Identifier
Created
Classification
Origin
05HELSINKI1321
2005-12-29 09:33:00
UNCLASSIFIED
Embassy Helsinki
Cable title:  

FINLAND: 2005 ANNUAL TERRORISM REPORT

Tags:  ASEC PTER FI 
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UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 03 HELSINKI 001321 

SIPDIS

STATE FOR S/CT RHONDA SHORE AND ED SALAZAR, AND NCTC
WASHINGTON DC

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: ASEC PTER FI
SUBJECT: FINLAND: 2005 ANNUAL TERRORISM REPORT

REF: STATE 193439

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 03 HELSINKI 001321

SIPDIS

STATE FOR S/CT RHONDA SHORE AND ED SALAZAR, AND NCTC
WASHINGTON DC

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: ASEC PTER FI
SUBJECT: FINLAND: 2005 ANNUAL TERRORISM REPORT

REF: STATE 193439


1. (U) This report is keyed to the applicable questions in
reftel paragraphs 7-10. Post's summary update has also been
emailed to Rhonda Shore and Ed Salazar per reftel
instructions. Embassy POC for the report is Poloff David
Schlaefer (SchlaeferDA2@state.gov).


2. (U) General Assessment (paragraph 7)

Overall Response and Cooperation with Multilateral Fora:

-- Finland actively supports and participates in the
European Union's counterterrorism efforts, and in 2005
participated in a number of EU and OSCE-sponsored events.
Interior Minister Rajamaki visited Washington in September
for consultations with Justice and Homeland Security
officials. Marja Lehto, Director of International Law at the
Ministry of Foreign Affairs, was appointed to chair the
Council of Europe's Committee of Experts on Terrorism
(CODEXTER); she will assume the chairmanship in January

2006. Dr. Martin Scheinin, Director of the Abo Institute for
Peace Studies, was appointed UN Special Rapporteur for the
Promotion of Human Rights While Countering Terrorism in July.


-- Finland remains strongly committed to Afghan
reconstruction and prevention of the resurgence of the
Taliban. Afghanistan is a major recipient of Finnish foreign
assistance; Finland aims to provide 10 million Euros in
development and humanitarian assistance to Afghanistan on an
annual basis. Approximately 100 Finnish troops are currently
deployed in Afghanistan in support of ongoing ISAF
operations, and a number of Finnish civilian crisis
management experts are working in Afghanistan as well.
Finland is a member, along with the UK, Norway, and Iceland,
of a Provincial Reconstruction Team (PRT) in Meymaneh in
northern Afghanistan and plans to join a second PRT in 2006.

-- Finland agreed in 2005 to a U.S. request to extend its
ten police trainers in Amman through 2006.

-- In 2005, Parliament passed a law that expanded the
authority of the Frontier Guard to cover the entire country
instead of just the borders, enhancing their counterterrorism
capabilities and overrall effectiveness.

-- In 2005, Parliament passed a law allowing the Finnish
Defense Forces to provide lethal assistance to the Finnish
police in response to terrorist attacks. Until this change,
the Defense Forces could provide only non-lethal aid, such as

air traffic control assistance and the loan of armoured
vehicles.

-- Finland signed a Mutual Legal Assistance Treaty (MLAT)
with the U.S. in late 2004. The treaty is awaiting
ratification by the Finnish Parliament. Some Members of
Parliament have expressed hesitation about approving the MLAT
out of concern that certain U.S. rendition practices might
violate Finnish constitutional law.

-- Finnish security police (SUPO) maintain a dedicated
anti-terrorism unit. Finland has national authority to
freeze terrorist assets. The Money Laundering Clearing House
performs investigations on all individuals suspected of
financing terrorist acts, including all individuals and
entities on the UN 1267 sanctions committee's consolidated
list. In the event that such assets are identified, they can
be immediately frozen while a criminal investigation (either
in Finland or abroad) takes place. Such funds would remain
frozen throughout the investigation.

