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IdentifierCreatedClassificationOrigin
06YEREVAN1726 2006-12-18 13:05:00 UNCLASSIFIED Embassy Yerevan
Cable title:  

ARMENIA: 2006 COUNTRY REPORTS ON TERRORISM

Tags:   PREL PGOV PTER ASEC AM 
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VZCZCXRO7707
RR RUEHBC RUEHDBU RUEHDE RUEHDIR RUEHKUK RUEHLN RUEHVK RUEHYG
DE RUEHYE #1726/01 3521305
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 181305Z DEC 06
FM AMEMBASSY YEREVAN
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 4589
INFO RUCNCIS/CIS COLLECTIVE
RUCNIRA/IRAN COLLECTIVE
RUEILB/NCTC WASHINGTON DC
					  UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 YEREVAN 001726 

SIPDIS

SIPDIS

DEPT FOR EUR/CARC, S/CT - RHONDA SHORE

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PREL PGOV PTER ASEC AM
SUBJECT: ARMENIA: 2006 COUNTRY REPORTS ON TERRORISM

REF: A) STATE 175925 B) 05 YEREVAN 2037



1. SUMMARY: There have been no major terrorism-related
developments in Armenia in 2006. Per reftel instruction, the
following is an update of Armenia's 2005 Country Report on
Terrorism. END SUMMARY.



2. With substantial U.S. assistance, Armenia continues to
strengthen its capacity to counter the country's few
perceived terrorist threats. While no known terrorist groups
operate domestically, Armenia's geographic location, porous
borders, and loose visa regime present growing opportunities
for traffickers of illicit materials, persons, and finances.



3. The government's deepening political and economic ties
with neighboring Iran have, however, limited Armenian
criticism of Iranian extremism and heralded closer diplomatic
and trade relations between the two countries. President
Kocharian spoke out in November against the possibility of
international sanctions against Iran. Armenia also has normal
diplomatic and economic relations with Syria. Both Iran and
Syria have large ethnic Armenian populations.



4. The Financial Monitoring Center (FMC), a U.S.-supported
financial intelligence unit within the Central Bank
designed to consolidate reporting requirements for large or
otherwise suspicious money transfers, was established in
early 2005. The FMC is still developing as a regulatory body.
Though it received no reports of fund transfers in
support of terrorism in 2005, it began to make investigative
strides in 2006. During the first 10 months of 2006, the FMC
received 23 suspicious transaction reports. After analyzing
these reports, the FMC developed five suspicious transaction
cases, three of which have been referred to the Prosecutor
General's office for further investigation. To date, the FMC
has received no reports of transactions involving watch-list
designees. The heavy flow of remittances, however, may hinder
efforts to detect fund transfers in support of terrorism. The
FMC applied for
Egmont Group membership in 2006 and hopes for membership
status in 2007.



5. Armenia continued efforts to increase the security of its
vital documents such as birth certificates, introduced
additional security features into the production of
passports, and continued to install passport readers at
border posts. On November 1, the government implemented
mandatory fingerprinting for travelers departing Zvartnots
Airport - Armenia's only international airport. The National
Security Service (NSS) and police continued to share
information with the U.S. Embassy when they discovered
fraudulent U.S. visas or other documents.



6. In August 2005, the government passed legislation
establishing the National Control List, a schedule of
controlled commodities that either cannot be exported or that
require an export license because of the potential for
misuse. The list is adapted from the European Union's
dual-use list. The list is currently being updated, and is
scheduled for completion in early 2007. It complements
legislation the government adopted in late 2004 that required
licensing exports and imports of radioactive sources.



7. Armenia supported U.S. efforts in Iraq with troops on the
ground and provided overflight authorization in support of
Operation Enduring Freedom.



--------------------------


TRAINING AND MONITORING EFFORTS


--------------------------





8. In May, the UN Analytical Support and Sanctions Monitoring
Team for al-Qaida and the Taliban visited Armenia to monitor
the implementation of sanctions according to a number of UN
resolutions. The team met with the Central Bank, the Ministry
of Defense, the National Security Service and the Police, as
well as with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. According to
the MFA, the team said it was satisfied with Armenia's level
of preparedness.



9. In September, Armenia participated in a CIS-wide exercise
called "Atom-Antiterror 2006." The Armenian special forces,
together with the Russian Federal Security Service (FSB), ran
counterterrorism and hostage release drills at the Armenian
Nuclear Power Plant (ANPP). In October, according to press
reports, the FSB and the Armenian NSS signed two
counterterrorism cooperation protocols.



10. In early December, about two dozen mid- to senior-level

YEREVAN 00001726 002 OF 002


Armenian law enforcement, customs, defense and health
officials participated in a U.S. Department of
Defense-sponsored training course on prevention of terrorism
and WMD proliferation.



--------------------------


POST POINT OF CONTACT


--------------------------





11. Post POC on general terrorism issues is Pol/Mil Officer
Masha Herbst; e-mail: herbstm@state.gov; IVG 996-4302; tel.
( 374 10) 49-43-02.
GODFREY