Country Reports on Terrorism
South Asia remained a front line in the battle against terrorism. Although we have seriously degraded the al-Qa’ida (AQ) core in Afghanistan and Pakistan, AQ still has the ability to plan and conduct attacks from its safe havens. AQ looked to consolidate power by forging closer ties with other terrorist organizations in the region such as Tehrik-e Taliban Pakistan (TTP) and the Haqqani Network (HQN). These alliances continued to provide the group with additional resources and capabilities. In 2012, terrorists in South Asia carried out operations in heavily populated areas and attempted to expand networks across the region and beyond.
Afghanistan in particular continued to experience aggressive and coordinated attacks by the Afghan Taliban, HQN, and other AQ-affiliated groups. A number of these attacks were planned and launched from these groups’ safe haven in Pakistan. Afghan Security Forces are now providing security throughout most of Afghanistan as the transition to full Afghan leadership on security continues in anticipation of the 2014 withdrawal of U.S. and Coalition Forces (CF). Afghan and CF, in partnership, took aggressive action against terrorist elements in Afghanistan, especially in Kabul, and many of the eastern and northern provinces.
Pakistan continued to experience significant terrorist violence, including sectarian attacks. The Pakistani military undertook operations against groups that conducted attacks within Pakistan such as TTP, but other groups such as Lashkar-e-Tayyiba were able to continue to operate in Pakistan. Pakistan did not directly target the Afghan Taliban or HQN, although it supported efforts to bring both groups into an Afghan peace process.
Although terrorist violence was lower than in previous years, India remained severely impacted by and vulnerable to terrorism, including from groups based in Pakistan. The Government of India, in response, increased its own counterterrorism capabilities and expanded its cooperation and coordination with the international community and regional partners.
Bangladesh, an influential counterterrorism partner in the region, continued to make strides against domestic and international terrorism. The government’s ongoing counterterrorism efforts have made it more difficult for transnational terrorists to operate in or use Bangladeshi territory. In addition, Bangladesh and India improved and expanded counterterrorism cooperation.
Despite the absence of major terrorist incidents on their territory, governments in the five Central Asian states were concerned about the possibility of a growing threat connected to changes in the international force presence in Afghanistan in 2014. While some sought to reduce their countries’ vulnerability to the perceived terrorist threat, the effectiveness of their efforts was in some cases undercut by failure to distinguish clearly between terrorism on one hand and political opposition, or non-traditional religious practices, on the other.
Overview: Though the primary responsibility for security in Afghanistan is transitioning from U.S. and international forces to Afghan National Security Forces (ANSF), the United States is committed to continued political, diplomatic, and economic engagement in Afghanistan as a strategic partner. The United States fully supports Afghan efforts to professionalize and modernize the security forces to take ownership of the security and counterterrorism efforts. The United States continued its role as a facilitator in improving Afghanistan’s relations with its regional partners, fostering democracy, reintegration, and economic development.
In 2012, the United States and others in the international community provided training and resource assistance to Afghanistan, including democratic institution building, humanitarian relief and assistance, capacity building, security needs, counter-narcotic programs, and infrastructure projects.
The Government of Afghanistan’s response to the spate of insider attacks has led directly to an increased focus on the vetting and training of security force personnel. This has led to a more professional force.
2012 Terrorist Attacks: In 2012, insurgents conducted some of the largest vehicle-borne improvised explosive device (VBIED) attacks since 2001, targeting Provincial Reconstruction Teams, large Coalition Forces (CF) bases, and Afghan government buildings, mostly in eastern Afghanistan. The number of insider attacks increased significantly compared to 2011, though actions taken by ISAF and ANSF in response resulted in a significant decrease in these attacks in the latter half of the year. Insurgents across Afghanistan used a variety of tactics to target Afghan security personnel and CF in major cities and rural areas, seeking to expand their territorial influence and control. In major cities, these attacks were well-coordinated, complex attacks to garner media attention while they targeted the ANSF in rural areas. Insurgents carried out several targeted assassinations of Afghan leadership. As in previous years, a greater number of attacks occurred during the summer months. This year, however there were three high-profile attacks in December compared with one in 2011. Helmand, Kandahar, Ghazni, and Kunar represented the most dangerous provinces for Afghan security personnel and CF.
High-profile attacks included:
• On February 25, an Afghan Ministry of Interior officer conducted an insider attack that killed two American military personnel embedded inside the Ministry of Interior compound in Kabul City in Kabul Province.
• On April 15, 14 insurgents embarked on an attack in three separate areas of Kabul City. Insurgents occupied three high-rise buildings in Kabul City in Kabul Province, and attacked the U.S. Embassy, several foreign embassies, Camp Warehouse, and Parliament. Insurgents simultaneously conducted attacks in Jalalabad City in Nangarhar Province against the Provincial Reconstruction Team, in Pul-e Alam District in Logar Province against Afghan government buildings, and in Gardez in Paktiya Province against Afghan government and security locations. The attacks resulted in massive casualties, with at least 50 killed and hundreds wounded in the four provinces.
• On May 2, insurgents conducted an attack consisting of a VBIED and three suicide bombers on foot, against the Green Village camp in Kabul City in Kabul Province, killing nine people and wounding 21.
• On June 20, seven insurgents attacked the Spozhmai Hotel in Kabul, holding over 50 people hostage for almost 12 hours. The attack resulted in the death of at least 18 Afghans, including 14 civilians.
• Also on June 20, insurgents conducted an attack against Forward Operating Base Salerno in Khost Province consisting of a large suicide VBIED and nine suicide bombers wearing U.S. military and Afghan National Army uniforms, killing eight people and wounding 58.
• On July 9, at least 18 insurgents embarked on an attack in several areas of Kandahar City in Kandahar Province, attacking the Afghan National Police headquarters and several Afghan National Police Sub-Stations, killing at least nine people and wounding 39.
• On August 7, insurgents detonated a large VBIED at the Provincial Reconstruction Team at Forward Operating Base Shank in Logar Province, killing four individuals and wounding 28.
• On August 8, two suicide bombers targeted a dismounted movement in Asadabad City in Kunar Province, killing five people, including four Americans, and wounding 15 people, including 10 Americans.
• On September 8, a young Afghan child carrying a backpack full of explosives detonated near the U.S. Embassy inside the Green Zone in Kabul City in Kabul Province, killing six Afghans and wounding five.
• On September 14, 15 insurgents wearing U.S. military and Afghan National Security Force uniforms breached the perimeter of Camp Leatherneck/Camp Bastion in Helmand Province and targeted aircraft and military equipment. The attack resulted in two dead CF soldiers, 15 wounded, and millions of dollars worth of damage.
• On September 18, a suicide VBIED targeted an Aircraft Charter Services convoy traveling toward Kabul International Airport in Kabul City in Kabul Province, killing 10 and wounding three.
• On October 26, a lone suicide bomber entered a mosque in Meymaneh City in Faryab Province and detonated his explosives during a service, killing 41 and wounding at least 50.
• On November 21, two suicide bombers wearing suicide vests detonated at a private security company checkpoint in the Wazir Akbar Khan neighborhood near Camp Eggers and the U.S. Embassy in the Green Zone in Kabul City in Kabul Province, killing four people and wounding seven.
• On December 2, insurgents conducted an attack against Jalalabad Airfield in Nangarhar Province consisting of one VBIED, four suicide bombers on foot, and an unspecified number of insurgents attacking from a considerable stand-off distance. The attack resulted in the deaths of six people and injured 24.
• On December 6, a suicide bomber wearing explosives laced in his underwear and posing as a Taliban peace envoy attempted to assassinate Afghan National Directorate of Security chief Assadullah Khalid in Kabul City in Kabul Province, seriously wounding the Afghan security chief.
• On December 17, insurgents conducted a suicide VBIED attack using a Hino truck against private American company Contrack International in Kabul City in Kabul Province, killing three people and wounding nearly 50.
