on countering terrorism. The commission will also be responsible for coordination between appropriate agencies and making recommendations aimed at improving Georgia's counterterrorism efforts.
The U.S. and Georgian governments worked together to improve border security. The U.S. government funded programs that focused on the identification, investigation, and detention of criminals at the Georgian border; the detection of nuclear or radioactive material; 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.
In early December, Georgian police arrested six suspects believed to be responsible for a series of explosions in Tbilisi. In addition, the Georgian government accused two individuals living in Abkhazia and a Russian military officer of being involved in the attacks and requested the Russian government's help in detaining and interrogating those individuals.
In November, two Armenian nationals were sentenced to 13 and 14 years for smuggling 18 grams of highly enriched uranium (HEU) into Georgia. The defendants were arrested with the 18 grams of HEU in Tbilisi in March. The defendants attempted to sell the substance to undercover agents of Georgia's Ministry of Internal Affairs.
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 (MONEYVAL). It has developed laws and infrastructure needed to counter money laundering and terrorist financing but did not meet standards in investigating and prosecuting money laundering cases and fell short in enforcing anti-money laundering and terrorist financing reporting requirements.
Regional and International Cooperation: Georgia ratified the International Convention for Suppression of Acts of Nuclear Terrorism and continued its counterterrorism cooperation with regional and multilateral organizations. Georgia signed bilateral agreements with Estonia, France, Italy, and Austria in 2009-2010. These agreements covered a broad range of issues, including counterterrorism. Georgia was working on similar agreements with the Czech Republic, Bulgaria, Germany, Lithuania, and Malta at year’s end.
Overview: German security officials indicated that the threat from violent extremism remained high and that terrorist groups continued to target Germany. In November, Interior Minister de Maizière warned about an increased likelihood of a terrorist attack in Germany and ordered heightened security measures at airports, railway stations, and other public sites. As of late 2010, more than 1,000 individuals were monitored by security authorities, 129 of whom were considered dangerous. Authorities estimated that roughly 220 individuals, both German nationals and permanent residents, have undergone paramilitary training since the early 1990s at terrorist training camps, primarily located in the border regions of Afghanistan and Pakistan. Approximately 110 of these individuals have returned to Germany and 10 of them were in custody at year’s end. Germany investigated, arrested, and prosecuted numerous terrorism suspects and disrupted terrorist-related groups within its borders with connections to religious extremist, Kurdish nationalist, and Marxist-Leninist terrorist organizations. Authorities conducted approximately 390 active investigations against 405 terrorist suspects, the largest number conducted to date. Of these investigations, 129 were Afghanistan-related. Throughout the year, a number of terrorist organizations, including the German Taliban Mujahedin and the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan, released videos featuring German speakers.
2010 Terrorist Incidents: On November 2, a package bomb postmarked from Greece and addressed to Chancellor Merkel was detected at the Chancellery and destroyed. One of the two Greeks subsequently arrested in Athens allegedly belonged to the group “Conspiracy of Fire Nuclei.”
Legislation and Law Enforcement: In reaction to the October 28 parcel bomb plot from Yemen, an interagency task force on air cargo security on December 8 recommended procedural changes. The federal police were given increased authority at airports and they implemented more frequent spot checks of cargo companies.
German courts began trials or reached verdicts in a number of notable counterterrorism cases, including:
- On March 4, four violent extremists belonging to the Islamic Jihad Union (IJU) cell arrested in Sauerland were found guilty of planning to attack U.S. diplomats, soldiers, and civilians. They received five to 12 year sentences.
- On July 19, a court sentenced Turkish citizen Oemer Ozdemir to six years and German citizen Sermet Ilgen to two years and six months for supporting/belonging to al-Qa’ida (AQ).
- On October 20, the Federal Prosecutor’s office charged seven Germans and one Turkish citizen with supporting AQ, al-Qa’ida in Iraq (AQI), Ansar al-Islam, and the Global Islamic Media Front’s German section.
In 2010, German law enforcement authorities arrested a number of individuals suspected of involvement in terrorism. Prominent new actions and arrests included:
- Eric Breininger, a German citizen, was reportedly killed in Waziristan in late April. Breininger, an IJU member, appeared in extremist videos and is suspected of having ties with the IJU Sauerland cell.
- On July 4, authorities arrested Syrian national Hussam S. on suspicion of recruiting for AQ, AQI, al-Qa’ida in the Islamic Maghreb, and the IJU. Hussam S. was suspected of about 100 counts of posting criminal propaganda material online.
- On July 12, Interior Minister de Maizière banned the Frankfurt-based Hamas-affiliated International Humanitarian Relief Organization.
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. Of the 9,046 suspicious transaction reports filed in 2009 (2010 figures were not available at year’s end), 98 were filed for suspected terrorist financing, and an additional 415 were examined for possible links to terrorist financing. Germany remained a strong advocate of the UNSCR 1267 al-Qa’ida/Taliban sanctions regime.
Regional and International Cooperation: Germany ratified the Amendment to the Convention on the Physical Protection of Nuclear Material. Germany continued to participate in multilateral counterterrorism initiatives, including the G8 Roma-Lyon and Counterterrorism Action Group.
Countering Radicalization and Violent Extremism: On July 19, the German Federal Office for the Protection of the Constitution launched an opt-out program for violent extremists called HATIF, which is the Arabic term for telephone and also the abbreviation in German for “Heraus Aus Terrorismus und Islamistischem Fanatismus”, or “leaving terrorism and Islamist fanaticism.” The Interior Ministry also continued a project first launched in 2001 to stop radicalization among young right-wing offenders. The program was expanded in 2007 to include young militants and ran in eight states. The recidivism rate of participants was very low. In 2010, the Interior Ministry also continued a project in three states to counter radicalization of young delinquents influenced by violent extremist ideology.
Overview: Large cities in Greece continued to face a significant challenge from domestic terrorism. Throughout the year in Athens and Thessaloniki, anarchists attacked banks, police stations, the homes and offices of politicians, and other “imperialist-capitalist” targets with weapons such as improvised explosive devices and Molotov cocktails. Police arrested suspected members of Revolutionary Struggle, but attacks by other terrorist groups continued, resulting in six deaths. Of the six, two were killed by bombings, one in a targeted killing, and three in an arson attack on a bank.
2010 Terrorist Incidents: Athens and Thessaloniki together experienced hundreds of security incidents, including incendiary and explosive strikes, as well as attacks involving small arms, grenades, and other infantry-style weaponry. Extremists struck businesses, Greek law enforcement, journalists, embassies, and for the first time, targets outside of Greece. Some of the more significant attacks included:
- Conspiracy of Fire Nuclei claimed responsibility for a continuing series of attacks in March, May, November, and December that targeted political groups, foreign embassies, leaders of foreign governments, and symbols of the Greek state.
- A bomb left outside the Athens office of a corporate management company killed a fifteen-year-old Afghan immigrant boy on March 28 and blinded his younger sister, when he apparently when he triggered the bomb by accident. The perpetrators remained unknown.
- A parcel bomb, addressed to Minister of Citizen Protection Michalis Chrysochoidis, killed Chrysochoidis’s aide, police Lieutenant Colonel Yorgos Vassilakis, on June 24 at Ministry of Citizen Protection headquarters. An anonymous group claimed responsibility.
- Sect of Revolutionaries claimed responsibility for the July 19 assassination of blogger and radio station executive Sokratis Giolias outside his residence in Athens – the group’s first operation after 13 months of inactivity – and threatened further attacks against police, government employees, journalists, and others as part of a stated desire to turn Greece into a “war zone.”
