Mayo de 2004 NOTA EDITORIAL Antonio Marquina Director de UNISCI

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1 Mayo de 2004 NOTA EDITORIAL Antonio Marquina Director de UNISCI Este Número 5 de la revista aborda diversos temas relacionados con la actualidad más candente, el tema del terrorismo, con contribuciones de un reconocido experto sobre Al- Qaeda, Rohan Gunaratna, del Instituto de Defensa y Seguridad de Singapur (IDSS), quien hace un recorrido sobre Al-Qaeda y España antes de los atentados del 11 de marzo, estableciendo una breves características de la importancia de España y los intentos de reconstrucción de la infraestructura. Junto a este trabajo que no tiene grandes pretensiones explicativas, se incluyen otros dos trabajos, el primero sobre la efectista atribución a Al-Qaeda de los atentados en Madrid el 11 de marzo y los grandes interrogantes que dimanan de las informaciones y posiblemente deliberadas desinformaciones publicadas sobre la actuación, la forma de realización, los contactos con servicios de la Guardia Civil, así como la personalidad y actuaciones delictivas de varios de los principales sospechosos. El segundo sobre la política contraterrorista estadounidense en el Sudeste de Asia. Asimismo se recoge un estudio sobre los últimos acuerdos en el seno de ASEAN para el avance en la integración económica ante el proceso inducido por la política estadounidense de firma de acuerdos FTA bilaterales, y el desafío que suponen la República Popular China y la India, estados que han firmado, por otra parte, acuerdos FTA con ASEAN. Otro gran apartado recoge diversos estudios sobre el Cáucaso y Asia Central, así como la política y relación estratégica de Rusia con la República Popular China que sirven para explicar algunas cuestiones claves de una zona de especial importancia para Europa, situada casi en su periferia, las limitaciones de un posible contrapoder ruso-chino a los Estados Unidos, y las complicadas relaciones entre Rusia y los Estados Unidos en la zona del Cáucaso. La revista incluye dos artículos sobre Turquía. El primero, sobre el desarrollo regional de Anatolia y el problema del medioambiente, con importante implicaciones regionales, y el segundo sobre los obstáculos para la integración de Turquía en la UE que, si bien está escrito hace unos meses, tiene especial interés, pues, a pesar de recoger las críticas de diversos sectores sobre la candidatura de Turquía, el artículo termina por afirmar que Turquía podría llegar a ser el puente entre Occidente y el mundo islámico. Sobre temas europeos, la revista recoge un segundo artículo sobre el proyecto de constitución europea y el patrimonio común cristiano, así como diversos artículos sobre seguridad internacional que inciden en la proliferación de las armas de destrucción masiva y la respuesta europea, la iniciativa de seguridad sobre la proliferación y temas de notable importancia referidos al cambio climático, el calentamiento global, el protocolo del Kyoto, la estrategia europea, su enorme incidencia económica y las oportunidades que se abren para las energías alternativas y para los estados terceros mediterráneos, de forma especial para los que hayan ratificado el protocolo de Kyoto. 1

2 Dos artículos cierran la revista, el primero sobre el papel de los derechos humanos en los tratados firmados recientemente por la Santa Sede que sirve para dar dimensión al diálogo religioso diálogo que se basa también en la reciprocidad--, de forma especial en el Mediterráneo. El segundo sobre África y el diálogo euroafricano y la necesidad de sanear estas relaciones de una forma más efectiva y ambiciosa. Esperamos que este nuevo número de la revista contribuya a satisfacer la curiosidad y el interés en algunos temas que aquí se exponen y se analizan. 2

