2004-12-27 14:19:00
Embassy Vilnius
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E.O. 12958: N/A

REF: STATE 245841

Parts of the following cable are sensitive but unclassified.
Please handle accordingly.





E.O. 12958: N/A

REF: STATE 245841

Parts of the following cable are sensitive but unclassified.
Please handle accordingly.

1. (U) Post submits the annual terrorism report for
Lithuania. Embassy's update on Lithuania for the
Department's 2004 Patterns of Global Terrorism report
(reftel) is in paras 2-4.

2. (SBU) Lithuania has been fully supportive of the war
against terrorism. Lithuania is implementing the National
Security Strategy of October 2004 and has nearly completed
its National Counter-terrorism Program of January 2002. The
counter-terrorism plans include: participation in the
international fight against terrorism; expanding and sharing
resources; defending possible targets and infrastructure;
identifying terrorists, their groups, and supporters;
identifying and cutting off sources of terrorist finances;
clarifying the procedures for investigating terrorist cases;
strengthening rapid reaction and crisis management
capabilities; strengthening of counter-terrorist
intelligence; and strengthening of internal economic and
social security in general.

3. (SBU) Lithuania has also sent troops and other military
personnel to Afghanistan and Iraq. Since November 2002,
Lithuanian Special Operation Forces have participated in
Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan. About 120
Lithuanian troops and logistics specialists operate in Iraq.
In September, Parliament voted to extend the missions to
Afghanistan and Iraq (and also the Balkans) until the end of

2005. The Government also pledged modest financial
assistance to Iraqi reconstruction and training of Iraqi

4. (SBU) Lithuania is a party to all 12 international
conventions and protocols relating to terrorism, including
the International Convention for the Suppression of the
Financing of Terrorism and the International Convention for
the Suppression of Terrorist Bombings. The Government has
been very cooperative in investigating and detecting
potential terrorist finances.


5. (SBU) Lithuania has cooperated with international counter-
terrorist initiatives, and has supported USG efforts to

prevent international terrorist organizations from taking
root in Lithuania. The GOL has increased funding of its
security, expanded and strengthened intelligence collection,
stepped up border controls, and is working to adopt a new
National Counter Terrorism Program. The information that
follows is keyed to reftel addendum questions. End Addendum


6. (SBU) The GOL has fully supported the global coalition
against terrorism through contributing to operations in
Afghanistan and Iraq, the ratification of international
counter-terrorism-related conventions, efforts to block
terrorist assets, and the development of new counter-
terrorism legal mechanisms. Since November 2002, a group of
up to 50 Lithuanian Special Operation Forces and logistics
specialists has served in Operation Enduring Freedom in
Afghanistan (officially in "Central and Southern Asia").
About 120 Lithuanian troops and logistics specialists have
operated in Iraq since summer 2003. In September, their
term of duty was extended until the end of 2005.

7. (SBU) In March, Lithuania acceded to the EU Code of
Conduct in Arms Export. In October, Lithuania updated its
2002 National Security Strategy to reflect its membership in
NATO and the EU. It has also implemented more than 90
percent of its January 2002 National Counter-Terrorism
Program, which focused on: participation in international
fight against terrorism; expanding and sharing CT resources;
defending possible targets and infrastructure; identifying
terrorists, their groups, and supporters; identifying and
cutting off sources of terrorist finances; clarifying the
procedures for investigating terrorist cases; strengthening
rapid reaction and crisis management capabilities;
strengthening of counter-terrorist intelligence; and
strengthening of internal economic and social security in
general. In September, the State Defense Council charged
the State Security Department to strengthen terrorism
prevention and draft a new CT Program focusing on blocking
terrorists' assets and income by tackling drug trafficking,
smuggling, illegal migration and human trafficking.

8. (SBU) Lithuania's State Security Department (SSD) is
tasked to prevent terrorism in the country in cooperation
with other state institutions (the MoD, Customs, Border
Protection Service, the Police) and foreign secret services.
In April, the SSD joined the Club of Berne, which includes
intelligence services of EU countries, Norway, and
Switzerland, and is working to implement the European
Council Declaration on combating terrorism. In February
2002, the GOL established the Interagency Coordination
Commission Against Terrorism headed by the head of the SSD.
In September, the Chief Police Commissioner was invited to
join the Commission. Lithuania is also working to improve
information-sharing among major agencies involved in
flagging and tracking suspicious transactions -- the
Prosecutor General's Office, the Financial Crime
Investigation Service under the Ministry of Interior, the
State Insurance Supervising Service, the State Securities
Commission, and the Bank of Lithuania (BL).