Legislation, Law Enforcement, and Border Security: The current Afghan Penal Code, enacted in 1976, has gaps, a lack of definitions, disproportionate mandatory fines and sentences, and strict minimum imprisonments that result in overcrowded prisons. A recent workshop established objectives for penal code reform and provided guidance to the Criminal Law Reform Working Group for the future path to revise the Penal Code. The workshop also highlighted some areas for potential concern in the process, such as the influence of radical views regarding Sharia, how gender-related crimes will be addressed in the new penal code, and compliance with international obligations regarding human rights and international treaties and conventions to which Afghanistan is Party. The draft Criminal Procedure Code (CPC) was pending in Parliament at year’s end.
The draft Law on the Structure and Jurisdiction of the Attorney General’s Office will codify the structure and funding of the existing Anti-Terrorism Protection Directorate in the Attorney General’s Office and permit the investigation and prosecution of terrorist and national security cases using internationally accepted methods and evidentiary rules.
Afghanistan continued to process travelers on entry and departure at major points of entry with the Personal Identification Secure Comparison and Evaluation System (PISCES). With support from the United States, Afghan authorities continued to expand PISCES installations at additional locations. Afghanistan remained an important partner nation in the Department of State’s Antiterrorism Assistance program, which continued to shift its focus from the Presidential Protective Service to the National Directorate of Security’s Detachment 10 security unit, to help the Afghans build broader, self-sustaining capabilities to protect national leadership, government facilities, and diplomatic facilities.
The Governments of Afghanistan and the United States investigated a variety of criminal acts, including kidnappings and conspiracy to commit terrorist acts. On several occasions, U.S. law enforcement bodies assisted the Ministry of Interior, the National Directorate of Security, and other Afghan authorities, which enabled them to take actions to disrupt and dismantle terrorist operations and prosecute terrorist suspects.
In 2012, the Afghan Attorney General’s Office continued to investigate and prosecute violations of the laws on crimes against the internal and external security of the state (1976 and 1987), violations of the Law on Combat Against Terrorist Offences (2008), and the Law of Firearms, Ammunition and Explosives (2005), including laws that prohibit membership in terrorist or insurgent groups as well as laws that forbid violent acts committed against the state, hostage taking, murder, and the use of explosives against military forces and state infrastructure. The number of these cases that were investigated and prosecuted increased. A high percentage of these cases, primarily as a consequence of the March 9 Memorandum of Understanding on the Transfer of U.S. Detention Facilities, were tried at the Justice Center in Parwan. Cases were investigated and prosecuted in large numbers in the provinces as well, including a significant number in Kabul.
A number of incidents involving terrorist acts directed at U.S. citizens and interests were investigated and action taken by Afghan authorities. Two highlights included the December kidnapping and hostage recovery of a U.S. person and the November detention and subsequent Foreign Transfer of Custody of an American Unlawful Enemy Combatant.
Countering Terrorist Finance: Afghanistan, a member of the Asia/Pacific Group on Money Laundering (APG), a Financial Action Task Force (FATF)-style regional body, took initial steps to address deficiencies in its anti-money laundering/combating the financing of terrorism (AML/CFT) regime. In June, Afghanistan was publicly identified by FATF as a jurisdiction with strategic AML/CFT deficiencies. At that time, the Central Bank of Afghanistan confirmed by letter to FATF the government’s high-level commitment to implement an action plan agreed upon with the FATF to address these deficiencies. The FATF action plan outlined a number of areas that the government needs to address to bring Afghanistan into compliance with international standards, including the enactment of amended AML/CFT legislation. To date, terrorist finance investigations in Afghanistan have been hampered by a weak or non-existent legal and regulatory regime, coupled with lack of capacity and political commitment. For further information on money laundering and financial crimes, we refer you to the 2013 International Narcotics Control Strategy Report (INCSR), Volume 2, Money Laundering and Financial Crimes: //2009-2017.state.gov/j/inl/rls/nrcrpt/index.htm.
Regional and International Cooperation: Afghanistan consistently emphasized the need to strengthen joint cooperation to fight terrorism and violent extremism in a variety of bilateral and multilateral fora. Notable among such meetings were regular meetings of the U.S.-Afghanistan-Pakistan Core Group; the frequent Istanbul Process meetings; and meetings of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation, the UN Regional Centre for Preventive Diplomacy for Central Asia, the UN Office of Drugs and Crime, the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, and other organizations. Afghanistan supported the UNGA Resolution establishing the UN Centre for Counter-Terrorism as part of the Counter-Terrorism Implementation Task Force.
Afghanistan has driven the Counterterrorism Confidence Building Measure (CBM) of the Istanbul Process, working closely with Turkey and the United Arab Emirates. Throughout 2012, the CBM working group identified activities that will be undertaken to counter terrorism and increase cooperation and mutual confidence.
The Project Global Shield (PGS) partnership focused on monitoring and curtailing the illicit diversion of 14 precursor chemicals used in the production of improvised explosive devices (IEDs), and reported an expansion from 82 to 97 participant countries and international organizations included in the World Customs Organization. The PGS-targeted precursors were used in insurgent IED attacks targeting civilian, Afghan, and ISAF elements in Afghanistan.
Afghanistan also continued to work with its NATO-ISAF partners and with its regional neighbors to improve training, capacity, and counterterrorism collaboration. With Turkey and Pakistan, it held a trilateral Summit in December and discussed cooperation and held joint exercises in counterterrorism operations. Besides the Strategic Partnership Agreement signed with the United States in May, Afghanistan signed similar agreements with Italy and France in January 2012, and continued to work on agreements with Turkey and other NATO countries.
Countering Radicalization and Violent Extremism: Afghanistan’s programs to counter violent extremism continued through increased engagement with religious communities. According to most estimates, over 90 percent of Afghan mosques and madrassas operated independently of government oversight. Some promoted violent extremist ideology. The Ministry of Hajj and Religious Affairs, as well as the Department of Islamic Education at the Ministry of Education, continued efforts to register more mosques and madrassas with limited success. The National Ulema Council, a quasi-governmental body of religious scholars established by President Karzai in 2002, became more vocal in condemning suicide attacks as un-Islamic.
The Afghanistan Peace and Reintegration Program (APRP) was established by the Government of Afghanistan in 2010, and serves to reintegrate low- and mid-level insurgents back into their communities. The APRP is a National Priority Program of the Afghan government, is managed by the High Peace Council (HPC), and executed at the national level by the Joint Secretariat (JS). The HPC and JS work with the Provincial Peace committees and Provincial Joint Secretariat teams to effectively execute the program at the provincial level. By joining the program, the former fighter makes the commitment to renounce violence and sever all ties with the insurgency, and to abide by the Constitution of Afghanistan. This includes accepting the Government of Afghanistan’s laws on women’s rights. Since its inception, the APRP has successfully reintegrated over six thousand former combatants across Afghanistan. Community development is a core element of the APRP, serving both to facilitate the reintegrees’ return and to encourage good governance and economic development at the local level, thereby increasing community resistance to insurgent influence. By year’s end, over 1500 community recovery projects and programs were in various stages of planning and implementation across the country; the Afghan government estimated over 178,000 individuals have benefited from these projects.
Overview: The Government of Bangladesh has demonstrated its commitment to combating domestic and transnational terrorist groups, and its counterterrorism efforts made it harder for transnational terrorists to operate in or establish safe havens in Bangladesh. U.S. assistance supports programs for Bangladeshi civilian, law enforcement, and military counterparts to build their capacity to monitor, detect, and prevent terrorism.
Legislation, Law Enforcement, and Border Security: Bangladesh’s criminal justice system is in the process of fully implementing the Antiterrorism Act of 2009; however, the judiciary moved slowly in processing terrorism and other criminal cases in general. Bangladesh cooperated with the United States to further strengthen control of its borders and land, sea, and air ports of entry. Bangladesh continued to participate in the Department of State's Antiterrorism Assistance program and cooperated with the Department of Justice’s efforts to provide prosecutorial skills training to its assistant public prosecutors, encourage greater cooperation between police and prosecutors, and institute community policing in targeted areas of the country. With financial support from the United States and other partners, Bangladesh established a National Academy for Security Training in 2012 and began to provide counterterrorism training courses.
