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2006-05-11 11:25:00
Embassy Beijing
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DE RUEHBJ #8803/01 1311125
O 111125Z MAY 06
						UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 07 BEIJING 008803 



E.O. 12958: N/A




E.O. 12958: N/A

1. (SBU) Summary: The March 26-28 ASEAN Regional
Forum Inter-sessional Meeting on Counter Terrorism and
Transnational Crime focused on discussing "root
causes" of terrorism but also gave participants an
opportunity to exchange views on recent developments
and national experiences in combating terrorism.
There was disagreement among participants about the
notion of "root causes" of terrorism but the meeting
nevertheless acknowledged the importance of soft
measures aimed at winning hearts and minds and
endorsed giving such efforts greater emphasis in the
future work of the ARF. Brunei circulated a draft ARF
Statement on "Promoting A People-Centered Approach to
Counter Terrorism" for ministers to endorse at the
13th ARF meeting in July (see paragraph 23). U.S.
interventions highlighted the continuing role of law
enforcement cooperation, including the deportation of
illegal aliens; terrorist use of transnational
criminal networks; the problem of arms smuggling and
financial transfers from Southeast Asia to the Tamil
Tigers (LTTE); and the importance of effective
information sharing and interagency cooperation. The
U.S. urged participants to consider poverty and
injustice as examples of the conditions terrorists can
exploit rather than as causes of terrorism. Most
other speakers, however, espoused the view that
factors such as poverty, illiteracy, injustice,
foreign occupation, and a lack of respect for Islam
cause terrorism. One notable exception was India,
which made a forceful and eloquent intervention that
flatly rejected the propriety of entering into any
discussion of root causes that could elevate the
status of terrorism. End summary.

2. (U) China and Brunei co-chaired the Fourth ASEAN
Regional Forum (ARF) Inter-sessional Meeting on
Counter Terrorism and Transnational Crime (ISM/CTTC)
in Beijing April 26-28, 2006. All ARF participants
were represented, although East Timor sent only a
locally engaged Chinese staff member from its Beijing
mission as an observer. Staff members of the ARF Unit
of the ASEAN Secretariat, the Southeast Asia Regional

Center for Counter-Terrorism (SEARCCT) and the
Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) also took
part. State EAP Senior Advisor Steven McGann led the
U.S. delegation, which included representatives from
State S/CT, Homeland Security, the U.S. Pacific
Command, and Embassy Beijing.

Recent Regional Terrorism Developments-The Opening
-------------- --------------

3. (SBU) As is typical for ARF events, the meeting
opened with a general exchange of views. China's
Assistant Foreign Minister Cui Tiankai, one of the
meeting co-chairs, summarized the discussion by saying
"terrorism knows no borders and thus the region must
configure strategies in a corresponding manner." He
noted that despite successful efforts to thwart
terrorist attacks and to disrupt terrorist cells,
terrorist organizations in the region have adopted new
methods and are employing increasingly sophisticated
technology and techniques that have allowed them to
stay in operation and have made them even harder to
detect. He highlighted agreement that the region
cannot be divided in its efforts to fight terrorism,
should mobilize resources and should improve law
enforcement cooperation and information sharing.
Fighting terrorism should be the common effort of the
region regardless of an individual country's
development level, race, religion or national polity,
he said. During the opening session Brunei, China,
the DPRK, India and Laos made presentations as
designated lead speakers. Burma, Japan, Malaysia, the
United States, Indonesia, Australia and the ROK also
made interventions.

BEIJING 00008803 002 OF 007

4. (SBU) China's presentation focused heavily on the
perceived threat posed by "East Turkistan" terrorist
forces. Like other terrorist organizations, the East
Turkistan forces are changing their strategies and
have adopted the practice of claiming that their
activities are resisting ethnic-suppression in order
to escape from legal punishment. They are attempting
to present themselves as victims. China claimed that
East Turkistan forces, such as the East Turkistan
Information Center, are using the Internet to build
terrorist networks and to incite attacks on Chinese

5. (SBU) The DPRK stated that the main cause for the
continued violent cycle of terrorism is "unilateralism
and high-handedness that denies other states'
political systems, religions and cultures." The DPRK
cited the "proliferation of liberty and democracy" to
Islamic states in the Middle East as the cause of
"indignation" and "outrage" that has resulted in the
people protecting their culture with ever stronger
resistance. The DPRK argued that pressure, such as
sanctions or the use of force against sovereign
countries "under the cloak of a war against terrorism"
can not be justified and complained that the labels of
"terror sponsor states" and "terroristic
organizations" are being given to sovereign nations
and liberation movement organizations "in order to
pursue undesirable purpose."