3 SPAIN: AN AL QAEDA HUB? AUTHOR 1 : ROHAN GUNARATNA 2 IDSS, Singapore DATE: May The Context Spain, the traditional gateway to Europe and beyond to North America remains a hub of Al Qaeda transit and base activity. As a rich recruitment base and a poorly regulated financial centre, as well as a place for rest, recuperation and housing, Islamist groups remains active in Spain. During the growth phase of Al Qaeda in the second half of the 1990s, Spain s geographic, demographic and political factors and conditions facilitated Al Qaeda to methodically build clusters of robust support and operational infrastructure in Aragon, Catalonia, Murcia, Valencia, Alicante, Tudelilla, Andalusia, Barcelona, Castellón and Madrid. Despite the periodic arrests and interruption of Al Qaeda and other Islamist terrorist groups, Spain remains strategically and geopolitically important. A narrow Straits of Gibraltar separates Spain from Morocco and North Africa into the rest of the Arab world. The peculiar features of Spain that make the country conducive to Islamist penetration and activity are: First, Spain hosts a large Muslim immigrant community that is vulnerable to virulent ideological and physical penetration by Islamist terrorist groups. Although its human and material infrastructure in Spain has suffered since 9-11, Al Qaeda and other Islamist groups are still able to operate in the country because they maintain strategic depth. Although vast majority of the Muslims are peace loving, several tens of thousands of politicised and radicalised Muslims in Spain are willing to support Islamism. The continuous flow of migrants and the abundance of sympathisers and supporters already inside Spain enable Al Qaeda and other Islamist groups to establish cells in Spain at short notice. In addition to Turkey, Spain remains the gateway for North Africans to enter Europe. For several hundred European cradleand convert-muslims, Spain is the point of departure for Afghanistan, Bosnia, Chechnya, Algeria, Indonesia, and other emerging lands of jihad. Second, Al Qaeda and its associated groups notably the Salafi Group for Call and Combat (GSPC), Takfir Wal Hijra, Tunisian Combatant Group established extensive financial infrastructure in Spain both to support Spanish and its other European operations. In 1 Las opiniones expresadas en estos artículos son propias de sus autores. Estos artículos no reflejan necesariamente la opinión de UNISCI. The views expressed in these articles are those of the authors. These articles do not necessarily reflect the views of UNISCI 2 Dr. Rohan Gunaratna, Head, International Centre for Political Violence and Terrorism Research, Institute of Defence and Strategic Studies in Singapore, is author, Inside Al Qaeda: Global Network of Terror. 1

4 addition to Spain emerging as a conduit for distribution of funds outside Europe, together with Belgium, it served as a centre for forged documents facilitating fraudulent use of credit cards and banking fraud. Islamist cells in Spain provide multiple forged, adapted and fraudulently obtained genuine documents for generating finance and for facilitating the travel of recruits and operatives. Although a number of Al Qaeda infiltrated genuine and terrorist-established charities and 30 Al Qaeda-linked companies operate in Spain, only some have been targeted. The funds came from multiple sources. Among the principal sources were Osama bin Laden, stores, restaurants, shops and mosques and charities. Third, like Germany, Spain served as a forward operational base for Al Qaeda to mount surveillance and reconnaissance on targets in continental US before the 9-11 attacks. Like Al Qaeda held the first planning meeting for 9-11 in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, the final planning meeting for 9-11 was held in Spain. In addition to rest and recuperate, Spain also served as an important safe haven for important Al Qaeda organisers of attacks, financiers and operatives to convene, meet, plan, prepare and execute attacks. 2. Contemporary Wave Spain like the rest of Europe had traditionally offered protection to Muslims fleeing from persecution in their homelands. This included Muslims from the Middle East where several tens of thousands found their way to Europe. Even before the wave of Algerian refugees in the 1990s, several thousand Syrians fled to Europe including to Spain when the late President Hafez Assad crushed Syria s Muslim Brotherhood in The contemporary wave of Muslim support in Spain for Islamic radicalism dates back to the early 1990s. In response to the developments in Bosnia where the West turned a blind eye to the killing of Balkan Muslims ( ), Spain developed an Islamist group the Soldiers of Allah in Madrid in Its associated umbrella, the Islamic Alliance with overseas branches, played a coordination role by co-opting leaders of other groups. Operating out of the Abu Baker mosque in Madrid, they kept in contact with Armed Islamic Group of Algeria, Islamic