Countering Terrorist Finance: Bangladesh is a member of the Asia/Pacific Group on Money Laundering, a Financial Action Task Force (FATF)-style regional body. The Bangladesh Bank (the central bank) and its Financial Intelligence Unit/Anti-Money Laundering Section lead the government's effort to comply with the international sanctions regime. FATF has identified Bangladesh’s implementation of UNSCRs 1267 and 1373 as a deficiency in its laws. Bangladesh formed an interagency committee to address this issue, and has drafted regulations to implement both of these provisions. While Bangladesh’s Anti-Terrorism Act criminalized terrorist financing, FATF has recommended that Bangladesh amend its laws to meet international standards and to clarify remaining ambiguities. The interagency committee mentioned above has begun revising the legislation to satisfy FATF’s concerns in this regard. For further information on money laundering and financial crimes, we refer you to the 2013 International Narcotics Control Strategy Report (INCSR), Volume 2, Money Laundering and Financial Crimes: //2009-2017.state.gov/j/inl/rls/nrcrpt/index.htm.
Regional and International Cooperation: Bangladesh is party to various counterterrorism protocols under the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation and is bringing the country’s counterterrorism efforts in line with the four pillars of the UN Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy. Bangladesh’s foreign and domestic policies are heavily influenced by the region’s major powers, particularly India. In past years the Indo-Bangladesh relationship provided openings for transnational threats, but the current government has demonstrated its interest in regional cooperation on counterterrorism. Bangladesh was active in the full range of international fora.
In 2012, Bangladesh enacted a mutual legal assistance law that will allow for greater international cooperation. It has also signed memoranda of understanding with a number of countries to share evidence regarding criminal investigations, including investigations related to financial crimes and terrorist financing.
Countering Radicalization and Violent Extremism: Bangladesh uses strategic communication to counter violent extremism, especially among youth. The Ministry of Education provides oversight for madrassas and is developing a standard national curriculum that includes language, math, and science curricula; and minimum standards of secular subjects to be taught in all primary schools, up to the eighth grade. The Ministry of Religious Affairs and the National Committee on Militancy Resistance and Prevention work with imams and religious scholars to build public awareness against terrorism. The Government of Bangladesh is also actively expanding economic opportunities for women as it views economic empowerment for women as a buffer against violent extremist messages of male religious leaders.
Overview: According to the South Asia Terrorism Portal, 805 people were killed as a result of terrorist attacks in India in 2012. While this figure represents a 25 percent decrease from the previous year, India remained subject to violent terrorist attacks and continued to be one of the most persistently targeted countries by transnational terrorist groups such as Lashkar-e-Tayyiba (LeT). Included in the total number of fatalities were the 364 deaths ascribed to left-wing violent extremism, almost 80 percent of which were Communist Party of India Maoist or Maoist/ Naxalite violence, which the Indian government considers its most serious internal security threat. To date, those groups have not specifically targeted U.S. or other international interests.
In 2012, Indian sources continued to attribute violence and deaths in Jammu and Kashmir to transnational terrorist groups it alleges are backed by Pakistan. India and Pakistan attempted to decrease tensions in their bilateral relationship by increasing official dialogue between their two governments, lessening trade restrictions, and relaxing some visa requirements in 2012. Continued allegations of violations of the Line of Control between India and Pakistan (the border along Jammu and Kashmir), however, and Indian concerns about Pakistani-based terrorist groups remained impediments to normalizing relations.
In December, the Indian government reached an agreement with the Pakistani government for a second visit of a Pakistan Judicial Commission to visit India to cross-examine witnesses for the Mumbai attack prosecutions in Pakistan, but the visit must be approved by the courts in both countries; this had not occurred by year’s end. Terrorist opponents of better India-Pakistan relations, including LeT and its leader Hafiz Saeed, continued to call for violent attacks against India.
The United States and India increased counterterrorism capacity building efforts and cooperation, with the Indians participating in several courses provided by the Department of State’s Antiterrorism Assistance program, along with other regional capacity building programs. The annual U.S.-India Counterterrorism Joint Working Group meeting allowed both countries to share counterterrorism perspectives and policies, as well as propose initiatives for future cooperation. In addition, the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation, through the Office of the Legal Attaché, conducted additional exchanges with Indian law enforcement personnel, and DHS, through the Homeland Security Dialogue with the Ministry of Home Affairs, expanded its interaction with Indian officials on cyber security, counterfeit Indian currency that could be used to finance terrorism, port security, and megacity policing initiatives.
2012 Terrorist Incidents: Apart from Maoist violence, there were two significant terrorist incidents:
• On February 13, the wife of an Israeli diplomat was severely injured when a bomb was placed on the back of her car as she drove in New Delhi in an area near both the Prime Minister’s residence and the diplomatic enclave. Similar attempts to bomb Israeli targets in other countries around the same time led many to believe that Iran might be responsible for the attack.
• On August 1, 30 roadside bombs were discovered in Pune, Maharashtra. One of the bombs exploded causing injuries, and Antiterrorism Assistance program-trained law enforcement officials helped disarm the remaining bombs. By December, Indian police had arrested eight suspected members of the Indian Mujahedeen on suspicion of having planted the bombs.
Legislation, Law Enforcement, and Border Security: In late June, Indian authorities in New Delhi arrested LeT member Sayeed Zabiuddin Ansari, alias Abu Jindal, one of the instigators of the November 2008 Mumbai attack. Jindal’s voice was recorded by the Indian authorities monitoring the phone calls, which has directly implicated him in the massacre. In November, just before the fourth anniversary of the Mumbai attack, Mohammad Ajmal Amir Kasab, the lone surviving Pakistani gunman in those attacks, was executed.
As part of its strategy to increase border security, the Ministry of Home Affairs Department of Border Management is building fences and roads and installing floodlights along both the Indo-Pakistan border and the Indo-Bangladesh border. In 2012, land was identified for the establishment of 116 of 131 new coastal police stations and the land acquisition process began for 74 of those stations as part of the government’s Coastal Security Plan.
The Government of India’s efforts to establish a National Counterterrorism Center were stalled when Chief Ministers from several states objected to its establishment on the grounds that it infringed upon the states’ constitutional rights and responsibilities to maintain law and order. Earlier 2009 initiatives to establish a National Intelligence Grid, a platform for information-sharing between law enforcement, intelligence services, and other government agencies, and a national crime record database had not been implemented by year’s end, but some progress was reported. The Crime and Criminal Tracking Network and Systems will create a nation-wide environment for the real-time sharing of crime and criminal information.
Countering Terrorist Finance: India is a member of the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) and two FATF-style regional bodies; the Eurasian Group on Combating Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing and the Asia/Pacific Group on Money Laundering. The international community has targeted LeT individuals and entities under terrorism sanctions, and through FATF, the United States has worked with India to help improve its anti-money laundering/combating the financing of terrorism regime. The number of cases under investigation has continued to increase, but the number of persons convicted has remained low in comparison with the terrorism finance risk faced by India. For further information on money laundering and financial crimes, we refer you to the 2013 International Narcotics Control Strategy Report (INSCR) Volume 2, Money Laundering and Financial Crimes: //2009-2017.state.gov/j/inl/rls/nrcrpt/index.htm.
Regional and International Cooperation: India is a founding member of the Global Counterterrorism Forum (GCTF) and was an active participant in the GCTF and other UN forums on counterterrorism throughout the year. The Indian and Bangladeshi governments agreed in December to enhance cooperation under their bilateral Coordinated Border Management Plan to control illegal cross-border activities and reviewed the functioning of their system for sharing information on security-related matters.
Countering Radicalization and Violent Extremism: India’s counter radicalization and violent extremism efforts are mostly directed by state and local authorities; under the Indian Constitution police and public order issues are state functions. The Indian government has programs that attempt to rehabilitate and integrate various groups, mostly insurgents, back into the mainstream of society, such as the “Scheme for Surrender cum-Rehabilitation of militants in North East.” While not a counter radicalization scheme per se, it is directed at disaffected members of Indian society who support separatist and at times violent movements. Indian government officials have raised concerns about how social media and the internet can be used to stir communal unrest and radicalization. However, there was no national program or policy on countering radicalization or violent extremism.