Legislation and Law Enforcement: The following arrests/court actions occurred in 2010:
- In April, police arrested six suspected members of the domestic terrorist organization Revolutionary Struggle (RS), after following the trail of physical evidence obtained at the scene of a deadly shootout between police and suspects in suburban Athens on March 9. In addition to the arrests, police discovered sites associated with the group, which contained extensive evidence, including bombs, ammunition, attack plans, and the rocket launcher RS is believed to have used in an attack on the U.S. Embassy in 2007.
- On July 26, the Supreme Court rejected final appeals by six convicted members of the Revolutionary Organization 17 November (17N), which was responsible for deaths of 23 people between 1975 and 2002. The Court sent the cases of two less prominent 17N convicts back to a lower court for review.
- On November 1, police arrested two suspected members of Conspiracy of Fire Nuclei in Athens soon after they had dropped off parcel improvised explosive devices (IEDs) at a courier service office. The two suspects were carrying two unsent parcel IEDs in a backpack when they were detained by Greek authorities.
Greek authorities participated in the Container Security Initiative and cooperated with U.S. officials on information sharing, as well as the training of Greek security and customs officials, and judicial personnel. Greece continued to work with the EU border agency FRONTEX to strengthen border security.
Countering Terrorist Finance: Since a critical 2007 Financial Action Task Force (FATF) report, Greek authorities have made substantial progress in meeting shortcomings identified by FATF, including passing a new anti-money laundering/counterterrorist finance law that addressed most of the FATF recommendations. Most recently, Greece ratified the UN Convention against Transnational Organized Crime and amended its law to criminalize and broadly define terrorist finance offenses. The government drafted legislation introducing suspected terrorists’ designation and listing, assets freezing, and de-listing procedures in accordance with UNSCRs 1267 and 1373. Given the absence of specific legislation governing the freezing of terrorist assets, Greece used an administrative procedure to freeze assets of suspected terrorists designated domestically or upon request of foreign authorities. Though Greek authorities worked to improve the effectiveness of the Greek Financial Intelligence Unit, additional work remained to meet international standards.
Regional and International Cooperation: Greece participated in regional information exchange and seminars through such bodies as the OSCE, the Southeast European Cooperative Initiative regional Center for Combating Trans-Border Crime, and the Organization of Black Sea Economic Cooperation. Greece is a member of the UN Counterterrorism Committee.
Countering Radicalization and Violent Extremism: Municipal governments in Athens established immigrant councils to foster dialogue on issues such as discrimination, social benefits for immigrants, legalization, employment, and security. Police officials met with representatives of the different immigrant communities to discuss ways to address discrimination and incidents of police abuse.
Overview: In 2010, violent actions by members of the Real Irish Republican Army and the Continuity Irish Republican Army terrorist groups committed in neighboring Northern Ireland (see UK country report for further information on Northern Ireland) were traced back to support provided by persons living in the Republic of Ireland. The immediate targets of violence were the law enforcement and security structures of neighboring Northern Ireland and the ongoing peace process. Relations between the U.S. government and Irish law enforcement officials were increasingly positive.
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 EU’s third money laundering directive into Irish law, which gave effect to several FATF recommendations. The act consolidated Ireland’s existing anti-money laundering and counterterrorist finance laws and increased the obligations on a wide range of individuals and organizations to disclose information related to suspected money laundering and terrorist financing.
Regional and International Cooperation: Ireland actively participated in the counterterrorism efforts of the EU, the OSCE, and the UN.
Countering Radicalization and Violent Extremism: The Government of Ireland continued significant efforts to mitigate conditions conducive to the radicalization of minority groups. These measures included social benefits, language training, and an ombudsman’s office to advocate on behalf of immigrants.
Overview: Italy continued aggressively to investigate and prosecute terrorism suspects, dismantle terrorist-related cells within its borders, and maintained high-level professional cooperation with its international partners in all areas. Terrorist activity by anarchists and other violent extremists remained a threat.
2010 Terrorist Incidents: On December 23, letter bombs exploded in the Swiss and Chilean embassies in Rome, wounding two. On December 27, police defused a parcel bomb that was delivered to the Greek embassy. A group called the Informal Anarchist Federation claimed responsibility. On December 29, two small explosive devices caused minor damage to the Northern League party office in the town of Gemonio, province of Varese, near the residence of Northern League party leader and Minister for Federalism Umberto Bossi.
Legislation and Law Enforcement: The Italian Civil Aviation Authority (ENAC) began a pilot program testing the use of body scanning devices at four airports. After initial results raised concerns about privacy and accuracy, ENAC began collaborating with the U.S. Transportation Security Administration to identify software that will address the concerns.
The Italian government continued to make use of reinforced counterterrorism legislation enacted in 2005, which facilitated detention of suspects, mandated arrest for crimes involving terrorism, and expedited procedures for expelling persons suspected of terrorist activities.
Italy participated in the Container Security Initiative. On March 29, the U.S. Ambassador to Italy and Italian Customs Agency Director signed a Memorandum of Understanding launching the Megaports Initiative to deploy nuclear material scanners in Italian ports.
Law enforcement actions in 2010 included:
- On February 25 and 27, 12 Turkish nationals and an Italian were arrested in Venice and Modena. They were accused of training individuals to fight for the Kurdistan Workers’ Party.
- On July 6, a Monza court acquitted two Moroccans, Abdelkader Ghafir and Rahid Ilhami, arrested in December 2008 and charged with international terrorism. They had been accused of allegedly supporting al-Qa'ida and planning violent attacks in Italy. Rahid Ilhami was sentenced to 19 months in jail for abetting illegal immigration.
- On July 8, a Milan court sentenced 15 Tunisians, Algerians, and Moroccans to prison terms between six months and eight and a half years for international terrorism. Their Milan-based cell recruited followers, maintained contacts with foreign extremists, and planned to send suicide bombers to Iraq and Afghanistan. Ten other persons were acquitted.
- On July 9, Mohammed Game, who attempted a suicide attack against an Italian army barracks in Milan in October 2009, was sentenced to 14 years in prison and fined 100,000 euros (US$ 142,000). His accomplice, Mahmoud Abdelaziz Kol, received a four-year sentence, while another accomplice, Mohamaed Imbaeya Israfel, awaited trial.
- On October 2, police arrested Ryad Hannouni in Naples after tips from French police. Hannouni was reported to have traveled from near the Pakistan-Afghanistan border and to have carried bomb-making materials on his person when arrested. On November 29, he was transferred to France on a European arrest warrant.
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 UNSCR 1267 process, both as a sponsoring and co-sponsoring nation.
Regional and International Cooperation: Italy supported counterterrorism efforts through the G8 Lyons-Roma Group (including capacity building through the Counterterrorism Action Group), OSCE, NATO, the UN, and the EU. 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 started a non-governmental organization-administered counter-radicalization program placing moderate imams in the three prisons where Muslims convicted of terrorism are incarcerated.
Overview: The Government of Kosovo cooperated with the United States on terrorism-related issues and made progress in passing legislation to fight terrorism, including the Kosovo Security Strategy, the Law on Trade of Strategic Goods, and the Law on the Prevention of Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing. The government’s capacity to enforce security-related legislation remained a concern, however. The Kosovo Police Counter Terrorist Unit (CTU) was still developing its capacity to conduct effective counterterrorism operations, and needed to develop effective cooperation and coordination between departments within the Kosovo Police.
Legislation and Law Enforcement: Kosovo made progress in adopting counterterrorism legislation. The Kosovo Security Strategy was approved by the Kosovo Assembly on September 23. It outlines the responsibilities of the Kosovo Police (KP), Kosovo Customs (KC), the Kosovo Border Patrol (KBP), and the Kosovo Intelligence Agency (AKI), to coordinate their counterterrorism efforts and “ensure that Kosovo will not become a host to individuals or groups that intend to incite violent extremism and train or equip potential terrorists.”
