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IdentifierCreatedClassificationOrigin
04DJIBOUTI89 2004-01-21 11:04:00 CONFIDENTIAL Embassy Djibouti
Cable title:  

TRAIN EXPLOSION IN DJIBOUTI

Tags:   PTER ASEC DJ 
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This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.
					C O N F I D E N T I A L DJIBOUTI 000089 

SIPDIS

DEPT FOR DS/DSS/IP, DS/IP/AF, DS/IP/ITA, DS/DSS/ATA,
DS/ATA/TR, AF/E, AF/EX
ADDIS ABABA FOR RSO

E.O. 12958: DECL: 01/20/2014
TAGS: PTER ASEC DJ
SUBJECT: TRAIN EXPLOSION IN DJIBOUTI

REF: 03 DJIBOUTI 2241

Classified By: RSO MARC RAMOS FOR REASON 1.5 (B) AND (D)



1. (SBU) On the morning of January 18, 2004 an explosive
device detonated aboard a car of the Ethiopian/Djibouti
Railway. Current reports reveal that several people
experienced moderate injuries and one female experienced
serious injuries that would possibly result in the amputation
of one of her legs. The severity of her injuries was due to
proximity to the device. Djiboutian authorities responded to
the scene in a timely fashion and immediately began an
investigation. Several persons have been detained by the
Djiboutian authorities for questioning. At the time of this
cable, there is insufficient information to comment on the
details of the incident to include identification of
suspects, motivation, damage account, evidence, identity of
the injured or terrorist ties. There were no Americans or
expatriates injured as a result of the explosion nor is there
any impact on American or Western interests within the region.



2. (C) Post comments: This is one of several incidents that
have occurred in the past year that have targeted the
Ethiopian/Djibouti railway. Although first glimpse would
indicate that this is a terrorist motivated incident, Post
believes that the underlying cause for these incidents is
financially and politically motivated. Information revealed
in discussions between key officers at Post and their
Djiboutian counterparts has indicated that persons who have
controlling interests in the railway or trucking industry are
at odds and are taking steps to bolster their financial foot
hold over their respective businesses. Post management has
been asked to provide assistance in renovating and securing
the railway by members of the Djiboutian government in the
spirit of fighting the war on terrorism. Post has informally
declined such requests and maintains that such efforts to
prevent or counter terrorism will be done in diplomatic
coordination with the Host Nation.



3. (C) Post will continue to work with Host Nation
counterparts to enhance its counter terrorism capability, but
does not believe that it is necessary to focus a great amount
of resources on these incidents other than monitoring and the
collection of information. However tragic they may be, Post
does not believe that these incidents are terrorist in
nature, but more so criminal acts aimed at eliminating the
railway. Furthermore, due to the distance of the railway
from US facilities, the lack of American or Western interest
involved and the fact that virtually no Americans or
Westerners ever board the train, Post believes that these
incidents only pose a collateral risk to personnel and are of
no greater threat than being in the wrong place at the wrong
time.



4. (U) RSO Comments: It is worth noting that
counter-terrorism initiatives such as the Diplomatic
Security's Anti Terrorism Assistance Program (DS/ATA)
continues to benefit the Host Nation as well as the US
Mission to Djibouti. In discussions with Host Nation Police,
the RSO received excellent input from the chief investigator
on the case, who just happened to be a graduate of the DS/ATA
Post Blast Investigation course. The chief investigator
provided the RSO with detailed accounts of how the
investigative team utilized the skills and resources provided
by DS/ATA to conduct an appropriate investigation of the
crime scene. The chief investigator expressed sincere
gratitude for this enhanced capability and requested that
DS/ATA training continue as much as possible. The Djiboutian
police forces have already incorporated several techniques
and tactics into their daily operations with positive results
for Americans and Djiboutians alike.



5. (U) POC is RSO Marc Ramos at 253-35-39-95 or
RamosMA@State.GOV
SMITH