Overview: Kazakhstani officials continued to exhibit concern about violent extremism. Several small explosions and gun battles between security forces and suspected violent extremists kept the government on high alert, but terrorist groups have yet to mount a successful, large-scale attack in Kazakhstan. Critics claimed that official measures to counter radicalization and violent extremism were often too heavy-handed, and could result in increasing radicalization. In 2012, the government increasingly used the threat of violent extremism to justify limitations on political opposition and media outlets.
2012 Terrorist Incidents: Security incidents attributed to terrorists or violent extremists generally involved small explosive devices or small arms ambushes, primarily targeting government infrastructure or armed policemen. In several cases, explosions with no reported civilian casualties were attributed to accidental detonations of explosive devices by terrorist groups. Security forces periodically released reports of shootouts with people they described as terrorists. It was unclear, however, how security forces distinguished between terrorist or violent extremist groups and criminal groups. Analysts believe that violent extremist networks in Kazakhstan likely did not physically interact with their counterparts in other regions, but received online training and instructions. Significant incidents included:
• On July 11, a blast in a village outside Almaty killed eight people. Security forces stated that the explosion occurred in a safe-house where a violent extremist group was attempting to build a bomb. In an August 17 follow-up operation, Kazakhstani security forces killed nine suspected violent extremists who reportedly refused to surrender.
• On September 12, a week after suspected violent extremists set off an accidental explosion that killed one of their own, Kazakhstani security forces killed at least two more during a raid on an apartment building in Kulsary in western Kazakhstan.
Legislation, Law Enforcement, and Border Security: In December, Kazakhstan's parliament approved new legislation intended to clearly delineate and regulate the authorities and responsibilities of government agencies in matters of counterterrorism, and to establish regional counterterrorism commissions.
In April, representatives of border control agencies from Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan announced plans to establish an automated system of information exchange in order to more effectively implement counterterrorism measures across their borders.
Throughout the year, Kazakhstani security forces, prosecutors, and courts actively arrested, tried, and convicted dozens of people on charges of terrorism or extremism, including convictions for providing material support to terrorist groups and for dissemination of so-called “extremist materials.”
In April, five people were convicted of organizing a November 2011 terrorist attack in Taraz, although the incident involved only a lone gunman. Their sentences ranged from five years to life in prison. In two separate trials in April, 47 defendants were found guilty of organizing bombing attacks on government buildings in Atyrau on October 31, 2011, and sentenced to prison terms ranging from five to 15 years. The violent extremist group Jund al-Khilafah (Soldiers of the Caliphate) claimed responsibility for that attack.
Government and law enforcement officials in Kazakhstan were motivated to act against perceived terrorist and violent extremist threats in the country. There were concerns, however, regarding Kazakhstan’s sometimes heavy-handed response to perceived threats, which critics claimed could exacerbate the spread of extremism. For example, several opposition media outlets were convicted of extremism and ordered to stop operations in 2012 without compelling evidence of involvement in terrorism.
In September, Kazakhstani parliamentarians criticized law enforcement bodies for their tendency to kill all suspected terrorists in shootouts, rather than capture them alive for questioning.
Countering Terrorist Finance: Kazakhstan is a member of the Eurasian Group on Combating Money Laundering and Financing of Terrorism, a Financial Action Task Force-style regional body. In June, Kazakhstan adopted several changes and amendments to its existing terrorist finance laws to eliminate gaps and contradictions in previous legislation. The Prosecutor General's Office has indicated that it has plans to make lists of organizations that finance terrorism based on information submitted by special services and law enforcement agencies with counterterrorism responsibilities. Based on this information, the Prosecutor General’s Office would be able to request that the Financial Monitoring Committee monitor the financial operations of the organization in question.
In October, the Senate ratified a Customs Union treaty on money laundering and terrorist finance. The Customs Union consists of Kazakhstan, Russia, and Belarus.
In October, three defendants in Uralsk were convicted under terrorist finance laws of providing financial support to the Islamic Jihad Union.
For further information on money laundering and financial crimes, we refer you to the 2013 International Narcotics Control Strategy Report (INCSR), Volume 2, Money Laundering and Financial Crimes: //2009-2017.state.gov/j/inl/rls/nrcrpt/index.htm.
Regional and International Cooperation: Kazakhstan is an active participant in regional counterterrorism efforts, and aspires to be a key regional leader in counterterrorism cooperation. In June, regional representatives met in Almaty to discuss a joint plan of action for the implementation of the UN Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy in Central Asia. In August, expert consultants from the Shanghai Cooperation Organization met in Almaty to discuss upcoming joint activities. In August, Kazakhstani security forces conducted joint counterterrorism drills with counterparts from Russia and Ukraine.
Countering Radicalization and Violent Extremism: The Government of Kazakhstan has undertaken a number of efforts to address radicalization, including some that have negative implications for the country’s efforts to meet international human rights norms. For example, a new law on religion mandated the registration of religious groups throughout the country. According to a representative of the Committee for National Security, the registration process did not reveal any terrorist organizations in Kazakhstan, but several religious communities with no links to violent registration complained that authorities denied them registration under the new law. We refer you to the Department of State’s Annual Report to Congress on International Religious Freedom (//2009-2017.state.gov/j/drl/rls/irf/) for further information.
According to a spokesperson, the Agency for Religious Affairs scrutinized 1,800 websites for violent extremist content in the first nine months of the year. A representative of Kazakhstan’s National Security Council claimed that 950 websites that promoted violent extremism have been shut down since 2010. As part of the government’s plan to conduct a large-scale campaign to counter radicalization in society, new legislation requires all media outlets in Kazakhstan to assist state bodies in counterterrorism efforts; one consequence of this legislation is that several legitimate opposition media outlets were declared “extremist” by Kazakhstani courts and ordered to stop operations. We refer you to the Department of State’s Annual Country Reports on Human Rights Practices (//2009-2017.state.gov/j/drl/rls/hrrpt/) for further information.
Overview: 2012 was a year of relative stability in Kyrgyzstan following the inauguration of President Almazbek Atambayev in December 2011, which marked the first democratic transfer of presidential power in the nation’s history. There were no reported terrorist attacks in Kyrgyzstan in 2012 and no large-scale inter-ethnic clashes. Kyrgyz security forces, however, conducted continuing special operations against individuals allegedly affiliated with terrorist organizations. The Kyrgyz government remained attuned to the potential for terrorism and was involved in numerous international cooperative counterterrorism efforts.
Legislation, Law Enforcement, and Border Security: With funding from Embassy Bishkek’s Export Control and Related Border Security Assistance (EXBS) office, the Kyrgyz government constructed several border guard towers along the country’s southern border with Tajikistan. EXBS worked with Kyrgyzstan’s Border Guards to utilize more modern border surveillance techniques and equipment, including ground sensors, and also funded training programs for Kyrgyzstan’s Customs Services to improve pedestrian, passenger, and vehicle inspection. The Kyrgyz government does not gather biometric data at its border posts.
In 2012, the State Committee for National Security (GKNB), the main government organization tasked with counterterrorism, arrested several individuals based on their alleged connections to terrorist organizations. Throughout the year, the GKNB periodically arrested alleged members of Hizb-ut-Tahrir, which the Kyrgyz government designated as a terrorist organization in 2003. The GKNB claimed to discover extremist materials during the arrests.
There was positive U.S. cooperation with Kyrgyzstan’s main counterterrorism bodies – the GKNB and the Ministry of Internal Affairs (MVD). The GKNB and MVD proactively notified the United States about possible security threats to the U.S. military-operated Transit Center at Manas International Airport and to the U.S. Embassy, usually in the form of protests. They deployed a relatively large number of troops along Bishkek’s main thoroughfare (on which the Embassy is located) to deter large crowds from gathering at the Embassy.