9. (SBU) Lithuania has ratified all 12 major international
conventions regarding counter-terrorism and has implemented
the relevant UNSCRs. In December 2003, the Parliament
ratified the 2001 International Convention on the
Suppression of Terrorist Bombings, which Lithuania signed in
June 1998. In November, Lithuania signed a protocol
partially revising the 1977 European Convention on counter-
terrorism measures. In September, Lithuania hosted a
meeting of the European Organization of Supreme Audit
Institutions (EUROSAI, established in 1990),which set up a
permanent body to fight money laundering for terrorism.


10. (SBU) To the Embassy's knowledge, there has been no
prosecution relating to terrorism in Lithuania in 2004,
although some GOL investigations pointed to or may
eventually reveal terrorist connections (see para 13).

11. (SBU) During the year, the Government has continued
efforts to fight widespread corruption in the State Border
Protection Service and Customs, stepped up the screening of
money transfers and protection of classified information.

12. (SBU) In fall of 2002, the GOL corrected laws that had
previously allowed the Kaunas-based company Aviabaltika to
supply spare parts of military and dual-use helicopters to
Sudan. The Lithuanian security services have monitored
Aviabaltika's commercial activities since the end of 1999.
In January 2003, the Civil Aviation Department allowed the
Kaunas-based company Helisota to fly a repaired Mi-17
helicopter to the United Arab Emirates. Earlier, the
Customs Department had stopped the planned transportation of
the helicopter to Sudan. In January in the Lithuanian
seaport of Klaipeda, the GOL seized three Russian-made Mi-8
helicopters en route from Bangladesh to Aviabaltika's Kaunas
headquarters and later to Russia. Following an official
investigation, the helicopters were released months later.

13. (SBU) In 2003, a two-year long investigation by the SSD
revealed an IRA terrorist finance-related smuggling ring
which involved four judges (who were fired in July 2003, and
which could have involved politicians. In October 2004, the
SSD detected a major group of document forgers supplying
identity documents to criminal groups that were sold
primarily to illegal immigrants for use in Lithuania and the
EU. In November 2004, the SSD arrested a well-organized
group minting high quality fake 100-euro banknotes. At the
time of the arrest, the Police seized counterfeit notes
valued at nine million euro. In May, Lithuania amended its
Money Laundering Law. The amendments shortened the time
needed to investigate money laundering cases; enabled the
Division of Prevention of Money Laundering (FIU) to block
assets in two days, without a court order; and enabled
Lithuanian banks and credit institutions to stop suspicious
banking operations without a court order, inform the FIU
within 3 hours, and freeze accounts within 24. Bank of
Lithuania officials say that, to date, no terrorist accounts
have been identified in Lithuania.

14. (SBU) In September, the SSD closed the pro-Chechen
website Kavkaz-Center for the second time (it was first
closed in June 2003),following expert analysis that it
contained information related to terrorism and religious and
national enmity. In November, a Lithuanian provider opened
a "mirror" of the main server of Kavkaz, which had moved to
Sweden. The SSD is attempting to close the website through
the court system.

15. (SBU) In August 2003, the Lithuanian MFA banned Chechen
fighter Basayev from entering Lithuania and purchasing
weapons here due to his ties with the al-Qaeda terrorist

16. (SBU) Numerous GOL agencies are working closely with the
Embassy to counter the threat that terrorism posed to
Lithuanian and U.S. interests. The State Security
Department, the "Aras" Counter Terrorism response team
(under the Ministry of Interior),and the Police Department
have offered excellent support to strengthen the Embassy's
security posture at times of heightened terrorist threat.
These organizations have worked effectively to uncover the
existence of (a small number of) individuals affiliated with
international terrorist organizations (Hamas, Hezbollah, and
Russian criminal groups).

17. (SBU) Since September 11, 2001, the GOL has stepped up
security at the U.S. Embassy, GOL facilities, and strategic
locations such as the Ignalina Nuclear Power Plant. GOL
leaders, often acting with other countries, NATO, and the
EU, have condemned terrorist attacks across the world. The
GOL has fully backed the fight against terrorism, including
by sending Lithuanian soldiers to participate in the GWOT.

18. (SBU) In June 2003, the GOL supported the EU position
not to sign an agreement on immunity from the International
Criminal Court for U.S. troops. (Note: Lithuania has signed
but not yet ratified the Rome Treaty.) The GOL expressed
hope that the USG decision to cancel its military support
over the article 98 of the ICC is not final, and that the
USG-EU dialogue will achieve "acceptable decisions."