Salvation Front of Algeria, Palestinian Hamas, Al Qaeda and other violent and political Islamist organisations. In rural Spain, the group organised and financed medical treatment and caring for those wounded in the fighting in Bosnia. For instance, Khayata Kattan, who fought in Bosnia and Kurdistan, Mohomed Needl Acaid, who fought in the Balkans, and Mohamed Zaher, alias Abu Hmeid, received sanctuary. Similarly, Osama Darra who fought in Bosnia opened a discount audio and video store in Spain. Likewise, Abdelkrim Hammad alias Aldelnassa, an Afghanistan trained GIA member wanted for murder arrested in Tudelilla in Spain in December 2002 had fought in Afghanistan, Bosnia and Kosovo. He had fled France for Spain in late Soldiers of Allah founder Anwar Adnan Mohamed Saleh, alias Cheij Salah, alias Abdul Rachid, a Palestinian, wanted to move from Spain to Pakistan coordinate the support that was flowing from Europe. On the pretext of travelling to Granada, Saleh left Spain for Pakistan in early October The Spanish Imam Imad Eddin Barakat Yarkas, alias Abu Dahdah, a Syrian who headed the Soldiers of Wings replaced him faithfully. Saleh joined Al Qaeda s premier front organisation Maktab-il-khidamat (MAK: Afghan Service Bureau) located in Peshawar and operated with Al Qaeda s principal recruitment officer Abu Zubaidah. Saleh 2

5 facilitated the absorption of both the Soldiers of Allah and the Islamic Alliance and the cooption of their leaderships by Al Qaeda. After the Pakistan police arrested Saleh, he relocated to Jalalabad in Afghanistan. The absence of Saleh was adequately compensated by his colleague and successor Abu Dahdah. Dahdah recruited Abdairahman Alarnaot Abu Aljer, alias Abu Obed, from Syria, and dispatched him to Bosnia for training in Zenica, where an Arab battalion fought in support of the Bosnian Muslims. For the purpose of training new recruits, both Dahdah and Alarnaot worked with Mustafa Setmarian Nasar, alias Abu Musab, an important Al Qaeda trainer and camp commander in Afghanistan. In Bassan Dalati Satut, alias Abu Abdo, the police found a diary containing the bank account number of Abu Musab. Among the others in the cell was Kamal Hadid Chaar alias Abu Nour, also Syrian, and like most others formerly a member of the Muslim Brotherhood in Syria. Dahdah, 37, who arrived in Spain in 1986, married a Spanish woman, acquired Spanish nationality, fathered five children. A used car dealer, Dahdah lived modestly and led a low profile life until is arrest in Madrid in November He travelled widely in Europe, Middle East and Asia including visits to the UK, Denmark, Swede, Belgium, Turkey, Yemen, Jordan, Indonesia, and Malaysia. His contacts included Mazen Belnajo and Abu Talha in Saudi Arabia, Abu Rached and Jihad Barakat in UAE, and Abu Alfaraj, Mustafa Halime Abu Bashir, Abu Musab, Abu Khadiyah and Nabil Manakli in Yemen. 3 In addition to visiting at least on ten occasions Abu Qatada, the Al Qaeda spiritual leader in Europe, he kept in contact with the Belgian of Tunisian origin Tareek Maroufi, the head of the Tunisian Combatant Group, an associated group of Al Qaeda. Dahdah also worked with the GSPC, another associated group with Al Qaeda. Six Algerian members of GSPC arrested in Spain on September 26, 2001 had links with Abu Dahdah and other eight Al Qaeda members charged on November 19, Of the six GSPC members arrested on September 26, 2001, two met with an Al Qaeda Tunisian leader Essid Sami ben Khemais in March Ben Khemais and five others were arrested in April 2001 in Italy over plans to attack the US Embassy in Rome. On January 24, 2003 another 16 suspected Algerian members of Al Qaeda were arrested when they were preparing for new attacks; but they were freed later. Police seized chemicals in raids on 12 apartments in Barcelona and other cities in northeastern Spain. Dahdah was trusted by the Al Qaeda core and penultimate leadership as well as the field commanders. Dahdah s work was appreciated by his masters, including Osama bin Laden. For instance, of 111 million pesetas (669,676 euros) provided by Al Qaeda for Islamist activity, Dahdah received 8 million pesetas (17,094 euros), Abu Ilias in Hamburg received 3 million pesetas (15,686 euros), Abu Salah in Yemen received 15,686 euros, Abu Khaled in Turkey received 107,457 euros, and Abu Zeinab in Belgium received 231,664 euros. Similarly, Dahdah s Madrid phone number appeared in an address book found in Atta s Hamburg apartment. On August 27, two weeks before the suicide hijackings, Dahdah engaged in a conversation with Shakur, a UK based Al Qaeda member, referring to a possible airline hijackings. Shakur said, In our lessons, we have entered the field o aviation and we have cut the bird s throat a statement interpreted by the intelligence analysts as attacking the Eagle, the US landmark. 3 Cerdán Blond, Manuel: La investigación: los tentáculos de Bin Laden en España [ The Investigation: The Tentacles of Bin Laden in Spain ], El Mundo, Spain, January 24,