Deterrents to more effective host government law enforcement measures against terrorism included rivalry and a lack of coordination between the GKNB and the MVD, as well as budgetary constraints which resulted in a lack of modern military and law enforcement equipment. Inefficient bureaucratic structures left over from the Soviet era, as well as low salaries and frequent personnel turnover hampered law enforcement efforts. Kyrgyz counterterrorist units remained largely untested in combat situations.
In September, the President signed an order making the Border Service independent from the GKNB. While this move may have some institutional benefits for the Border Service, it created another independent security service competing for resources. Bureaucratic friction is likely to weaken cooperation between the GKNB and the Border Service.
Kyrgyzstan continued to participate in the Department of State’s Antiterrorism Assistance program, which provided training to help Kyrgyz law enforcement deter, detect, and respond to terrorist activities.
Countering Terrorist Finance: Kyrgyzstan is a member of the Eurasian Group on Combating Money Laundering and Financing of Terrorism, a Financial Action Task Force-style regional body. Its Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU) belongs to the Egmont Group of FIUs. On May 28, the Kyrgyz government established a Commission on Combating Financing of Terrorism. The Commission will function as a consultative body under the government to coordinate activities between relevant state bodies on combating terrorist financing and the laundering of criminal earnings. The Government of Kyrgyzstan did not report any efforts to seize terrorist assets in 2012. For further information on money laundering and financial crimes, we refer you to the 2013 International Narcotics Control Strategy Report (INCSR), Volume 2, Money Laundering and Financial Crimes: //2009-2017.state.gov/j/inl/rls/nrcrpt/index.htm.
Regional and International Cooperation: In 2012, Kyrgyzstan participated in counterterrorism activities organized by the OSCE, the Commonwealth of Independent States Anti-Terrorism Center, and the Collective Security Treaty Organization.
Overview: Maldives is a strategically located series of atolls in the heart of the Indian Ocean. Since 2010, there has been growing concern about the activities of a small number of local extremists who support violence and their involvement with transnational terrorist groups. There has been particular concern that young Maldivians may be at risk of becoming radicalized and that some are joining violent extremist groups, including those with ties to Laskhar-e-Tayyiba (LeT) and al-Qa’ida (AQ).
Recent arrests in Pakistan of Maldivian citizens connected to terrorist groups have heightened the concern over radicalization. The Government of Maldives has been an enthusiastic partner with the United States to strengthen its law enforcement capacity and to conduct community outreach to counter violent extremism.
While Pakistan has been a traditional destination for education, young Maldivians have increasingly sought Islamic education in Saudi Arabia, Yemen, and Sudan due to perceived physical security risks associated with traveling in Pakistan. Some have expressed concern that students studying in the Gulf countries are bringing home radical ideology.
Legislation, Law Enforcement, and Border Security: There were no successful prosecutions of individuals promoting violent extremism and terrorism in 2012, as existing laws severely limited the ability of law enforcement agencies to prosecute such cases.
Maldives became a new partner nation in the Department of State's Antiterrorism Assistance (ATA) program in 2011, and 2012 programming efforts focused on building capacity in counterterrorism leadership and management, critical target protection, and regional cooperation. The police participated in five ATA courses in 2012.
On December 17, the Maldivian Parliament approved Maldives’ accession to the UN Convention Against Transnational Organized Crime. At year’s end, the Attorney General was reviewing the convention, after which the President will ratify it.
Countering Terrorist Finance: Maldives is a member of the Asia/Pacific Group on Money Laundering, a Financial Action Task Force-style regional body, and has submitted annual status reports. The UN 1267/1989 and 1988 consolidated lists for individuals and entities associated with the Taliban and AQ were sent to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs for forwarding to the Maldives Monetary Authority (MMA), which then instructed banks and creditors to take action and report back within a specified time period.
According to the Government of Maldives, capacity building of relevant supervisory and regulatory authorities (MMA and the Capital Market Development Authority), as well as other law enforcement authorities (Anti-Corruption Commission, Department of Immigration and Emigration, Maldives Customs Service, and Maldives Police Service), and the judiciary is needed in order to properly counter money laundering and terrorist financing. For further information on money laundering and financial crimes, we refer you to the 2013 International Narcotics Control Strategy Report (INCSR), Volume 2, Money Laundering and Financial Crimes: //2009-2017.state.gov/j/inl/rls/nrcrpt/index.htm.
Regional and International Cooperation: The Maldivian government cooperated closely with Indian security forces, and the Indian military offered regular support in the form of assets and training to Maldivian security forces. The Maldivian government also cooperated closely with the Sri Lankan government.
Countering Radicalization and Violent Extremism: The Government of Maldives recognizes that counter-radicalization efforts form a critical component to long-term success against violent extremism and has pursued initiatives in this area. The Ministry of Islamic Affairs implemented a program designed to mobilize religious and social leaders to work against all forms of violence in society, including the religious extremism that can lead to violence. The Ministry conducted over 15 seminars and workshops for religious leaders, educators, and local government officials. Several of these workshops included participants from across the country.
Overview: Nepal experienced no significant acts of international terrorism in 2012, although Nepal’s open border with India and weak controls at Kathmandu’s Tribhuvan International Airport raised concerns. On September 6, the Department of State revoked the designations of the Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist) (CPN(M)) under E.O. 13224 and as a “terrorist organization” from the Terrorist Exclusion List under the Immigration and Nationality Act, after the Department determined that the CPN(M) was no longer engaged in terrorist activity that threatened the security of U.S. nationals or U.S. foreign policy. (Note: the CPN(M) split into two successor parties in June 2012.)
2012 Terrorist Incidents: More than 47 improvised explosive devices (IEDs) detonated in 2012, but the majority of these incidents had no or few casualties. There were, however, two exceptions:
• On February 27, three people were killed and seven people were injured in Kathmandu when an IED was detonated outside the gate of the Nepal Oil Corporation. In March, police arrested six individuals suspected to have close links to the United Ethnic Liberation Front Nepal (UELFN), which claimed responsibility for the bombing.
• On April 30, an IED attack in Janakpur targeted participants at a sit-in protest demanding representation in negotiations over a new federal constitution. The blast killed four and injured two dozen others. The Janatantrik Tarai Mukti Morcha claimed responsibility for the bombing.
Legislation, Law Enforcement, and Border Security: Other than the ULEFN suspects, described above, there were no arrests or prosecutions of known terrorists in 2012. An open border with India, relatively weak airport security, and rampant corruption remained deterrents to more effective counterterrorism policing. The United States sponsored or hosted capacity-building programs for Nepali security forces, including 14 training courses to Nepali law enforcement, through the Department of State’s Antiterrorism Assistance program.
Countering Terrorist Finance: Nepal is a member of the Asia/Pacific Group (APG) on Money Laundering, a Financial Action Task Force (FATF)-style regional body. Nepal has taken a number of steps toward compliance with the requirements of APG. In June, the government passed ordinances on Mutual Legal Assistance and Extradition, as required by the FATF, but did not pass legislation covering organized crime. The FATF has also recommended that Nepal amend its Anti-Money Laundering Act, and a draft was reportedly being finalized at year’s end. A group of government finance experts has been working to finish draft legislation that would replace the 2008 Assets Laundering Protection Act. Nepal did not prosecute any terrorist financing cases in 2012.
The Government of Nepal implemented UNSCRs 1267/1989, 1988, and 1373 through Nepal Rastra Bank (NRB)-issued directives to the banking and financial sector. The NRB licenses and monitors money and business services that receive remittances. The Financial Regulation Control Act allows only banks and financial institutions (BFI) registered with the NRB to engage in receiving foreign currency transfers (and only banks are allowed to open letters of credit to remit currency overseas). Any transactions by unauthorized BFIs to transfer or receive money (such as hundi or hawala) are considered a criminal money laundering offense, but it is difficult for the government to investigate these informal money transfer systems.
Non-profit organizations are not covered by NRB Financial Information Unit directives, unless they are involved in money laundering or terrorist financing. The Government of Nepal approved a National Strategy and Action Plan for anti-money laundering/combating the financing of terrorism and was working on new laws and supervisory systems to cover non-profit organizations and other non-financial actors gradually. It may take two to three years before nonprofit organizations will be fully covered and monitored.