6. (SBU) India noted the shift in its management of
the terrorist situation that has taken place over the
last year. New Delhi is now focused on the long-term
implications of terrorism because of the growth of
"fundamentalism" in the region and extremists'
expanding influence in India's hinterland. These
terrorist groups are working to undermine the Indian
government by attacking important religious sites to
foment anger and suspicion between different ethnic
and religious groups inside India. The government is
taking a multi-pronged approach based on the
democratic and legal process to combat the influence
of these extremist groups. India noted the fight
against terrorism should not be restricted to the
perpetrators of terrorist acts but should also
encompass the states that support terrorists.

7. (SBU) The Malaysian delegation head,
Undersecretary of Foreign Affairs for Policy Planning
Zulkifli Adnan, attributed the neutralization of
several important JI cells and operatives to increased
intelligence sharing with regional counterparts. He
suggested that a universally accepted definition of
terrorism would contribute to the international effort
to fight it and emphasized that counterterrorism
efforts should not infringe on the sovereignty or
integrity of states and must be based on international

8. (SBU) The head of the U.S. delegation, EAP Senior
Advisor Steven McGann, stated that the United States
is increasingly concerned over the collusion between
global terrorism and transnational crime. He pointed
out that terrorists use the same networks utilized by
transnational criminal groups and exploit the overlap
between these networks to improve mobility, build
support for their terrorist agenda and avoid
detection. McGann noted that regional states face a
difficult challenge in thwarting these activities. He
suggested that ARF members enhance their awareness of
maritime areas and increase the operational presence
of authorities to deter terrorist and transnational
crime groups. McGann used the stymied peace process
in Sri Lanka as an example of the intersection of
terrorists and transnational crime groups. The
Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam's (LTTE) war-making
capability is supported by a network of arms smuggling

BEIJING 00008803 003 OF 007

and financial transfers, much of it located in the
Southeast Asia region. McGann stated that the United
States is seeking ARF member cooperation to help
identify ways to shut down LTTE arms procurement in
Southeast Asia.

9. (U) The Chinese-drafted Co-chairs' Summary Report
of the meeting highlighted agreement on the continuing
threat that terrorism poses to regional peace and
stability, despite international efforts. It observed
that terrorists have reconfigured into smaller cells
that are difficult to detect. The Report says that
members of different terrorist groups are working
together through unstructured networks of personal
relationships and that they are taking increasing
advantage of computer networks and the Internet to
develop networks, propagate extremist views, and
coordinate activities.

"Root Causes"

10. (SBU) The co-chairs selected "Possible Root
Causes" of terrorism as a discussion topic and invited
presentations from Indonesia, Pakistan, Russia, and
SEARCCT. In introducing this agenda item, the co-
chair from Brunei, Deputy Permanent Secretary of
Foreign Affairs Hajah Maimunah DP Elias, told
participants that the "hearts and minds" approach is
more effective than a coercive approach. After
reaffirming that all states must have zero tolerance
for terrorism, she discussed poverty, injustice and
ignorance as factors that should be addressed as part
of the struggle against terrorism.

11. (SBU) Pakistan identified foreign occupation,
defamation of religions and cultures, poverty,
illiteracy, and socio-economic inequalities as the
most important root causes, and asserted that "no
counter terrorism strategy can be effective unless
causes and conditions that breed, encourage, and
contribute to terrorism are objectively identified and
addressed." "Without a war on political injustice and
poverty, terrorism cannot be defeated." Pakistan
also called for a universally accepted definition of
terrorism. These themes were echoed in Indonesia"s
presentation. The Indonesian representative noted
that behind our success in neutralizing terrorist
actors there may be the emergence of new actors and
perpetrators of terrorism. For this reason, we must
also focus on root causes such as poverty,
intolerance, and injustice. Russia focused on the
need to limit conflicts to prevent them from becoming
"forges of terrorists" and identified Iraq as the
current "testing ground" and "production site" of
terrorists. The Russian presentation also urged that
countries address national humiliation and "the grave
social and economic conditions, the sense of despair,
and unsettled social conflicts, that nourish the ranks
of terrorists." They also recommended that regional
fora like ASEAN, ARF, APEC & the SCO conduct combined
CT expert meetings to share lessons & better
coordinate regional CT efforts.

12. (SBU) The U.S. responded to these presentations
by emphasizing that poverty, inequality, and
illiteracy don"t cause terrorism; they are conditions
terrorists exploit. Law enforcement and military
actions alone are not enough. Countries must work
together to ameliorate these exploitable conditions.