The KP’s CTU was primarily responsible for Kosovo's counterterrorism efforts. Its capacity to conduct effective operations remained under-developed. The CTU increased to 27 officers, and it continued to train and develop the capacities of its officers. Training took place in conjunction with U.S. funded programs, the OSCE, and European partners – especially Turkey – in areas including surveillance, interrogation, investigation, and counterterrorism intelligence and analysis. The CTU’s operational efforts were hampered by a lack of inter-departmental coordination and cooperation.
Kosovo continued to process travelers on entry and departure at one international airport and at 11 land border sites with the Personal Identification Secure Comparison and Evaluation System.
Countering Terrorist Finance: On September 30, with U.S. government technical assistance, Kosovo adopted a comprehensive anti-money laundering law, the Law on the Prevention of Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing (LPMLTF). The law imposed international and Financial Action Task Force-compliant reporting obligations, including reporting suspicious and structured transactions. The LPMLTF also established an independent Financial Intelligence Unit, which must report any transaction above 10,000 Euros, suspicious transactions, and structured transactions.
Regional and International Cooperation: Within the constraints posed by its financial situation, the Government of Kosovo has expanded its efforts to cooperate with international partners to address the flow of individuals illegally transiting Kosovo and to identify and screen potential threats both domestically and from abroad. The KBP leadership holds regular monthly meetings with their counterparts from Albania, Macedonia, and Montenegro, and the KP is pursuing a border operations initiative, which includes cross border cooperation and communication, the sharing of intelligence, and joint operations with the border police of the three countries. The KP also supported regional law enforcement relationships and worked with the governments of Bulgaria and Turkey on border related issues.
During the year, the Kosovo government cooperated closely with the United States in an attempt to extradite a Kosovo national to face criminal prosecution on terrorism-related charges in the United States. The Office of the State Prosecutor and the Special Prosecution Office of the Republic of Kosovo presented the United States’ request for the fugitive’s extradition, but a panel of the Kosovo Supreme Court, composed of two EU Rule of Law Mission Supreme Court judges and one Kosovo Supreme Court Judge, denied the extradition request.
Overview: The Netherlands continued to show its commitment to counterterrorism cooperation in the areas of border and transportation security and terrorist financing. In its December 2010 quarterly terrorism threat analysis, the Dutch National Counterterrorism Coordinator (NCTb) 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, there were few incidents in the Netherlands resulting from violent radicalization, although the conditions for radicalization remained present, particularly among the Somali community. However, the NCTb concluded that resistance against politically or ideologically motivated violence among the Dutch population remained high.
On May 31, the International Center for Counterterrorism, which received three years of seed money from the Foreign Ministry, was officially opened in The Hague.
Legislation and Law Enforcement: In 2009, the Dutch Justice Ministry and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security established the Fast Low Risk Universal Crossing (FLUX) system at some 20 U.S. airports enabling registered travelers that have submitted to a security assessment to go straight through U.S. immigration controls using iris scanners. U.S. citizens registered in the FLUX system enjoy this expedited travel at the Netherlands' Schiphol airport. In January 2010, the Netherlands began deploying full body scanners on flights from Schiphol airport to the United States, and by year’s end the number of scanners in use expanded to a total of 75. These scanners were operated as an EU pilot program pending EU-legislation for the routine use of this technology.
In the appeal case against seven members of the Hofstad terrorist group, the appeals court in Amsterdam ruled on December 17 that the seven had indeed formed a criminal organization with terrorist intent. The court imposed prison sentences of between 15 months and 13 years against the seven defendants. The highest sentence was for Jason Walters, a dual U.S.-Dutch national, for having thrown a hand grenade at police officers in November 2004. Most members, except for Walters and his accomplice, have already served their sentences.
In addition to the arrest of six Tamils in late April, the National Crime Squad in June arrested four Tamils on suspicion of illegal activities in the Netherlands, including raising funds to support the struggle of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam movement. The investigation was ongoing at year’s end.
At the request of Belgian justice authorities, the National Crime Squad in November arrested three Moroccan-Dutch nationals in Amsterdam suspected of engaging in international terrorism. The three reportedly had advanced plans to travel to Chechnya to join the Chechen terrorist group Caucasus Emirate. At year’s end, the three were in custody pending a decision to extradite them to Belgium.
Following information supplied by the General Intelligence and Security Service (AIVD), the National Crime Squad on December 24 arrested 12 Somalis in Rotterdam on suspicion of being involved in terrorist activities. All 12 were subsequently released though three remained under investigation.
Countering Terrorist Finance: Dutch officials remained committed to active cooperation with the United States in designating known terrorist organizations and freezing their assets. The Dutch also supported the continued exchange of information on financial transactions. The Dutch government worked to emphasize the importance of balancing security and the effectiveness of the financial system. In July 2009, the Netherlands assumed Presidency of the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) for a one-year period. Together with the United Arab Emirates, the Netherlands organized the Middle East and North African FATF (MENA FATF) meeting in February 2010.
Regional and International Cooperation: The Netherlands played an active role in UN and EU counterterrorism discussions. During a summit of foreign ministers from the G8 and Middle East states in London in January, it was agreed that the Netherlands would take the lead in helping Yemen develop its judicial and legal system. The Netherlands has long been involved in development assistance programs in Yemen. The Dutch served as co-chair of the Friends of Yemen Justice and Rule of Law working group.
In November, the NCTb and INTERPOL organized a global exercise aimed at the prevention of biological terrorism (BIOSHIELD Global 2010), in which more than 80 representatives from 28 countries (including the United States) and international organizations participated.
The Netherlands currently has counterterrorism capacity building projects in Pakistan, Yemen, Morocco, and Algeria. The Netherlands also contributed to the counterterrorism work of the UN Office on Drugs and Crime. The Netherlands ratified the International Convention for Suppression of Acts of Nuclear Terrorism in 2010.
Countering Radicalization and Violent Extremism: The Justice Ministry's "Netherlands against Terrorism" campaign continued with a particular focus on preventing radicalization and polarization. The campaign has a local approach, in which police officers, social workers, and teachers are trained to recognize signs of radicalization and how to engage key figures/leaders in Muslim communities. A March study by the AIVD concluded that too much emphasis is placed on the effect of an "ideological counter message" in the battle against radicalization in the Netherlands. AIVD researchers noted that the conscious dissemination of "moderate Islam" or use of liberal imams hardly had any effect on the ideals of potential militants, but having a job, partner, and children are a much better remedy. The Netherlands played a leading role in countering terrorism on the Internet.
Overview: The Norwegian government continued to build its counterterrorism capacity and issued an action plan to counter extremist ideology. Authorities arrested and charged three al-Qa'ida-connected terrorist suspects, pursued charges against Ansar al-Islam leader Mullah Krekar for threatening a public official and inciting terrorism, implemented improved passport security measures, and commenced legal proceedings against a Norwegian-Somali suspected of financing terrorism.
Legislation and Law Enforcement: A new Immigration Act entered into force on January 1, 2010, authorizing the Ministry of Justice (MOJ) to issue instructions to other agencies relating to visa applicants on the EU terror list. The MOJ instructed the Directorate of Immigration, the Immigration Appeals Board, Norwegian foreign missions, and police to issue neither visas nor residence permits to persons who are on the EU terror list, or to persons associated with organizations on the list, before forwarding such visa applications to the MOJ for consideration.
In February 2009, the jury in an appeals court had affirmed a lower court's conviction of Arfan Bhatti for attempted murder and aggravated vandalism; it also affirmed a sentence of eight years imprisonment in the case. Following a retrial in May 2010, the Court of Appeal found Bhatti guilty of causing criminal damage to the synagogue but acquitted him of attempted murder. The court sentenced Bhatti to two years imprisonment on the vandalism charge, but annulled the sentence because he had already spent three years in pretrial custody. The State Prosecutor chose not to appeal the verdict.