For further information on money laundering and financial crimes, we refer you to the 2013 International Narcotics Control Strategy Report (INCSR), Volume 2, Money Laundering and Financial Crimes: //2009-2017.state.gov/j/inl/rls/nrcrpt/index.htm.
Overview: In 2012, Pakistan remained an important partner in counterterrorism efforts against al-Qa’ida (AQ). Pakistan also undertook operations against terrorist groups that carried out attacks within Pakistan, such as the Tehrik-e Taliban Pakistan (TTP or Pakistani Taliban). Pakistan did not take significant action against some other violent extremist groups, including Lashkar-e-Tayyiba (LeT), which continued to operate and raise funds openly in Pakistan through its political and charitable wing, Jamaat ud Dawa (JuD). The Afghan Taliban and Haqqani Network (HQN) continued to conduct operations against U.S. and Coalition Forces in Afghanistan from Pakistan. Pakistan took steps to support an Afghan peace process and publicly called on the Taliban to enter into talks with the Afghan government. Hundreds of terrorist attacks occurred nationwide against all sectors of society, including Pakistani military and security personnel.
Pakistani officials continued to make public statements against terrorism and violent extremism. The widely publicized shooting of a 14-year-old girl, Malala Yousufzai, by the TTP led to public calls for the government to do more against terrorist groups. In March, Pakistan’s parliament affirmed its commitment to eliminating terrorism and countering violent extremism. The Government of Pakistan also moved forward several pieces of counterterrorism legislation.
Some banned organizations openly participated in political rallies and forged alliances with religious political parties. In September and October, militant groups and religious parties joined forces to protest and conduct public demonstrations nationwide over the video The Innocence of Muslims. Violence occurred during the early days of the protests. The government and security agencies undertook enhanced security measures during the protests and sought to convince the militant groups to participate peacefully.
Pakistan’s Shia minority continued to be targeted in large-scale sectarian attacks, including in Karachi, Balochistan, and northwest Pakistan. Targeted killings of both Shia and Sunni activists occurred in Karachi. The TTP claimed credit for some sectarian attacks during the Shia holiday of Moharram, although increased levels of security prevented many TTP-planned suicide attacks on Shia processions and mosques, according to law enforcement reports. Despite the government’s stringent security measures, including a ban on both cell phone usage and motorbikes, a series of four major bombings in Karachi, Dera Ismail Khan, and Rawalpindi marred the Moharram religious week.
2012 Terrorist Incidents: Over 2,000 Pakistani civilians and 680 security forces personnel were killed in terrorist-related incidents in 2012. Terrorist incidents occurred in every province. Terrorists attacked Pakistani military units, police stations, and border checkpoints, and conducted coordinated attacks against two major military installations. Terrorists displayed videos on the internet of the murders and beheadings of security forces. Terrorist groups also targeted police and security officials with suicide bombings and improvised explosive devices (IEDs). Terrorist groups targeted and assassinated tribal elders, members of peace committees, and anti-Taliban government officials. The TTP often claimed responsibility for attacks targeting civilians and security personnel in Pakistan.
Representative incidents included:
• On February 17, a suicide bomber killed 41 people in a bazaar near a Shia mosque in Parachinar, Kurram Agency. A splinter group of the TTP claimed responsibility for the blast.
• On February 23, a remote-controlled bomb inside a parked car exploded outside a bus station in Peshawar. The blast killed 13 people and injured 38.
• On April 24, a five-kilogram bomb in a bag exploded at the Lahore Railway Station. The blast killed three people and injured 58.
• On July 12, the TTP stormed a police training facility in Lahore and executed nine police cadets.
• On August 16, the TTP launched a coordinated assault with armed commandos and suicide bombers on the Kamra Air Force Base in Attock, Punjab. One security official was killed in the attack.
• On August 29, terrorists attacked a Pakistani military post near the Afghan border in South Waziristan and killed 12 soldiers. TTP uploaded video to the internet of some of the soldiers being beheaded.
• On September 3, a suicide bomber detonated an explosive-laden vehicle next to a Consulate General Peshawar motorcade near the entrance to the Consulate’s University town housing area. The blast killed one bystander and injured at least 20 others. Two U.S. diplomatic personnel were injured along with three local staff members and two Pakistani Police officers.
• On November 21, a suicide bomber detonated his jacket near a Moharram religious procession in Rawalpindi. The blast killed 23 people and injured 62.
• On December 15, terrorists attacked Peshawar Airport, killing nine people and injuring 42.
• On December 22, at least nine people, including a provincial Minister, were killed and over 18 others were injured when a suicide bomber attacked a political gathering in Peshawar.
• On December 29, 22 Pakistani soldiers were killed by TTP elements outside Peshawar.
Legislation, Law Enforcement, and Border Security: In November, the Cabinet approved the National Counter Terrorism Authority Act of 2012, which was designed to strengthen counterterrorism coordination and information-sharing between security agencies and provincial police and provide a vehicle for national counterterrorism policy and strategy formulation. In December, Pakistan’s National Assembly approved the Fair Trial Act, which was designed to provide the necessary legal tools to intelligence agencies, law enforcement agencies, and prosecutors to detect, disrupt, and dismantle terrorist activities and organizations. The law authorizes trial courts to use evidence obtained by electronic interception and surveillance.
Pakistani security forces conducted counterterrorism operations in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province and throughout the Federally Administered Tribal Areas that resulted in the detention or arrest of thousands of militants. Security forces intercepted large stockpiles of weapons and explosives, and discovered bomb-making facilities.
Pakistan’s Anti-Terrorism Courts have a high acquittal rate. Witnesses routinely recant their statements or fail to appear because of threats against them and their families. In June, an Anti-Terrorism Court acquitted four men accused of assisting Faisal Shahzad, the TTP-trained militant who attempted to explode a car bomb in New York City’s Times Square in 2010, claiming a lack of evidence. The court would not accept evidence collected by electronic surveillance. The Fair Trial Act, approved by parliament in December, will allow evidence obtained by electronic interception and surveillance to be admitted as evidence in the courts system.
Pakistan did not conclude the trials of seven alleged perpetrators of the 2008 Mumbai attacks, although it continued to maintain a dialogue with India on steps both sides need to take to enable the prosecutions to move forward.
Information sharing and counterterrorism activities with Pakistan’s security establishment continued. Pakistani law enforcement reinforced security at U.S. facilities in Pakistan during the protests over the Innocence of Muslims video in September 2012, and took steps to ensure the security of U.S. personnel. Long delays in visa processing for U.S. personnel impeded counterterrorism-related assistance and training for security forces and prosecutors.
Pakistan remained a partner nation in the Department of State’s Antiterrorism Assistance program, which provided tactical and investigative training at the federal and provincial levels.
Countering Terrorist Finance: Pakistan is a member of the Asia/Pacific Group on Money Laundering, a Financial Action Task Force (FATF)-style regional body. The FATF named Pakistan on its public statement in February due to Pakistan’s failure to address strategic deficiencies in its anti-money laundering/combating the financing of terrorism (AML/CFT) regime. The FATF recommended Pakistan enact legislation to strengthen authorities to prosecute terrorist financing as well as to identify, freeze, and confiscate terrorist assets. The Anti-Terrorism (Amendment) Act of 2012 introduced in Parliament in December includes several of the recommended changes but still failed to bring Pakistan into compliance with international AML/CFT standards.
In April, the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR), Pakistan’s customs and tax authority, established Currency Detection Units in Pakistan’s 12 international airports to counter bulk cash smuggling. The FBR also instituted improved information-sharing protocols on counterterrorism-related arrests and seizures.