13. (SBU) India made a forceful intervention that
underlined the consensus that violence and terrorism
have no place in a civilized society. Observing that
the rationalizations advanced by advocates of "root
causes" cannot absolve terrorists, the Indian
representative said that terrorism should be defined
with reference to the act and not by a description of

BEIJING 00008803 004 OF 007

the perpetrator of the act. In this light, terrorists
and freedom fighters are indistinguishable. Terrorism
should not, he said, be elevated in stature by linking
it to "so called" root causes. Those who commit acts
of terrorism violate the most basic human right--the
right to life. "No root cause can justify the
massacres of innocent civilians. The right to life of
innocent people cannot be superseded by a right to
kill them to redress some real or imagined historical

14. (U) The Co-chairs' Summary Report did not
indicate any agreement on the question of root causes
but instead related that "many participants" were of
the view that root causes of terrorism are both varied
and multifaceted and noted that "a range of conditions
in society may create an environment for terrorism to
thrive." The Report says, "Many participants stressed
that it was essential to address both the symptoms and
root causes of terrorism. Successfully eliminating
terrorism requires a balanced and comprehensive
approach that includes employing political, economic,
legal, and other measures, including measures aimed at
winning the hearts and minds of the people."

Combating Terrorism

15. (U) A number of participants, including the
United States, were invited to make presentations on
their strategies and measures to combat regional
terrorism. The SCO was also invited to present under
this agenda item.

16. (SBU) Department of Homeland Security Director of
Strategic Plans Eric Fagerholm gave the U.S.
presentation on "Law Enforcement as a Tool Against
Terrorism." Fagerholm developed the theme of
partnership and cooperation in law enforcement, in
particular with regard to border control, and told the
meeting "law enforcement has a critical role to play
in counter terrorism." Noting that illegal migration
creates vulnerabilities that terrorists can exploit,
he outlined the Secure Border Initiative, as well as
new and on-going port and cargo security measures and
emphasized the importance of securing ARF
participants" cooperation in facilitating the movement
of their citizens back home when they are being
removed from the U.S. as illegal immigrants. He
suggested that countries should treat the movement of
terrorists with the same seriousness that they now
treat the flow of terrorist financing.

17. (SBU) A representative of the SCO briefed the
meeting on his organization"s background and on its
strategy and measures in combating terrorism,
separatism, and extremism. Among the principles of
the SCO strategy he listed were; respect for
sovereignty, independence, and territorial integrity;
non-aggression and non-interference in internal
affairs; no double standards; cooperation, economic
growth and development, and human rights and
fundamental freedoms. Measures being taken by the
organization include, combating terrorist financing,
creating a register of suspected terrorists, and
developing measures to prevent terrorist access to WMD
and radioactive or hazardous materials. In discussion
following the presentation, Russia intervened to
suggest that ARF act as an umbrella organization for
combining the counter-terrorism efforts and various
regional organizations such as APEC and the SCO and
proposed a combined meeting of counter terrorism
experts from ARF and SCO countries.

18. (SBU) Several participants also briefed the
meeting on their counter terrorism emergency response
plans. Among these, the Philippines" presentation was
noteworthy for the extent to which it echoed themes

BEIJING 00008803 005 OF 007

developed through sustained U.S. engagement with the
Philippines" government, armed forces and police.
General Marlu Quevedo, assistant national anti-
terrorism coordinator, emphasized the importance of
interagency effort, articulated the concept of
"supporting" and "supported" organizations, and
outlined plans for a more effective and efficient
anti-terrorism organization under the national
security advisor.

19. (SBU) Participants were also invited to discuss
information sharing. Malaysia explained that its
emphasis on addressing the root causes of terrorism
does not diminish the importance of law enforcement
efforts, which are enhanced through information
sharing. Bilateral agency-to-agency contact has been
the most effective way of sharing information but in
the future countries will have to find ways to share
information on a wider scale, which may require
treaties or agreements. Information exchange should
be fair and equal; one country cannot invoke
bureaucratic obstacles to sharing information while
urging other countries to disregard their own
procedures. The U.S. intervention, made by USPACOM"s
Joint Inter-Agency Coordinating Group for Combating
Terrorism (JIACG/CT) Director, Captain Rodger Welch,
noted the need for a supporting policy framework and
legal agreements for information sharing both across
borders and between agencies domestically and offered
the formation of the Department of Homeland Security,
The Joint Inter-Agency Task Force-West (JIATF-W) and
his own organization as U.S. examples of institutional
arrangements designed to promote information sharing
and interagency cooperation. He also proposed an
inventory of existing information sharing arrangements
before initiating efforts to construct new
international arrangements.

20. (SBU) Papua New Guinea"s Ambassador to China took
the floor during this session, for the first and only
time during the meeting, to discuss the situation in
the Solomon Islands. The ambassador said that the
recent rioting in Honiara demonstrated how civil
strife in small vulnerable states can be exploited by
outside parties, which represents a new security
challenge. He condemned the targeting of ethnic
Chinese residents of the city and said they were
scapegoats for the indigenous peoples" frustration
with the way in which they had been marginalized by
outside actors" exploitation of their country"s
natural resources and manipulation of its politics.