In July, three persons with Norwegian citizenship or residency were arrested and charged with conspiracy to commit a terrorist act in Norway. According to open source reports, three were born outside of Norway and had al-Qa'ida connections. The three men, Mikael Davoud, Shawan Bujak, and David Jakobsen, were placed in custody pending further investigation and trial. In September, suspects Davud and Bujak each confessed to plotting a terrorist attack, albeit against different targets. The third suspect, Jakobsen, continued to deny the charges. The Supreme Court ordered Jakobsen released from custody on September 15; the other two suspects remained in pre-trial detention at year’s end.
In December, the Oslo District Court acquitted Abdirahman Abdi Osman, a Norwegian citizen of Somali ancestry, of charges of knowingly collecting approximately US$ 34,000 for a terrorist organization and knowingly contributing funds to a terrorist organization. The court found that although a certain amount of the money Osman admitted transferring may have gone to finance al-Shabaab, the money was not earmarked for specific terrorist purposes, and the Norway-based contributors did not control how the money was used. Based on Osman's admission that he transferred money to an armed group, the court fined him US$ 1700 for breaking the UN's weapons embargo on Somalia but also annulled the sum due to time spent in custody. The State Prosecutor has appealed the verdict.
Mullah Krekar (aka Najmuddin Faraj Ahmad), the founder of Ansar al-Islam, an organization on both the U.S. list of designated Foreign Terrorist Organizations and the UN list of entities linked to terrorist activities, resides in Norway. He has been arrested on several occasions in previous years by Norwegian law enforcement. To date, authorities have been unable to collect sufficient evidence to convict him (membership in a terrorist organization is not a criminal offense in Norway). Based on threats he issued against a prominent Norwegian politician during a press conference in Oslo in June, authorities questioned him in court and, in September, initiated preliminary charges against him for threats against public officials, general threats, and incitement to terrorism.
Countering Terrorist Finance: The Government of Norway adopted the Financial Action Task Force's standards and recommendations, including the special recommendations on terrorist financing, and incorporated them into Norwegian law.
Regional and International Cooperation: On February 1, the government ratified the Council of Europe Convention on the Prevention of Terrorism, which entered into force in Norway on June 1.
As of April 6, fingerprint information was required in all newly issued Norwegian passports, consistent with an EU directive on the use of biometrics in EU/Schengen passports. Although not an EU member, Norway was required to implement the EU directive as a signatory of the European Economic Area Agreement and the Schengen agreement. Norway continued to permit the use of passports issued before April 6, as long as they were otherwise valid.
Countering Radicalization and Violent Extremism: In December, the Norwegian government issued an action plan to counter extremist ideology as a key part of its counterterrorism strategy. The plan contained 30 measures that apply from 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.
The Oslo municipality continued its OXLO campaign, "Oslo Extra Large," to facilitate integration and understanding. This year's campaign posters, describing the city as a place that welcomes diversity, were placed at bus and tram stops and metro stations, and school leaders and teachers were encouraged to discuss the campaign with students. In September, government and religious leaders attended the OXLO-Conference 2010, "Dialogue in a Multi-Cultural Society."
Overview: Russia continued to endure terrorist attacks linked to instability in the North Caucasus. The most visible and largest attacks occurred in two Moscow Metro stations in March. Radical militants calling for a Caliphate within the Caucasus continued to constitute the main terrorist threat. Russia adopted amendments to the Criminal Code on Terrorist Activities to strengthen anti-money laundering efforts and enacted a law on Combating the Finance of Terrorism.
2010 Terrorist Incidents: Terrorist attacks in Russia continued to emanate from the ongoing unrest in the North Caucasus. Officials in mid-December cited 529 terrorist attacks over the course of the year in which 218 victims were killed and 536 injured. Suicide bombings at two Moscow Metro stations on March 29 by two women from Dagestan killed 40 and injured about 100 civilians. Other terrorist attacks occurred in the North Caucasus Federal District, particularly in the republics of Dagestan, Ingushetia, North Ossetia, Chechnya, and Kabardino-Balkaria.
The continuing high level of violence is a chronic problem in the North Caucasus region. The most serious terrorist attacks in the North Caucasus were a March 31 suicide bombing in Kizlyar, Dagestan, which killed 12 and injured 37; a September 9 car bombing at a market in Vladikavkaz, North Ossetia, which killed 18 and injured 140; and a May bombing in Stavropol, which killed seven and injured over 40. While these attacks were designed to cause mass civilian casualties, far more numerous were attacks targeting security forces and government facilities in the region, including an October 19 attack on the Chechen Parliament building in Grozniy, which left three dead and 17 injured. Authorities blamed a splinter group of the Caucasus Emirate for the October 19 Grozniy attack and an August 31 attacks in Tsentoroiy, which killed 11 and wounded 25.
Legislation and Law Enforcement: The 1998 federal law "On Fighting Terrorism" and the 2006 federal law "On Countering Terrorism" remained the principal counterterrorism legal authorities. At year's end, the Federal Assembly was finalizing a controversial new law, “On Police,” that would expand police powers to preemptively detain suspected militants. In addition, on December 9, President Medvedev signed the Federal Law “On Amendments to the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation,” which increases punishment for perpetrating a terrorist attack, promoting terrorist activities, or inciting the public to terrorist acts. President Medvedev in a mid-November statement cited 60 occasions in which security forces prevented terrorist attacks. Elsewhere, Russian authorities claimed to have conducted 30 counterterrorism operations and killed over 300 militants.
Countering Terrorist Finance: Russia is a member of the Financial Action Task Force (FATF). It is also a leading member, chair, and primary funding source of a similar body known as the Eurasian Group (EAG) on combating money laundering and terrorist financing. Through the EAG, Russia provided technical assistance and funding towards improving legislative and regulatory frameworks and operational capabilities on money laundering and terrorist financing. Russian banks must report suspicious transactions to the Federal Financial Monitoring Service (Rosfinmonitoring), a financial intelligence unit, which reports directly to the Prime Minister and is a member of the FATF and three FATF-style regional bodies: the Egmont Group, Committee of Experts on the Evaluation of Anti-Money Laundering Measures and the Financing of Terrorism (MONEYVAL), and the EAG. The Central Bank and the markets regulator (the Financial Markets Federal Service) can access these transaction reports after requesting them from Rosfinmonitoring.
On July 23, Russia adopted a federal law that made changes to the existing laws “On Combating Money Laundering and Financing of Terrorism (AML/CTF) and the Code of Administrative Infringements.” These amendments are based on FATF recommendations and focus on three main areas: expanding AML/CTF jurisdiction, clarifying legal definitions, and improving the administrative oversight for enforcement of AML/CTF legislation. The government expanded AML/CTF jurisdiction. Subsidiaries, representative offices, and affiliates of Russian financial institutions that are located outside the Russian Federation must now comply with Russian AML/CTF regulations. Furthermore, microfinance and short-term loans, which have grown significantly in Russia, are now subject to AML/CTF laws.
Regional and International Cooperation: Russia continued its counterterrorism cooperation within the EU, the G8 Counterterrorism Action Group, the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, and the OSCE; and was an active member of the NATO-Russia Council Counterterrorism Working Group.
In April, Russian President Medvedev attended the Nuclear Security Summit designed to enhance international cooperation to prevent nuclear terrorism. In May, the U.S.-Russia Counterterrorism Working Group (CTWG) was convened; transportation security, countering violent extremism, terrorist finance, and information sharing issues were discussed. In November, the group met again and continued discussions on transportation security, countering violent extremism, coordination on nonproliferation of weapons of mass destruction, and public private partnerships outreach.