6 Seven months apart, Mohommad Atta, the 9-11 field commander made two trips to Spain, first in January and then in July In addition to Ramzi bin Al Shibh, the 9-11 logistics coordinator, Marwan Al Shehhi, the UAE born pilot and others met in Spain to finalise the attack plans for As holders of residence permits from Germany, a Schengen country, they could travel freely within the European Union. Ramzi arrived in Reus airport in Barcelona on a weekly charter from Germany on July 9, 2001 and Atta arrived in Madrid from Tampa via Miami on July 7. During a stop over at the Zurich airport, he purchased a Swiss army knife from an airport shop the next day morning. He spent up to five hours in the airport, then checked into a hotel in Barajas, a town by the airport, and was accompanied by Iqbal Afzal Admat, a 41-year old man, most likely an Al Qaeda member on a false passport. From the hotel, he made lengthy phone calls including to Hamburg. After paying his room bill by credit card, he took a hotel shuttle to the airport. From Madrid, Atta hired a car, drove halfway, and checked into Hotel Sant Jordi in Tarragona, five miles north of Salou on the Mediterranean, an area popular with Arab holidaymakers. Atta drove 1,190 miles during his 12 days in Spain. After meeting at La Junquera, near the French frontier, they left Hotel Mónica in Cambrils to meet with Abu Khaled, an Al Qaeda leader, who arrived for the meeting in Catalonia. Ramzi had checked in under his own name. At the beginning of the operation in 1997, Abu Khaled was in Castellón, where he discussed the operation. After the meeting, the participants took the keys to the operation in coded s. While Atta flew back to Miami on July 19, Ramzi left for Germany. On August 1, Ramzi took a train from Hamburg to Düsseldorf, where from the train station in Düsseldorf he transferred Al Qaeda funds to Zacariaya Moussaoiu, a suicide hijacker. The Al Qaeda Spanish link to Hamburg cell included provision of support and operatives. When Said Bahaji, Ramzi bin Al Shibh, and Zacariyar Essabar, Al Qaeda members that provided logistical support to the 9-11 team, left Hamburg for Pakistan, they were accompanied by Mohammed Belfatmi, an Algerian from Tarragona province in Spain. Belfatmi arranged the three-day meeting between Atta and Ramzi in Spain in July The Al Qaeda Spanish cell also played a pivotal role in the decentralisation of the Al Qaeda network. With the difficulty of moving recruits and funds into Afghanistan through Pakistan, Al Qaeda in Spain supported the establishment and operation of an Al Qaeda camp in Poso, Sulawesi, in Indonesia. Parlindugan Siregar, alias Parlin, an Indonesian who studied aeronautical engineering in Madrid in the 1990s was the physical training instructor of the camp. The Spanish authorities monitored telephone call from Parlin to Abu Dahdah on July 7, In addition to visiting the camp and firing weapons at a shooting range, Abu Dahdah dispatched several members including Luis José Galán González, alias Yusuf Galan, a native Spanish convert to Islam in July Although the Spanish authorities traced connections between him and Herri Batasuna, the political wing of ETA, it is likely that they were insignificant links. When Galán was arrested in Madrid in November 2001, police also seized a.22 pistol, a.22 rifle, pump action shotgun, a bullet proof vest, and training photos as well as machetes and forged identity documents. The camp trained Indonesians and foreigners. Both Abu Dahdah and Galán admitted to Spanish authorities that they visited Indonesia and took money from Parlin. After seven months of monitoring, Ahmed Brahim, 57, an Algerian member of the financial network of Al Qaeda who lived in Spain for 15 years was arrested in Barcelona on 4 Sennott, Charles M.: Exposing Al Qaeda s European Network, Boston Globe, August 4,