Institutional Issues

21. (SBU) Participants agreed to develop action plans
to implement the recommendations of previous ARF
counter terrorism statements. They acknowledged the
importance of soft measures aimed at winning hearts
and minds and endorsed giving such efforts greater
emphasis in the future work of the ARF. Partcipants
also agreed that the ISM on CTTC shoud have a greater
role in coordinating ARF counterterrorism efforts.
(The ISM/CTTC does not now have a coordinating role
and terrorism related ARF events are proposed and
considered only in the context of the ARF"s confidence
building efforts. For example, as an outgrowth of two
seminars on Cyber Security and Cyber Terrorism co-
chaired by the ROK and the Philippines as ARF
confidence building measures, the Philippines drafted
a Ministerial Statement on "Terrorist Misuse of Cyber
Space" that it circulated through the Inter-sessional
Support Group meeting process. Neither this draft
statement nor the seminars they grew out of were ever
considered by the ISM/CTTC, although Russia argued
that they should have been.) Singapore and Japan
offered to co-chair a 5th ISM/CTTC on the theme of
inter-faith dialog in Tokyo in the spring of 2007.

BEIJING 00008803 006 OF 007

Draft Ministerial Statement

22. (SBU) At the close of the meeting, Brunei tabled,
without discussion, a draft ARF Statement on
"Promoting A People-Centered approach to Counter
Terrorism" for ministers" approval at the 13th ARF
meting in July. Prior to tabling this document, the
Brunei delegation informally solicited U.S. input to
their draft, which was largely reflected in the
document they put forward. The statement will be
discussed at the ARF Senior Officials" Meeting (SOM)
in Malaysia on May 19. Russia and the EU both voiced
concern that there is insufficient time to fully
consider this statement before the SOM, and Russia
suggested that Brunei hold its draft until next year.
Brunei, however, expressed its intention to press
ahead with its proposed Statement.


ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF) Statement on Promoting a
People-Centered Approach to Counterterrorism

The Chairman of the ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF), on
behalf of the participating states and organizations,
issues the following statement:


The majority of people in the region are peace-loving.

Terrorism constitutes a serious threat to
international peace, stability and security.

Any measures to counter terrorism in all its forms and
manifestations should be consistent with the Charter
of the United Nations (UN), international law, United
Nations Security Council Resolutions and UN
Conventions and Protocols related to counterterrorism.

Terrorism should not be associated with any religion,
culture, race or nationality.

Successfully eliminating terrorism requires a
comprehensive approach that includes addressing the
underlying causes of terrorism without acknowledging
these as justifications for terrorist and/or criminal

Supporting initiatives currently undertaken by
regional and international organizations on
counterterrorism, including efforts to promote
respect, understanding and tolerance among people of
all religions, beliefs and cultures, forms an
essential part of the overall ARF efforts to counter

Strong cooperation exists within the ARF framework in
the fight against international terrorism and desiring
to undertake further measures to prevent, disrupt,
combat and respond to terrorism.

It is vitally important to engage all levels of
society including the academia, media, non-
governmental organizations, community groups and other
relevant institutions.


Implement the principles laid out in this Statement,
in accordance with their respective domestic laws and
their specific circumstances, with the view to the
full implementation of any or all of the following

1. Identifying counterterrorism strategies and

BEIJING 00008803 007 OF 007

measures that promote greater tolerance and
understanding, as well as those aimed at winning the
"hearts and minds" of the people in order to ensure
their effectiveness.

2. Inculcating public awareness on the threat of
terrorism to their safety and well-being.

3. Developing initiatives and programs to promote
public participation on counterterrorism measures by
encouraging the constructive roles of the academia,
media, non-governmental organizations, community
groups and other relevant institutions.

4. Exploring possible ways and means of sharing
information and best practices on emergency response

5. Identifying ways to enhance partnerships with
international organizations, regional fora and other
relevant institutions to promote the above measures in
the effort to counter terrorism.

6. Reviewing the progress of these and other efforts
to further strengthen cooperation to counter terrorism
and other related transnational crimes.


23. (SBU) In the preamble, in the sentence beginning
"Successfully eliminating terrorism..." the U.S. has
proposed that "underlying causes of terrorism" be
replaced by "conditions exploited by terrorists."
This draft statement will be discussed at the ARF
Senior fficials meeting in Malaysia on May 19. POC
or the draft statement is EAP/RSP: Joe Murphy (02-

24. (U) The U.S. delegation cleared this cable.