The U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation and Central Intelligence Agency and Russian Federal Security Service and Foreign Intelligence Service continued to cooperate in yearly Intelligence and Law Enforcement CTWG meetings. The most recent discussions were held in October in Washington, DC. In addition, operational and intelligence information related to terrorism-related threats continues to be shared among these four agencies on a regular basis.
Countering Radicalization and Violent Extremism: In December, Prime Minister Putin announced the creation of a Commission for the Socio-Economic Development of the North Caucasus under his chairmanship. As outlined, the program aims to improve economic opportunity in the region, and the central government will back loans of approximately US$ 1.5 billion for projects.
Overview: Serbia's law enforcement and security agencies, particularly the Customs Administration, Criminal Police, Border Police, and Security Information Agency, continued close bilateral counterterrorism cooperation with the United States, while intra-governmental cooperation between these agencies improved, thus increasing their effectiveness. Serbia had two police organizations that operated as counterterrorism tactical response units, the Special Antiterrorist Unit (SAJ) and the Counterterrorist Unit. In addition, the government created a Criminal Investigative Unit for Counterterrorist Investigation within the Interior Ministry's Criminal Investigation Directorate.
Legislation and Law Enforcement: On May 14, the Organized Crime Department of the Belgrade Appellate Court confirmed the convictions of four violent extremists, sentenced in July 2009 to a total of 27 years imprisonment, for conspiracy to commit unconstitutional activity, terrorism, illegal possession of firearms, and attempted murder. On October 22, the National Assembly voted to extend the validity of non-biometric passports until December 31, 2011.
Serbia's close bilateral counterterrorism cooperation with the United States continued across multiple law enforcement and security agencies, with U.S. counterparts providing training and assistance in hostage rescue, terrorist financing, civil aviation security, border security, and document fraud detection.
Countering Terrorist Finance: On November 30, the Parliament adopted a set of amendments to the 2009 Law on the Prevention of Money Laundering and the Financing of Terrorism. The amendments predominantly focus on additional control and supervision of electronic money transfers in accordance with the Council of Europe Committee of Experts on the Evaluation of Anti-Money Laundering Measures and the Financing of Terrorism recommendations.
Regional and International Cooperation: Serbia continued to participate actively in the UN Office on Drugs and Crime Regional Program (2009-2011) of Promoting the Rule of Law and Human Security in South East Europe, with primary emphasis on increasing countries' counterterrorism capacities. In that regard, Serbia established a working group in charge of drafting a law on counterterrorism, which would provide a legal basis for subsequent adoption of a counterterrorism strategy and specific action plans of relevant ministries and agencies.
Serbia organized two successful regional counterterrorism events in 2010. In May, the Interior Ministry held a 10-day counterterrorism seminar at the Regional Special Police Unit Training Center in Kula; the main presenters were experts from the special operations unit of the French Gendarmerie (RAID), and participants included the federal governments of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro, Croatia, Bulgaria, and Serbia. In October, the SAJ training camp in Batajnica hosted an international counterterrorism seminar with the participation of counterterrorism units from Austria, Slovenia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Greece, Montenegro, Macedonia, Croatia, Romania, Italy, Bulgaria, the United States (FBI Hostage Rescue Team), and Serbia.
In April, Serbian authorities organized the country's first ever Civil Aviation Security exercise, involving a simulated plane hijacking, with the participation of the Special Anti-Terrorist Unit, Airport and Border Police, and representatives of foreign embassies.
Serbia acceded to the 2005 Protocol on the Suppression of Unlawful Acts against the Safety of Maritime Navigation. Serbia signed bilateral agreements related to counterterrorism with Albania and Bosnia and Herzegovina, and ratified 2009 agreements with Israel and Cyprus.
Overview: Spain continued to confront the dual threat posed by the domestic terrorist group Basque Fatherland and Liberty (ETA) and violent extremists affiliated with al-Qa’ida and its affiliates. Buoyed by strong international cooperation, in particular with France, Spain enjoyed such success in battling ETA, whose aim is to create an independent Basque state, that the weakened terrorist group announced it would halt "offensive actions." Meanwhile, Spain's attention often focused on the fate of the three Spanish aid workers kidnapped by al-Qa'ida in the Islamic Maghreb in late 2009 and released in 2010.
Spain cooperated closely with the United States to counter terrorism. In April, Attorney General Holder signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Government of Spain to share information and further strengthen bilateral cooperation in the fight against international terrorism. Also in April, the U.S-Spain Agreement to Prevent and Combat Serious Crime, which was signed in 2009, also went into force.
As part of its effort to help close the Guantanamo Bay detention facility, Spain publicly announced its decision to accept five former detainees for resettlement, three of whom have been resettled.
Legislation and Law Enforcement: The Spanish Parliament passed a series of reforms to the country's Penal Code regarding terrorism to better equip the Spanish judiciary to face several realities of violent extremists operating in Spain. The new changes acknowledge that violent extremists in Spain may be inspired by but operate independently of formal terrorist groups such as al-Qa'ida. The reforms criminalized activities such as recruitment, indoctrination, terrorist training, and the facilitation of such activity by sending recruits to training camps. Furthermore, they criminalized the public distribution of messages that are likely to "increase the risk" of others joining a terrorist group or association or perpetrating terrorist attacks. Finally, the new reforms established the financing of terrorism as its own crime.
Spain took steps to improve security and the detection of false documents at its borders. Spain introduced an automated system to read EU passports with biometric data at its two largest airports. Select border control areas have the capacity to scan fingerprints in real time. In July, Spain announced that it would begin testing full-body scanners in one of its airports. Spain deployed 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.
Spanish security forces arrested 12 suspected violent extremists, one of whom was accused of managing one of the most influential terrorist websites in the world. In December, police arrested seven suspects (six Pakistanis and one Nigerian) in the greater Barcelona area for allegedly providing false documents, including passports, to terrorist groups. The Spanish police cooperated with the security services in Thailand, where authorities simultaneously detained another three suspects.
In cooperation with international partners, security services also arrested 113 alleged ETA members or associates, including 22 in France and nine in other countries. Spain also arrested 11 individuals for ETA-inspired street violence. Key raids included Spanish cooperation with Portuguese forces in January, when they shut down a large-scale bomb factory and arms cache that ETA had established in Portugal. Spain also arrested an embryonic ETA cell in Catalonia that same month. In February, a joint operation in France resulted in the detention of ETA's latest suspected military leader, whose alleged successor and the successor's would-be replacement were both captured in May during another raid in France.
Spain's judicial system investigated allegations of ETA training camps in Venezuela. In February, a National Court investigating judge issued an arrest warrant for an official in the Venezuelan government. Two ETA suspects arrested in September confessed to having received training from that same official in Venezuela during 2008. (It is not clear whether these individual actions reflect official Venezuelan government support for ETA.)
Countering Terrorist Finance: Spain was a member of the G8 Counterterrorism Action Group and provided technical assistance to other countries to counter terrorist financing. Spain exercised leadership in the Financial Action Task Force to combat money laundering and to take the necessary steps to prevent its financial institutions from engaging in transactions or relationships in support of terrorist activity. In April, Spain enacted Law 10/2010 on Preventing Money Laundering and the Financing of Terrorism.
The government diligently implemented the relevant UNSCRs and has the legal authority to impose autonomous designations.
After the European Parliament voted down an interim agreement on the Terrorist Finance Tracking Program, the Spanish EU Presidency helped secure support for a revised version, which came into effect shortly after the completion of the Spanish presidency. As EU President, Spain hosted numerous conferences and workshops to foster greater international cooperation to confront terrorism, including a U.S-EU workshop on countering terrorist finance.