7 April 13, Identified as the Chief Financial Officer in Spain and a suspect in the East Africa bombings in August 1998, the Spanish authorities recovered details of accounts containing large sums of funds at banks in Spain and in other European nations. In addition to working together with Mamdouh Mahmud Salim, alias Abu Hajer al Iraqi, the first emir of Al Qaeda and the financial brain of Al Qaeda, Brahim financed operatives in at least nine countries distributing cash worldwide including to the US and German cells. At the time of his arrest the Spanish authorities traced the path of over euro 670,000. Brahim, who lived in Spain for 15 years, had a yachting business where he traded in boats, provided public relations and exported high tech computers to Saudi Arabia. Also in April, the Spanish arrested Mohammed Galeb Kalaje Zouaydi, alias Abu Talha, a 41-year old Syrian-born businessman who was formerly a member of Syrian Muslim Brotherhood. He was arrested on charges of maintaining two sets of books, a double accounting system, and for raising and laundering money for Al Qaeda cells in eight countries and sending money to Abu Dahdah, the Al Qaeda leader in Spain. Zouaydi who lived in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia from , set up private companies and received donations. He arrived in Madrid in 1998 and established Mushayt for Traditing Establishment, a trading and investment company in Spain. The Spanish officials investigated the transfer of USD 700,000 from the Saudi investment and trading company run by Zouaydi to Spain between 1996 and Zouaydi contributed USD 15,400 to Mamoun Darkazanli, who belonged to the most intimate circle of Mohommad Atta. Operating under the cover of housing construction and sales, Zouaydi s money web extended from the US to Belgium, Turkey, Palestinian territories, Jordan, Syria, Saudi Arabia and China. Spanish officials claimed that Ghalyoun, Zouaydi s business partner, also a member of the Syrian Muslim brotherhood, recorded the surveillance videos of World Trade Centre and other targets in 1997 and Zouaydi s brother-in-law Mohamed Bahaiah, an Al Qaeda courier, collected the surveillance videos for transport. Although only a few charities were infiltrated by the Islamist groups including by Al Qaeda, the Spanish police identified 10 charities that included organisations engaged in bona fide relief and rehabilitation activity. They were the International Islamic Relief Organisation; Al Haramain Islamic Foundation; Ittehad-e-Islami, based in Afghanistan, the most subsidized charity by the Saudi government; Muslim Aid created in London by Cat Stevens alias Yusuf Islam and was involved in Bosnia; Afghan Support Committee that assisted Arabs expelled from Pakistan after a suicide attack on the Egyptian Embassy in Islamabad in 1995; Al Kifah Refugee Center led by Afghan veteran Kamer Eddine Kherbane; Hizb-e-Islami led by Gubbudin Hekmatiyar in Afghanistan; Human Concern International, US based active in Pakistan in support of the Afghan mujahidn; Global Relief Foundation (Foundation Secours Mondial) led by Nabil Sayadi of Belgium; and Maktab-ul-khedamat (Afghan Support Committee), a known Al Qaeda front. In addition to hosting a large North African network, Spain was also the centre for Al Qaeda Syrian activity. Zouaydi, Syrian born Spanish member of Al Qaeda, sent US$ 15,240 to Syrian-born German citizen Mahmoun Darkazanli, 44, in Hamburg whose company Darkazanli Import-Export Company has been investigated by German, US and other authorities since The US government identifies Darkazanli as an associate of Salim, extradited from German to the US, and to Wadih el-hage, a Lebanese born American who 5 Darkazanli Import-Export Company is the first private business to have its assets frozen by President Bush on suspicion of its links to 9-11 attacks. Erlanger, Steven: German Press Investigation of Al Qaeda-Tied Businessman, New York Times, June 20,

