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IdentifierCreatedClassificationOrigin
06BELGRADE31 2006-01-11 12:46:00 UNCLASSIFIED Embassy Belgrade
Cable title:  

SAM: 2005 COUNTRY REPORTS ON TERRORISM V2

Tags:   PTER ASEC KCRM EFIN KHLS KPAO SR 
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					  UNCLAS BELGRADE 000031 

SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PTER ASEC KCRM EFIN KHLS KPAO SR
SUBJECT: SAM: 2005 COUNTRY REPORTS ON TERRORISM V2

REF: A. 05 STATE 193439

B. 05 BELGRADE 2320

C. 05 BELGRADE 681

D. 05 BELGRADE 1767

E. 05 BELGRADE 937



1. (u) General Assessment/Cooperation: The USG has an
overall excellent working relationship with Serbia and
Montenegro (SaM) on counter-terrorism issues. Both
policy-level and operational-level interlocutors have been
eager to cooperate with the USG on a wide range of issues
including border security, information sharing,
anti-terrorism financing, export control, and the like.
Internally, the GoSaM has shown a consistently strong
commitment to counter-terror and anti-terror operations. In
2005, the SaM MFA created a new directorate to coordinate
counter-terror and anti-terror policies and assistance,
though it has been slow to organize itself. Also, the MoD's
2005 defense strategy highlights GWOT as one of the new
fundamental organizing principals for a revamped Serbia and
Montenegrin Armed Forces (SMAF) (ref c). In addition, SaM
has been negotiating with the USG an agreement on countering
proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, and the
agreement should be in place by mid-2006.



2. (u) Sanctuary and Terrorist Groups: While still largely
complacent about the prospect of an attack in SaM by
international terrorists and confident that SaM will not
become a terrorist safehaven, Belgrade officials are
significantly concerned about the potential for a rise in
Middle Eastern terrorist transit through Serbia. In
mid-August 2005, Serbian Interior Ministry services announced
they had arrested 22 year-old Moroccan Abdelmajid Bouchar in
June (ref d). The Spanish government had been seeking
Boucher, a member of al-Qaeda, for his suspected role in the
2004 Madrid bombings that killed 191 people and injured an
additional 1500. A Serbian police officer arrested him while
he was traveling via train between Subotica and Belgrade on a
false Iraqi passport. This follows implementation of
improved security measures in Serbia since March 2004,
especially increased checks of foreign nationals of Arab
origin.



3. (u) Comment: SaM would benefit greatly from increased
U.S. assistance and training in order to boost its
counter-terrorism capabilities, which in turn would help meet
U.S. goals of preventing a stable terrorist network from
developing in the Balkans. Such assistance could include, but
is not limited to, further education for government and
business on dual-use controls; anti-terrorism training
assistance; and assistance and training for the newly-formed
counter-terrorism coordination office in the MFA. The USG
could also move ahead swiftly in helping to train, equip, and
otherwise assist Serbian military and civilian security
structures to enhance their CT and NP capacities and advance
key USG GWOT and counter-proliferation goals in the process.
Some steps are already underway through the EXBS program, but
much more could be done with targeted assistance through ATA
and other mechanisms (ref e).
MOORE