Regional and International Cooperation: As EU President during the first half of 2010, Spain worked to advance a number of counterterrorism initiatives. In January, weeks after the attempted December 25, 2009 attack on Northwest Flight 253 bound for Detroit, Spain hosted a key meeting of Justice and Home Affairs ministers and helped secured the passage of the "Toledo Resolution" to increase U.S.-EU aviation security. Spain also successfully promoted the EU’s adoption of an Internal Security Strategy and built support for strengthening cooperation and information sharing among European counterterrorism coordination centers. Spain signed the Beijing Convention on the Suppression of Unlawful Acts Relating to International Civil Aviation and the Protocol to the Convention for the Suppression of Unlawful Seizure of Aircraft at the conclusion of an International Civil Aviation Organization diplomatic conference in September.
Spain was active in efforts to prevent nuclear materials from falling into the hands of terrorists. President Zapatero attended the Nuclear Security Summit in Washington, DC, which promoted international cooperation to prevent nuclear terrorism. Spain assumed a leading role in the Global Initiative to Combat Nuclear Terrorism (GICNT) and in June was elected to serve as Coordinator of its Implementation and Assessment Group, a working group of technical experts.
Countering Radicalization and Violent Extremism: Spain participated in several international meetings to counter violent extremism and, in its capacity as EU President, hosted a seminar on de-radicalization. Spain's inter-ministerial countering violent extremism (CVE) strategy emphasizes the prevention of radicalization and seeks to counter radical propaganda both online and in other arenas. In addition to promoting international cooperation on these issues, Spanish efforts to counter radicalization are tied closely to the fight against illegal immigration. This strategy seeks the support of civil society and the general public in rejecting violence and extremism. In fulfillment of applicable laws, Spanish penitentiaries employ CVE rehabilitation programs designed to achieve the reintegration of inmates into society.
Overview: The Swedish Security Service (SAPO), the authority with the main responsibility for countering terrorism, distinguished between attack and activity threats in its annual terrorism report presented in June. According to SAPO, attack threats, which include plans to carry out attacks in Sweden and/or against Swedish interests abroad, remained low during the reporting period, though SAPO had noted the presence of individuals who were planning, supporting, or financing terrorist attacks in areas of conflict and even stated that Swedish nationals were contributing to terrorism in Somalia.
In October, however, SAPO – for the first time ever – raised the National Threat Advisory to “elevated,” based on information from the National Center for Terrorism, which discussed an increased threat of potential terrorist attacks towards Sweden and changed activity within certain environments. On December 11, a car bomb device was detonated minutes before Sweden’s first ever suicide bomber carried out an attack in a crowded pedestrian area in Stockholm. A few weeks later, on December 29, five individuals were arrested in Sweden and Denmark.
A number of individuals with connections extremist networks -- primarily al-Qa’ida (AQ) and al-Shabaab -- continued to depart Sweden for training camps in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Somalia, and Iraq.
2010 Terrorist Incidents: Since 2007 when Swedish artist Lars Vilks portrayed the Prophet Mohammed as a cartoon dog, Sweden has become a more prominent target for violent extremists. In November, an al-Shabaab fighter named Abu Zaid appeared in a propaganda video in which he, in fluent Swedish, urged Muslims in Sweden to kill Vilks and to move to Somalia. In May, Vilks’ house was attacked with Molotov cocktails and two brothers of Swedish-Kosovarian origin, Mentor and Mensur Alija, were arrested and later convicted of arson.
On December 11, Sweden’s first ever suicide bomber, a 28 year-old Swedish citizen of Iraqi descent, Taimour Abdulwahab al-Abdaly, carried out two attacks in a pedestrian shopping area in central Stockholm. In the first explosion, al-Abdaly detonated his abandoned car, slightly wounding two passersby. Authorities believed that al-Abdaly accidently triggered one of the pipe bombs attached to his body, killing himself prematurely on a side street. Shortly before the attack, al-Abdaly sent prerecorded audio clips in Swedish, English, and Arabic to Swedish News Agency TT and to SAPO, in which he cited the presence of Swedish troops in Afghanistan and Lars Vilks as justification for his actions. The investigation was ongoing at year’s end.
Legislation and Law Enforcement: On December 1, Sweden’s new terrorism legislation came into effect, which criminalizes incitement to recruit and train for terrorism activities. The original legislation from 2003 did not clearly specify these activities.
On December 8, Gothenburg District Court convicted two Swedish citizens of Saudi Arabian and Somali origin of conspiracy to commit terrorist crimes and sentenced both men to four years imprisonment. According to the court, both men are supporters of al-Shabaab and had an agreement to carry out suicide attacks on behalf of the organization in Somalia. Both defendants appealed the verdict on December 29.
On December 29, five individuals were arrested (four in Denmark and one in Sweden) for conspiracy to commit terrorist crimes when planning to attack the newspaper Jyllands-Posten in Denmark.
Countering Terrorist Finance: At the Financial Action Task Force’s (FATF) October 2010 Plenary, Sweden was recognized for the “significant progress” it had made in addressing deficiencies identified in its Mutual Evaluation Report. In 2010, the Swedish government allocated extra funds to the Financial Supervisory Authority to continue combating money laundering and terrorism financing. Swedish law does not give the government independent authority to freeze or seize assets, unless in connection with an ongoing criminal investigation. Sweden followed EU decisions on freezing assets of entities and persons listed on the UNSCR 1267 Sanctions Committee (for the Taliban and AQ) list and in accordance with UNSCR 1373.
Regional and International Cooperation: Sweden contributed to counterterrorism capacity building projects through its development aid work carried out by Swedish International Development Agency, the UN, EU, and OSCE. Sweden contributed funds to the Center for Global Counterterrorism Cooperation to arrange a workshop in Jakarta concerning the possible establishment of a regional education center in Dhaka, Bangladesh, which would contribute to regional stability and enhance the region’s capacity to prevent and counter terrorism. Together with Germany, Sweden supported a visitors program in Sweden for Afghan representatives as part of the UN Office of Drugs and Crime’s training program “Strengthening of the legal sector in the fight against terrorism.” Sweden provided trainers to the EU’s Training Mission to assist with the training of Somalia’s Transitional Federal Government security forces.
Countering Radicalization and Violent Extremism: In February, the Swedish government mandated SAPO to map violent extremism in Sweden. According to the mandate, SAPO was to look into: 1) the existence of violent extremism, 2) the radicalization processes, and 3) tools and strategies needed to counter radicalization. The report was presented December 15 and concluded that there are about 200 individuals in Sweden involved in violent extremist activities. The largest identified threat comes from “returnees” who come to Sweden after being in training camps or participating in attacks abroad. In the past five years, about 30 individuals have traveled abroad, most to Somalia, Pakistan, and Afghanistan, and at least four have died. SAPO continued to work to identify individuals planning to travel to training camps, held dialogues with them to try to prevent their travel, and spoke with persons who were suspected of returning from such travel.
Overview: Domestic and transnational terrorist groups have targeted Turkish nationals and foreigners in Turkey, including on occasion U.S. government personnel, for more than 40 years. Terrorist groups that have operated in Turkey in the past have included Kurdish nationalist, Marxist-Leninist, pro-Chechen, as well as al-Qa’ida and its affiliates. Most prominent among terrorist groups in Turkey is the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK). Composed primarily of ethnic Kurds with a nationalist agenda, the PKK operated from bases in northern Iraq and directed its forces to target mainly Turkish security forces. PKK activity was lower in 2009 but increased again in 2010 during a May through October wave of violence. Other prominent terrorist groups in Turkey included 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. The Turkish Workers’ and Peasants’ Liberation Army, though largely inactive, were still considered potential threats by the Turkish government.