UN-designated terrorist organizations continued to avoid sanctions by reconstituting themselves under different names, often with little effort to hide their connections to previously banned groups. Although Pakistan added some named groups to its proscribed organizations list, Pakistan needs to take additional steps to implement and enforce UNSCRs 1267/1989, 1988, and 1373. For further information on money laundering and financial crimes, we refer you to the 2013 International Narcotics Control Strategy Report (INCSR), Volume 2, Money Laundering and Financial Crimes: //2009-2017.state.gov/j/inl/rls/nrcrpt/index.htm.
Regional and International Cooperation: Pakistan actively participated in regional and international counterterrorism efforts, including the Global Counterterrorism Forum and the Global Initiative to Combat Nuclear Terrorism. Pakistan commanded Combined Task Force 151, an international naval task force set up to conduct counter-piracy operations in the Gulf of Aden. Pakistan was a partner in the UK’s Counterterrorism Prosecution Reform Initiative and the UN Development Program, which worked with provincial governments on rule of law programs in Punjab and Malakand. Pakistan participated in South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation meetings on counterterrorism and participated in multilateral groups where counterterrorism cooperation was discussed, including the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (as an observer) and the D-8, a group of developing nations with large Muslim populations. In October, Pakistan’s Interior Minister participated in a Law Enforcement and Counterterrorism working group in Washington, DC.
Countering Radicalization and Violent Extremism: Pakistan’s military worked with civil society leaders to operate the Sabaoon Rehabilitation Center, a de-radicalization program in Mingora, Swat where radicalized youth are rehabilitated through education and counseling.
Overview: In 2009, the Government of Sri Lanka militarily defeated the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE), which was seeking an independent homeland for Sri Lanka's Tamil population. The Sri Lankan government's comprehensive and aggressive counterterrorism stance is a direct result of its experience in this nearly three decades-long conflict. Counterterrorism cooperation and training with the United States in 2012 was limited, however, due to statutory and policy restrictions based on concerns about alleged past human rights abuses committed by Sri Lankan security forces.
The Sri Lankan government claimed that it continued to uncover abandoned weapons and explosives in areas of the country formerly controlled by the LTTE. Although there were no known LTTE activities in Sri Lanka in 2012, the government asserted that peaceful protests at Jaffna University in November were organized by students trained by overseas LTTE supporters and made several arrests.
The Government of Sri Lanka remained concerned that the LTTE's international network of financial support was still functioning; many counterterrorism activities undertaken by the government targeted alleged LTTE finances. Also, the Sri Lankan government maintained a strong military presence in post-conflict areas and voiced concern about the possible re-emergence of pro-LTTE sympathizers.
Legislation, Law Enforcement, and Border Security: Counterterrorism legislation in Sri Lanka has focused on eliminating the remnants of the LTTE and enforcing general security throughout the island. The Sri Lankan government continued to implement the Prevention of Terrorism Act of 1978, which was made a permanent law in 1982 and remains in force.
The Sri Lankan government is a proactive partner with the U.S. Departments of State, Homeland Security, Defense, and Energy on securing its maritime border. In October, the U.S. Coast Guard, under the Department of State’s Export Control and Related Border Security program, trained Sri Lankan Coast Guard and Navy personnel on border and export control matters. The Sri Lankan government also cooperated with U.S. Customs and Border Protection through the Container Security Initiative. Further, in 2012, the International Organization for Migration (IOM) trained over 50 immigration officers in techniques to improve border surveillance and combat human trafficking. IOM, in conjunction with the Australian government, provided specialized training to 16 Sri Lankan immigration personnel to reinforce intelligence and data collection efforts to secure the border. A specific Sri Lankan immigration border intelligence unit was established and used improved database processing to target forgeries and the use of counterfeit documents.
Countering Terrorist Finance: Sri Lanka is a member of the Asia/Pacific Group on Money Laundering, a Financial Action Task Force (FATF)-style regional body. Although the LTTE has been militarily defeated, the Government of Sri Lanka asserted that sympathizers and organizational remnants have continued to raise funds in many countries. Sri Lanka was blacklisted by the FATF in June 2011 for significant anti-money laundering/combating the financing of terrorism (AML/CFT) deficiencies. Since then, Sri Lanka has made significant progress in addressing the FATF action plan by passing AML/CFT legislation. Based on largely completing its FATF action plan, Sri Lanka will be considered by the FATF for removal from the blacklist in June 2013, pending successful completion of the on-site visit.
In the past, the LTTE has used a number of non-profit organizations for fundraising purposes, including the Tamil Rehabilitation Organization. The Sri Lankan government continued to actively search for other financial links to the LTTE.
For further information on money laundering and financial crimes, we refer you to the 2013 International Narcotics Control Strategy Report (INCSR), Volume 2, Money Laundering and Financial Crimes: //2009-2017.state.gov/j/inl/rls/nrcrpt/index.htm.
Regional and International Cooperation: The Sri Lankan government remained committed to the counterterrorism efforts of multilateral institutions, such as the UN. In December, the Sri Lankan government held the 2012 Galle Dialogue, which featured multilateral discussion by international security force representatives on issues of regional security in South Asia, including successful actions against terrorists within the last 10 years.
Overview: In 2012, Tajikistan continued to correct weaknesses in its counterterrorism strategy and demonstrated its ability to conduct counterterrorism operations. Tajikistan’s counterterrorism policies were focused on marginalizing radical Islamic groups in Tajik society, but in some cases targeted non-extremist Islamic groups. These policies also sought to increase the capacity of Tajikistan’s military and law enforcement community to conduct tactical operations through bilateral and multilateral assistance programs.
Legislation, Law Enforcement, and Border Security: There have been successful prosecutions of terrorists under the Law on Combating Terrorism. However, a corrupt judicial system and misuse of counterterrorism statutes to suppress legitimate political opposition hampered the effectiveness of the government’s counterterrorism efforts.
On June 20, the Parliament of Tajikistan adopted amendments to the “Law on the Fight Against Terrorism” that were then signed by President Emomali Rahmon. The amendments clarify the process by which terrorist lists are compiled and that provide new powers of asset seizure. In 2012, 14 groups were labeled as terrorist organizations by Tajik authorities.
Resource constraints, corruption, lack of training for effective law enforcement and border security officials and general capacity issues continued to plague the Tajik government’s ability to interdict possible terrorists. Despite these deficiencies, the Tajik government sought to address terrorism and possible terrorist threats to the extent of its capabilities.
Tajikistan has made progress in improving border security with bilateral and multilateral assistance, though effectively policing the Tajik/Afghan border is a monumental task requiring more resources and capabilities than the Tajik government has. The International Organization on Migration and the OSCE worked to improve travel document security. The OSCE has funding to link Tajikistan’s existing passport data scanners at airports and land ports of entry to the Interpol database.
Tajikistan is an active participant in the Department of State’s Antiterrorism Assistance program, U.S. military training programs, and other U.S.-sponsored counterterrorism training programs.
The State Committee on National Security (GKNB) cooperated with the United States and international organizations to reduce Tajikistan’s vulnerability to terrorist threats.
The Ministry of Interior’s elite Militia Detachment for Special Purposes, the Dushanbe City Police Department, the GKNB Embassy Protection Service, the Committee of Emergency Situations and Civil Defense, and the U.S. Embassy participated in several drills that simulated a terrorist attack against the U.S. Embassy.
Countering Terrorist Finance: Tajikistan is a member of the Eurasian Group on Combating Money Laundering and Financing of Terrorism (EAG), a Financial Action Task Force (FATF)-style regional body. Through the EAG, Tajikistan received assistance and other resources towards improving legislative and regulatory frameworks and operational capabilities.
Terrorist financing and money laundering were illegal, but existing laws are not comprehensive and do not meet international standards. Despite pressure from the international community, and the Government of Tajikistan’s efforts to improve its anti-money laundering/combating the financing of terrorism regime, through the implementation of its FATF “Action Plan” and new legislation – such as the law “On Counteraction Against Legalization (Laundering) of Incomes Received In a Criminal Way and Combating Terrorism Financing” – severe deficiencies remained. Tajikistan’s inadequate criminalization of terrorist financing and money laundering and its inability to effectively identify and investigate suspicious transactions was of particular concern. Deficiencies included: inadequate criminalization of money laundering, inadequate procedures for confiscation of criminal proceeds, lack of requirements for comprehensive customer due diligence, lack of adequate record keeping, and the lack of an effective Financial Intelligence Unit. Endemic corruption also prevented significant reform in this area.