19. (SBU) Lithuania strengthened counter-terrorism measures
following the March bombings in Madrid. In April, Lithuania
signed the NATO Declaration on Terrorism. The GOL is
closely coordinating terrorism-related migration issues with
the EU. In October 2001, the GOL and the USG signed an
extradition treaty. There have been no reports of terrorism-
related deportations in 2004. In 2002, the GOL deported
(apparently to their home country) six Lebanese nationals
who were members of Hamas. The GOL deported at least one
individual linked to international terrorist organizations
in 2001, and five individuals (several of them Lebanese
nationals) in 2000. To the Embassy's knowledge, the GOL has
not received extradition requests from other countries, or
requested extradition of suspected terrorists for
prosecution during the year. In October 2001, the State
Security Department gave MPs a list of terrorist
organizations that could have members in Lithuania: al Qaeda
was not on the list, but Hezbollah was. In previous years,
the State Security Department tracked Kurdish, Sikh, and Abu
Jihad al-Islam terrorists who posed as refugees traveling
via Lithuania to the West.


20. (SBU) The SSD has invested heavily over the past two
years to procure modern interception equipment. The
Criminal Process Code requires a judge's authorization for
the search of premises of an individual, including
terrorists; in most cases, such permission is granted. The
seizure, monitoring, and recording of information
transmitted through telecommunications networks or
surveillance must also be court-ordered. Intelligence
(e.g., voice recordings) verified by criminal experts is
permitted as evidence in a court of law. Under the law,
police may detain suspects for up to 48 hours, based upon
reliable evidence of criminal activity and approval by an
investigator or prosecutor. Pretrial detention applies only
in the case of felonies, to prevent flight, to allow
unhindered investigation if the suspect might commit new
crimes, or when there is an extradition request. Suspected
detained terrorists, like other criminals, are barred from
telephone or e-mail access. However, criminals frequently
violate this prohibition in practice. The detaining
authority routinely collects photographs, fingerprints, and
DNA samples.

21. (SBU) Since September 2001, the GOL has permitted U.S.
aircraft to overfly its national airspace. The GOL,
together with the other Baltic states, has provided full
data from the Baltic Air Surveillance Network (BALTNET) to
the NATO air defense system. In April, BALTNET joined the
NATO airspace surveillance system. Since March, NATO
fighter planes have been deployed in Lithuania to provide
air policing over Lithuania, Latvia, and Estonia.

22. (SBU) In October 2002, the Lithuanian MoD and the U.S.
DoD signed an agreement on cooperation in prevention of
proliferation of mass destruction weapons. The USG has
trained Lithuanian personnel and donated equipment worth
several hundred thousand dollars to the Lithuanian Customs
Department and State Border Protection Service. The
equipment, which includes mobile and stationery X-ray and
radioactivity detection tools, has strengthened Lithuania's
land border, airport, and port security infrastructure. In
February, a USG-sponsored WMD and illicit materials
detection and data transfer system valued at $4.2 million
dollars was opened at Vilnius International Airport; it is
linked to a U.S. monitoring station in Washington, D.C.
Senior GOL officials, however, admitted that control and
security is still inadequate at some smaller airports. In
September, the GOL opened a new, USG-funded security and
diversion detection system at the nuclear waste repository
in Maisiagala. Also in September, the USTDA signed an
agreement with Lithuania to fund a safety study at the port
of Klaipeda, and the GOL hosted a FBI Post Blast
Investigation exercise for Lithuanian, Latvian, and Estonian

23. (SBU) In June, Lithuania ratified an agreement on
cooperation in fighting terrorism, organized crime, and drug
trafficking with Turkey. Lithuania has similar treaties in
force with Kazakhstan (since August 2001),Germany (since
June 2002),and Hungary (since October 2002). In June,
Lithuania joined a Russian-NATO military exercise that
simulated a terrorist attack on an oil platform in the
Baltic Sea near Kaliningrad.

24. (SBU) The GOL continued to reinforce the protection of
Lithuania's borders with Belarus and Russia. In May 2003,
Russia ratified the bilateral border agreement. Since early
April 2002, Lithuania has deployed an anti-aircraft missile
battery near the Ignalina Nuclear Power Plant to protect it
from possible terrorist attacks. In November 2004, the GOL
augmented the air defenses around Ignalina by deploying a
short-range RBS-70 air defense missile system.

25. (SBU) Lithuania continued to support Georgia in the
fight against terrorism by contributing to a training and
supply program for Georgia's military units.

26. (SBU) The Ministry of Interior has reorganized two of
its regiments into public security units tasked to fight


27. (SBU) The GOL does not support international terrorism,
terrorists, or terrorist groups. The GOL acts promptly to
prevent any ties between terrorists, terrorist groups, or
terrorist-supporting countries with Lithuania.

28. (SBU) The GOL has made no public statements in support
of a terrorist-supporting country on a terrorism-related

29. (SBU) The GOL has consistently supported the global
coalition against terrorism and has further strengthened
intelligence gathering and counter-terrorism activities.
The GOL is also increasing defense funding. The ongoing
army reform, among others, will allow for greater
interoperability with allied troops during international
counter-terrorist operations.