Turkish terrorism law defines terrorism as attacks against Turkish citizens and the Turkish state. This definition hampers Turkey’s ability to interdict, arrest, and prosecute those who plan and facilitate terrorist acts to be committed outside of Turkey, or acts to be committed against non-Turkish citizens within Turkey. Nonetheless, Turkish counterterrorism cooperation with the United States continued to develop and improve.
2010 Terrorist Incidents: PKK attacks in 2010 once again demonstrated the nation-wide reach of the group. 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. Three attacks received particular attention and condemnation:
- A June bombing of a bus stop in Istanbul that killed five, including a 17-year-old girl, and wounded 13.
- A September attack on a mini-van in Hakkari killed 10 civilians.
- A November suicide-bomb attack in Istanbul's Taksim Square, which killed only the bomber due to an IED malfunction, injured 15 police officers and 17 civilians
Legislation and Law Enforcement: The narrow legal definition of terrorism as an act against the Turkish state in existing Turkish counterterrorism law poses concerns for joint and legal cooperation. In July, the government amended the Anti-Terror Law to prohibit prosecution of minors under the age of 15 under the law. Minors are now tried in juvenile courts rather than in criminal court as adults. Similarly, the Government of Turkey amended the Law on Demonstrations, allowing first time juvenile offenders – those not convicted of an offense involving weapons or arson – to be subject to administrative sanctions rather than sent to prison. These amendments resulted in more than 200 children being released from detention, a development that was welcomed by many human rights groups and ethnic Kurds. Human rights groups continued to allege, however, that overly-broad application of the Anti-Terror Law was still used by the government as a means to stifle legitimate political protest and expression of Kurdish identity or minority viewpoints.
Countering Terrorist Finance: Pursuant to its obligations under UNSCR 1267 and subsequent resolutions, Turkish officials continued to circulate UN-designated names of terrorists to all law enforcement and intelligence agencies and to financial institutions. Turkish officials also distributed U.S.-designated names to the security services for their awareness, although only UN-listed names were subjected to asset freezes enforced through a Council of Ministers decree.
In February, the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) identified Turkey as a jurisdiction with significant anti-money laundering and counterterrorist financing (AML/CTF) vulnerabilities, chief among them was Turkey’s incomplete criminalization of terrorist financing and weak national asset freezing mechanisms. In coordination with the FATF’s International Cooperation Review Group, the Government of Turkey made a high-level commitment to work with the FATF and adopted an “Action Plan” which committed Ankara to a timeline for implementing new legislation addressing the shortcomings. On June 1, Turkey submitted a report to the FATF plenary along with a draft law on the “Prevention of Terrorism Financing,” which was intended to address all CTF deficiencies identified by the FATF with respect to its criminalization of terrorist financing and national asset freezing mechanisms. The draft law was in the Prime Ministry at year’s end, where experts within and outside the Prime Minister’s office were reviewing it.
Regional and International Cooperation: Turkey has played a critical role as a friendly, neutral, arbiter in Afghanistan and Pakistan, as a regional facilitator, International Security Assistance Force contributor, and bilateral donor. On the development front, Turkey has provided assistance on health, education, and agriculture projects in Afghanistan. Turkey also conceived and continued to support an annual meeting of the Ministers of Interior of the Neighbors of Iraq, which focused on supporting regional stability and security, including counterterrorism and border security issues. Turkey ratified the 2005 Protocol on the Suppression of Unlawful Acts against the Safety of Maritime Navigation.
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 do, alter the prevailing group dynamics and prevent recruitment. Police also undertook social projects, activities with parents, in-service training for officers and teachers, and utilized social science research. 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 Hanafi Sunni Islam1 and worked to undercut the message of radical or violent Islam. In Turkey, all Hanafi Sunni imams are employees of the state's Religious Affairs office (the Diyanet). In support of its message of traditional religious values, Diyanet's over 66,000 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 Sunni Islamic instruction. Diyanet supported in-service training for religious leaders and lay-workers through a network of 19 centers throughout Turkey, and has sister-city relationships established with religious authorities abroad.
The Government of Turkey took steps to follow up on its 2009 Democratic Initiative, also known as the National Unity Project, designed to address the social and economic inequalities that are seen as fueling Kurdish dissent and PKK recruitment. Turkey devised concrete steps within the scope of the initiative to drain the PKK’s support, by, for example, liberalizing laws governing the use of the Kurdish language in broadcasting, education, and state buildings; reducing the application of counterterrorism laws to non-violent crimes; and, providing legal incentives to bring members of the PKK who have not engaged in violence back into civil society
Overview: Ukraine took several steps to mitigate the threat of terrorism. The government installed radiation detection systems at the port of Odesa, enacted amendments that strengthened Ukraine's terrorist financing legislation, and the Ukrainian military participated in regional military counterterrorism exercises.
Legislation and Law Enforcement: Following President Yanukovych’s April pledge to eliminate Ukraine’s stockpile of highly enriched uranium (HEU) by 2012 at the Nuclear Security Summit in Washington, DC, Ukraine reached a significant milestone in late December with the removal of 50 kilograms of HEU fresh fuel from Kyiv, Kharkiv, and Sevastopol. With this action, Ukraine demonstrated global leadership by ensuring that vulnerable nuclear material does not end up in terrorist hands.
Ukraine completed the installation of radiation detection systems and associated training in conjunction with the U.S. National Nuclear Security Administration's Second Line of Defense (SLD) program at the port of Odesa. The program aims to deter, detect, and interdict illicit trafficking in nuclear and other radioactive materials across international borders and through the global maritime shipping system.
In keeping with the National Biometrics Action Plan, the Ministry of Internal Affairs announced in November plans to introduce biometric passports for Ukrainians traveling abroad. The plan was not yet adopted by the Cabinet of Ministers at year’s end, however.
Countering Terrorist Finance: On May 21, President Yanukovych signed into law amendments to Ukraine's anti-money laundering and counterterrorism financing (AML/CTF) legislation. The amendments represented a significant step toward compliance with the recommendations of the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) and the standards of the Council of Europe's Committee of Experts on the Evaluation of Anti-Money Laundering Measures and the Financing of Terrorism (MONEYVAL). The new legislation replaced and significantly improved Ukraine's basic AML/CTF Law, and amended relevant portions of the Criminal Code to bring them into greater compliance with international standards. However, Ukraine has remained on the FATF list of countries with "strategic deficiencies" since February 2010.
Regional and International Cooperation: Ukraine contributed a 20-person Special Operations Task Unit to participate in a multinational special operations counterterrorism exercise that was conducted in Poland in September. U.S. European Command (EUCOM) sponsored the exercise.
Overview: The UK continued to play a leading role in global counterterrorism efforts. The new coalition government established a National Security Council; appointed a National Security Adviser; completed a Strategic Defense and Security Review (SDSR); and published a new National Security Strategy (NSS). The SDSR and NSS reviewed threats to the UK's national security and set out new measures to counter terrorism.
The British government began a review of counterterrorism legislation, measures, and programs with an aim toward balancing liberty and security. In January, the United Kingdom (UK) raised its national threat level to the UK from international terrorism from substantial to severe, meaning that a terrorist attack was highly likely. In September, the UK published for the first time its threat levels from Irish-related terrorism: severe in Northern Ireland, substantial in mainland Britain.