For further information on money laundering and financial crimes, we refer you to the 2013 International Narcotics Control Strategy Report (INCSR), Volume 2, Money Laundering and Financial Crimes: //2009-2017.state.gov/j/inl/rls/nrcrpt/index.htm.
Regional and International Cooperation: Tajikistan is an active member of the OSCE, working with that organization primarily on border security, and is a member of the Collective Security Treaty Organization. The EU provided funding for border security programs in Tajikistan. In September, Tajikistan participated in regional counterterrorism exercises with Shanghai Cooperation Organization partner nations.
Countering Radicalization and Violent Extremism: Stemming violent extremism and radicalization in Tajikistan is a top priority for the Tajik government. Many of the government's measures, however, had an impact on basic religious freedoms, including banning women from attending mosque and wearing the hijab in school, and prohibiting children under 18 from attending mosque or other public religious services. We refer you to the Department of State’s Annual Report to Congress on International Religious Freedom (//2009-2017.state.gov/j/drl/irf/rpt/index.htm) for further information.
Tajikistan has no programs for the rehabilitation or reintegration into society of terrorists. Leaders of Tajikistan’s officially sanctioned religious establishment claimed there was no radicalization threat in its prison system.
Overview: The Government of Turkmenistan continued its efforts to improve the capacity of law enforcement agencies to counter terrorism, ensure border security, and detect terrorist financing. The Financial Action Task Force (FATF) released Turkmenistan from its global anti-money laundering/combating the financing of terrorism (AML/CFT) compliance monitoring process in recognition of its significant progress in this area.
Legislation, Law Enforcement, and Border Security: There was significant political will in Turkmenistan to counter terrorism and ensure border security. Petty corruption, however, sometimes hampered effective law enforcement. State Border Service officers demonstrated significantly improved professionalism in 2012, and the Government of Turkmenistan opened several new frontier garrisons on its borders with Iran and Afghanistan. Turkmenistan participated in the State Department’s Antiterrorism Assistance program.
Countering Terrorist Finance: Turkmenistan is a member of the Eurasian Group on Combating Money Laundering and Financing of Terrorism, a FATF-style regional body. The Ministry of Finance continued to work with advisors from the U.S. Treasury Department’s Office of Technical Assistance (OTA), under a bilateral agreement signed in December 2011. As part of this initiative, OTA trained Ministry of Finance officials in financial analytical techniques, customs and financial investigative techniques, detecting and investigating financial crimes, money laundering, and combating terrorist financing. The Ministry’s Financial Monitoring Department improved cross-border reporting of currency and monetary instruments and brought cash reporting requirements in-line with FATF recommendations. Turkmenistan continued to express interest in gaining admission to the Egmont Group of Financial Intelligence Units. There were no reported prosecutions of terrorist financing cases during the year. For further information on money laundering and financial crimes, we refer you to the 2013 International Narcotics Control Strategy Report (INCSR), Volume 2, Money Laundering and Financial Crimes: //2009-2017.state.gov/j/inl/rls/nrcrpt/index.htm.
Regional and International Cooperation: In June, the Government of Turkmenistan participated in consultations with other Central Asian governments to implement the UN Counterterrorism Strategy for Central Asia. The consultations were organized by the UN Regional Center for Preventative Diplomacy in Central Asia.
Turkmenistan signed agreements with the Commonwealth of Independent States, Turkey, and Tajikistan to coordinate counterterrorism activities and counter terrorist financing. Government officials participated in OSCE-sponsored training on border security, anti-money laundering/combating the financing of terrorism, and protecting human rights while countering terrorism.
Countering Radicalization and Violent Extremism: Turkmenistan's law enforcement and security agencies exercised stringent control over the population. The Government of Turkmenistan reportedly views conservative Islam with suspicion. Since the country's independence, mosques and Muslim clergy have been state-sponsored and financed. We refer you to the Department of State’s Annual Report to Congress on International Religious Freedom (//2009-2017.state.gov/j/drl/irf/rpt/index.htm) for further information.
Overview: The Government of Uzbekistan continued to rank counterterrorism within its borders as one of its top three security priorities, together with counternarcotics and countering violent extremism. The Government of Uzbekistan shares many U.S. counterterrorism goals and objectives in the region, but has employed methods that are in some cases inconsistent with respect for the fundamental rights of citizens and the rule of law.
Sharing a land border with Afghanistan, the Uzbek government continued to express concern about the potential for a “spillover effect” of terrorism, with the scheduled drawdown of U.S. troops by the end of 2014. The government was confident that it could control its border with Afghanistan but was less sure about its neighbors’ ability to do so and was particularly concerned about infiltration of extremists through Uzbekistan’s long, rugged border with Tajikistan.
Legislation, Law Enforcement, and Border Security: Law enforcement and judicial bodies used charges of terrorism and alleged ties to extremist organizations not only as grounds to arrest, prosecute, and convict suspected terrorists and extremists, but also to suppress legitimate expression of political or religious beliefs. The government perceives extremism as a threat to security and stability and bans organizations it broadly deems “extremist” and criminalizes membership in them. Nur, founded by Kurdish Mullah Said Nursi and associated with the religious teachings of Turkish scholar Fethullah Gullen, for example, is considered a banned organization, despite its consistent condemnations of violent extremism. The Initiative Group of Independent Human Rights Defenders of Uzbekistan estimated that more than 250 Muslim believers were imprisoned during the year on charges of religious extremism.
The government continued to issue biometric passports to citizens needing them for travel outside of Uzbekistan. The biometric data includes a digital photo, fingerprints, and biographical data.
Countering Terrorist Finance: Uzbekistan is a member of the Eurasian Group on Combating Money Laundering and Financing of Terrorism, a Financial Action Task Force-style regional body. The Government of Uzbekistan did not report any efforts to seize terrorist assets in 2012. However, in one case, the government froze the account of a citizen of Uzbekistan in connection with a joint Russian/Uzbek terrorism-related investigation. For further information on money laundering and financial crimes, we refer you to the 2013 International Narcotics Control Strategy Report (INCSR), Volume 2, Money Laundering and Financial Crimes: //2009-2017.state.gov/j/inl/rls/nrcrpt/index.htm.
Regional and International Cooperation: Although the Uzbek government preferred bilateral engagement in its security-related cooperation, it is a member of several regional organizations that address terrorism, including the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO), with the Regional Anti-Terrorism Structure (RATS) of the SCO headquartered in Tashkent. Uzbekistan continued to work with several multilateral organizations such as the OSCE, the EU, and the UN Office on Drugs and Crime on general security issues, including border control. However, in 2012 Uzbekistan suspended its membership in the Collective Security Treaty Organization.
In December, at the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) Summit held in Ashgabat, Turkmenistan, CIS members, including Uzbekistan, signed an agreement on counterterrorism training cooperation.
Countering Radicalization and Violent Extremism: Official government media continued to produce documentaries, news articles, and full-length books about the dangers of Islamist religious extremism and terrorist organizations. This messaging generally targeted the 15-40 year old male population, which the Government of Uzbekistan considers the most susceptible to recruitment by violent extremist groups, although some campaigns have focused on female audiences. One of Uzbekistan’s state-run television channels aired a program that urged citizens to read only state-authorized religious books, noting that there are two government authorized publishers of religious literature in Uzbekistan. The program highlighted inspections by law enforcement agencies of bookshops, publishing houses, and border checkpoints to stop the circulation of unauthorized so-called “extremist” literature. Some non-governmental religious experts continued to suggest that greater freedom to circulate mainstream, non-extremist Islamic and other religious materials could be more effective in countering violent extremism than the current policy of maintaining a government monopoly over religious publications. We refer you to the Department of State’s Annual Report to Congress on International Religious Freedom (//2009-2017.state.gov/j/drl/irf/rpt/index.htm) for further information.