8 served as Osama bin Laden s personal secretary in Sudan. Although Germany was reluctant to arrest Darkazanli, his friend and associate Mohamed Heidar Zammar, also of Syrian origin, was arrested while on a visit to Morocco and deported to Spain with American knowledge. Dahdah, Mohammed Haydar Zammer, a 41 year old former locksmith of German citizen and Darkazanli come from Aleppo, Syria, the topic of Atta s thesis. The arrest of Ghasoub al-abrah Ghalyoun alias Abu Musab in April 2002 led to the seizure of five tapes during a visit he made to the US in August A Syrian born Spanish national, Ghasoub was a former member of the Muslim Brotherhood in Syria. A father of five, he worked renovating houses in Spain. Although his attorney stating that Ghasoub was on a family trip to the US, the form and the time of the recordings of the symbols emblematic of the life and culture of the US exceeded tourist curiosity. For instance, the 110-storey twin towers in New York and Empire State Building was filmed from different angles and varying distances, including an excursion into Manhattan s financial district. In the 88-minute tape, its owner turns into the camera and says in Arabic: I will knock them down. In a 30-minute segment of the tape containing skyscrapers, structures and landmarks, there is a conversation between the driver and the cameraman, where there is a reference to Allah when the video captures a nighttime shot of the twin towers and the Empire State Building. Later from the top of the Empire State Building, the camera pans up to focus on the plane flying over Midtown Manhattan. Most of the off the camera voices heard in the video at the WTC are routine descriptions of the lobby including the elevators and a security guard and landmarks such as Statue of Liberty and Brooklyn Bridge seen from the observation deck. 6 After the camera pans from the sidewalk up to the upper north tower floors, where the first hijacked plane struck on 9-11, it moves toward the Hudson River, the path the pilots took as they flew the aircrafts toward the towers. Similarly, the sustenance pillars of the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco and Brooklyn Bridge received special attention. Furthermore, he filmed the inner and outer statues of liberty, zones of New York airport, Sears tower in Chicago, Disneyland in California and Universal Studios theme parks in California. Among the other videos found included graphic images of fighting in Chechnya, including suicide attacks and donations to the Islamist cause. Four months after Aghasoub s visit to the US, another member of the cell, Mohamen Khair Saqq, alias Abu Aldarda, also a Syrian born Spanish citizen and formerly of the Muslim Brotherhood in Syria, was visited by Mohamed Bahaiah, a courier from Osama bin Laden. In September 2002, both Ghasoub and Saqq were released on USD 146, 550 on bails because the Investigative Judge was unable to prove that the videos or copies were seen by Al Qaeda leaders. In a series of raids in Spain, documents and other items seized from homes of Al Qaeda members and supporters in Madrid included airline manuals and airport security in the US. In addition to wide ranging support activity, Spain was also a centre of operational activity. Spanish arrests led to the recovery of maps of various European cities including Dublin and Milan. The European intelligence community believed that Abu Dahdah travelled to Afghanistan prior to 9-11, met with Osama bin Laden on two occasions and discussed with Mohommad Atef, the then military commander, the timetable for launching both suicide and poison gas attacks in Europe. The Spanish cell worked with German cell building the chemical device and the Italian cell discussing the use of a choking gas. Although the chemical attack in France had to wait until after Al Qaeda launched 9-11, the group was determined to conduct 6 Ibid 6

9 several suicide attacks NATO HQ in Brussels, US Embassy and American Cultural Centre in Paris, and the Gothic Cathedral and the central square in Strasbourg, France. Among the other arrests conducted in the North African immigrant neighborhood of Alicante, Spain, included that of the Algerian Mohammed Bensakhriya, 34, who headed the Meliani, an Afghanistan trained Algerian commando cell functioning in Frankfurt with links to the UK, and to Milan and Varesse in Italy. In April 2001, five Tunisians were arrested in Milan, and one suspect in Munich. In January 2000, the US embassy in Rome was closed after the authorities believed that three Algerian were planning to conduct a suicide bombing of the target. When Bensakhriya was arrested in July 2001, he lived in a van maintaining an appearance of being poor so as not to attract the attention of the police. For planning to attack the cathedral in Strasbourg and the market, he was extradited to France. At the time of the arrest, police were also investigating whether he had a role in the planned attack on the European Parliament in Strasbourg. 