-- Finland has implemented regulations that allow it to
freeze assets without EU or UN approval in cases when another
government presents a legal request for action or when the
individual or organization is suspected of having committed
an offense within Finland's borders. Finland has amended its
criminal code to make it possible to sentence leaders of
terrorist groups to 15 years in jail, although the group has
to have actually committed acts of terrorism in Finland
before investigation or prosecution can begin. If the charge
also includes murder, the maximum sentence could be life
imprisonment. Finnish law enforcement has the authority to
intercept wire, oral, and email communications with prior
approval in cases where national security interests are
involved. SUPO is responsible for examining the evidence and
determining when such measures are appropriate. An amendment
expanding law enforcement electronic surveillance authority
in counterterrorism cases went into effect in July 2005.

-- Finland in 2005 implemented legislation in support of the
International Maritime Organization's amendment to the
International Convention for the Safety of Life at Sea and
the International Ship and Port Facility Security Code. New
regulations entered into force on October 1, 2005 requiring
ships to submit security-related information prior to entry
into port.

-- Finland supports the U.S. and the international
community's efforts to combat extremism and terrorism.
Finnish officials in 2005 condemned acts of terror such as
the London bombings and Amman hotel bombing. However, some
Finnish officials and a majority of the general public
believe the likelihood of a terrorist attack inside Finland
to be remote; in addition, a 2005 survey conducted by the
Defense Ministry found that half of Finns believe that U.S.
anti-terrorism policy has actually decreased Finnish
security.

-- Finnish officials have expressed concern about U.S.
renditions in the EU. The GoF has asked for clarification
about a 2003 flight that made a stopover in Helsinki on its
way from Frankfurt to Stockholm. The Finnish media is
critical of U.S. policy regarding renditions and detention of
certain terror suspects.


(questions a-e): Finland does not provide political,
financial, military, or material support to terrorist
organizations. Finland does not provide sanctuary to
terrorists. Finland generally supports the U.S. position on
matters relating to terrorism in the UNGA and other
international bodies.



3. (U) Sanctuary Assessment (paragraph 8):

-- Finland does not provide sanctuary to terrorists.
Finland has a relatively small (20,000) Muslim population
with few extremists. The GoF monitors individuals believed
to have ties to terrorist organizations outside the country.

(questions a-c): Not applicable.



4. (U) Information on Terrorist Groups (paragraph 9):

There are no known terrorist groups inside Finland.

(questions a-e): Not applicable.



5. (U) Foreign Government Cooperation (paragraph 10):

-- The GoF cooperates effectively with the U.S. to combat
terrorism, both within the EU and bilaterally. Interior
Minister Rajamaki visited Washington in July for discussions
with Justice and Homeland Security officials, and other
Finnish officials participated in training courses in the
U.S. Finland has announced plans to host a "Designators
Workshop" in 2006 for U.S. and EU officials to exchange ideas
on combating terrorist financing. The GoF has sought USG
assistance in designing training courses for Finnish
officials on better understanding the roots of Muslim
extremism.


6. (U) Summary for Finland:

Finland actively supports the Global War on Terrorism.
Finland has implemented regulations that allow it to freeze
assets without EU or UN approval in cases when another
government presents a legal request for action or the
individual or organization is suspected of having committed
an offense within Finland's borders. Finland has also
amended its criminal code to make it possible to sentence
leaders of terrorist groups to 15 years in jail. If charges
against suspected terrorists included murder, the maximum
sentence could be life imprisonment. Finland expanded the
operations of its dedicated anti-terrorism unit in 2005. On
October 1, new regulations went into effect requiring ships
to submit security-related information to Finnish authorities
prior to entry into Finnish ports. Finland's Director of
International Law at the Foreign Affairs Ministry was
appointed to chair the Council of Europe's Committee of
Experts on Terrorism (CODEXTER).

Finland remains committed to rebuilding Afghanistan and
preventing the resurgence of the Taliban. Approximately 100
Finnish troops are deployed in Afghanistan in support of
ongoing ISAF operations. Finland participates in the
Norwegian-led Provincial Reconstruction Team (PRT) in
Meymaneh and plans to expand its participation into a second
PRT in 2006. Afghanistan is a major recipient of Finland's
foreign aid, which includes support for the Afghan army and
police force. Finland maintains 10 instructors at the police
training academy in Amman to help train Iraqi police.

Finland is a party to all 12 international conventions and
protocols relating to terrorism, and has implemented all
applicable EU legislation against terrorism.
HYATT