2010 Terrorist Incidents: Throughout the year, dissident republican groups operating in Northern Ireland stepped up their campaigns of terrorism. The Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI) reported that between January and November, there were two deaths related to Northern Ireland's security situation, 79 shooting incidents, 87 bombing incidents, 54 casualties resulting from paramilitary-style assaults, and 36 casualties resulting from paramilitary-style shootings. The PSNI estimated a rise of more than 80 percent in bombing incidents in Northern Ireland between January and November compared with 2009. Examples of incidents included:
On October 29, UK police and security services intercepted an explosive device concealed in a computer printer toner cartridge aboard a cargo aircraft at East Midlands Airport in Leicestershire bound for Chicago, believed to have originated in Yemen. The investigation into the "cargo bomb plot" was ongoing through the end of the year, but Home Secretary Theresa May indicated to Parliament in November that the UK government believed al-Qa'ida in the Arabian Peninsula was responsible.
Legislation and Law Enforcement: In April in NI, policing and justice powers were fully transferred from the UK government in London to NI. In November, the Independent Monitoring Commission, a four-commissioner team established by the British and Irish governments in 2004 to support devolution by reporting on paramilitary activity and security, indicated in its annual report that dissidents in Northern Ireland had "steadily increased the number of improvised explosive devises they deployed and the proportion of those that detonated."
In June, Home Secretary Theresa May extended for six months the government's power to hold terrorist suspects for 28 days in pre-charge detention. The provision must be renewed annually or it expires, and May indicated that the government believed the provision should only be temporary. The following month, May announced a broad review of the government's counterterrorism legislation, measures, and programs, and indicated that the pre-charge detention provision would be part of that review. The review also considered the utility of the UK's heavily-debated "control orders." The Prevention of Terrorism Act 2005 empowers the Home Secretary to issue control orders "impos[ing] obligations on [an individual] for purposes connected with protecting members of the public from a risk of terrorism." In practice, control orders have been used to impose near-house arrest and restrict movement and access to the Internet by terrorism suspects who cannot be prosecuted or deported. In undertaking the review, the government cited the need to balance security and civil liberties.
In July, the European Court of Human Rights issued a preliminary ruling blocking the extradition from the UK to the United States of British terrorism suspects Abu Hamza, Babar Ahmad, Seyla Talha Ahsan, and Haroon Rashid Aswat over concerns that the sentences and prison conditions the men could face if convicted in the United States could violate the European Convention on Human Rights. The court asked the UK government to submit further information on these cases. In November, Abu Hamza successfully appealed the government's attempts to strip him of his UK passport.
In July, three men were sentenced to life in prison for their involvement in a 2006 plot to detonate homemade liquid explosives on transatlantic flights. Ibrahim Savant, Arafat Waheed Khan, and Waheed Zaman, who had previously been cleared of involvement in the plot, were found guilty at a retrial of conspiracy to murder. The men were told by the judge that they would serve minimum terms of 20 years.
In response to a decision by the European Court of Human Rights, which found that the UK's police use of stop-and-search powers under Section 44 of the Terrorism Act 2000 were drawn too broadly and failed to protect civil liberties, the Home Secretary announced in July that police would need to rely on Section 43 of the Act, which requires officers to "reasonably suspect [the person] to be a terrorist" before subjecting them to a search. Police retained the authority to search vehicles under Section 44, provided they had reasonable suspicion of terrorist activity.
In October, High Court Judge Lady Justice Hallett opened an inquest into the July 2005 terrorist attacks on London's transport network that left 52 people dead. The inquest will investigate, among other things, whether the security services could have prevented the 2005 attacks. The inquest continued at year's end.
In November, in response to the cargo bomb plot, the government announced a review of airfreight security, imposed temporary restrictions on the transport of large printer cartridges by air, and suspended the transport of unaccompanied airfreight from Yemen and Somalia. The move followed a January decision by the government to suspend all direct flights between the UK and Yemen as part of increased security measures after the attempted Christmas Day 2009 terrorist attack on Northwest Flight 253. After the cargo bomb plot was discovered, the government began working closely with the aviation industry to devise a long-term security screening regime for cargo to mitigate the threats the plot revealed. On December 20, UK police indicated that 12 men between the ages of 17 and 28 were detained on suspicion of the commission, preparation, or instigation of an act of terrorism in the UK. On December 27, nine of the 12 men arrested were charged with conspiracy to cause explosions and preparing acts of terrorism against targets in the UK, allegedly including the U.S. Embassy.
London's Metropolitan Police Service launched an "If You Suspect It, Report It" awareness campaign in December to enlist public support in identifying suspicious activity related to acts of terrorism.
Countering Terrorist Finance: The UK has a comprehensive range of laws aimed at anti-money laundering and counterterrorist financing (AML/CTF). It is a member of the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) and an active participant in FATF-style regional bodies to meet evolving anti-money laundering and counterterrorism financing threats. The UK engages in efforts to freeze the assets of persons who commit terrorist acts, as required by the UN, including through implementation of UNSCRs 1267 and 1373. In January, the UK Supreme Court held that the government had earlier exceeded its authority by imposing asset-freezing orders that went beyond the requirements of UNSCR 1373. The Supreme Court reinstated temporary asset-freezing regulations as an interim measure following the judgment. In December, the UK replaced the temporary provisions with a new legislative framework that contained a higher standard of proof for freezing assets; “reasonable belief” rather than “reasonable suspicion.” The legislation was awaiting Royal Assent to enact it at year's end.
To further improve and update Bermuda's anti-money laundering and anti-terrorist financing regulations, in August, Bermuda's Parliament enacted the Proceeds of Crime Regulations (Supervision and Enforcement) Amendment Act that would require the Bermuda Bar Association and the Chartered Accountants in Bermuda to establish jointly a board to regulate law and accountancy firms in order to prevent money laundering and terrorist financing.
Regional and International Cooperation: The UK cooperates with other nations and international organizations to counter terrorism, including in the UN, UNSC, EU, Commonwealth, NATO, Council of Europe, G8, International Atomic Energy Agency, IMF-World Bank, the Global Initiative to Combat Nuclear Terrorism, and Interpol. In January, the UK hosted a conference on Afghanistan that brought over 75 nations and multilateral organizations together to pledge international support for Afghan-led reintegration of former insurgents and transition of full security responsibility to the Afghan leadership. In January, the UK hosted a Friends of Yemen conference in London, which brought together representatives from the Gulf Cooperation Council, G8, UN, EU, Arab League, IMF, World Bank, and other European nations to coordinate international engagement and support for Yemen's efforts to deliver unity, security, and stability. The UK signed the Beijing Convention on the Suppression of Unlawful Acts Relating to International Civil Aviation and the Protocol to the Convention for the Suppression of Unlawful Seizure of Aircraft at the conclusion of an International Civil Aviation Organization diplomatic conference in September.
Countering Radicalization and Violent Extremism: The UK's "Prevent" strategy, launched in 2007 to counter radicalization, outlined a number of objectives, such as support to mainstream voices and increasing community resilience, and involved a range of government actors, particularly the Home Office, The Foreign and Commonwealth Office, the Department of Communities and Local Government, local authorities, and the police. Many of the programs have been run by community organizations, supported by government funding. Examples of Prevent programs include interfaith activities, diversionary programs for youth, professional development for mainstream community and faith leaders, speaking tours by mainstream Islamic scholars, imam training programs, and projects to equip young people with arguments to counter violent extremism. The Research, Information, Communications Unit (RICU), which is physically located in the Home Office, has been responsible for managing counterterrorism communications, including those related to Prevent. The Coalition government has initiated a review of the strategy "to more clearly separate work on preventing violent extremism from work to promote integration," which will determine the future direction of counter-radicalization programs in the UK.
1 The Diyanet provides services only to the Hanafi Sunni community of Turkey. However, within Turkey’s 70 million Muslims there are also 15 to 20 million Alevi (classified as a branch of Shia Islam) and hundreds of thousands of Caferi Shia Muslims.