7 He was also wanted by INTERPOL and the US government. 3. Response Spain like the rest of Europe tolerated the Islamist terrorist network until As a result, Al Qaeda and other groups deepened their influence by recruiting, dispatching members for training, and transacting businesses. Although the authorities monitored the Al Qaeda network in Spain, they identified the network as dormant and not posing a significant threat at least until In the meantime, Al Qaeda network spread throughout Spain including into Granada. For instance, the post 9-11 arrests included, Mohamed Zaher Asade in the Southern city of Granada, the capital of the Moorish Empire of Al Andalus, which fell in Immediately after 9-11, the Spanish national police launched Operation Date to disrupt the Al Qaeda organisation and operations in Spain. The three-phased operation November 2001, April 2002, and July 2002, dismantled the Al Qaeda infrastructure on its soil. In addition to cooperating with law enforcement, security and intelligence agencies worldwide, Spain continues to investigate and analyse documents seized. Overall, the European response has been weak until Between the European law enforcement (police, immigration and customs), security and intelligence agencies there was little cooperation. With no fusion of intelligence and lack of coordination, the pieces of information gathered by various national agencies was not shared and matched to piece together the overall picture until For instance, the Italians wire-tapped the phones, homes and cars of suspected Al Qaeda members 13 months preceding On August 12, 2001, Abdulsalam Ali Ali Abdulrahman, a Yemeni travelling on a diplomatic passport was driven in a Citroen from the Bologna airport told Abdelkader Mahmoud Es Sayed, the Egyptian Imam of the Milan mosque about a massive strike against the enemies of Islam involving aircraft and the sky, a blow that will be written about in all the newspapers of the world. He added: This will be one of those strikes that will never be forgotten... This is a terrifying thing. This is a thing that will spread from south to north, from east to west. The person who came up with this program is a madman from a madhouse, a madman but a genius. He is fixated on this program. It will leave everyone turned to ice In the future, listen to the news and remember 7 Bright, Martin et al.:, Police Believe up to 30 more spectaculars are planned, The Secret War, Part II, Observer, London, September

10 these words. Above the head. Remember well, remember well The danger in the airports There are clouds in the sky there in international territory, in that country, the fire has been lit and is awaiting only the wind 8 Stating that the fight against the enemies of Islam would be waged with any means we can combat them, using..airplanes. They won t be able to stop us even with the heaviest weapons. Before he departed, Abdulrahman said: I m studying airplanes. I hope, God willing, that I can bring you a window or a piece of an airplane the next time we see each other. Also travelling in his Citroen, referring to fraudulent documents, Soltane Adel, a Tunisian, told Es Sayed, on January 24, 2001, Will these work for the brothers who are going to the United States? he angrily responded: Don t ever say those words again, not even joking. If it s necessary whatever place we may be, come up and talk to my ear, because these are very important things. You must know... that this plan is very, very secret, as if you were protecting the security of the state. Es Sayed, fled to Afghanistan in July 2001, after his accomplices including Soltane Adel were arrested in a Tunisian dominated network planned to strike US targets. He is wanted in Egypt for the 1987 massacre of 58 tourists in Luxor and in Italy for trafficking arms, explosives, chemicals, and human trafficking. As Europe is a forward operational base for Al Qaeda to strike North America, improving the security of Europe is pivotal in reducing the threat to the US. For instance, the failure of other Al Qaeda members to enter the US from Europe, such as Ramzi bin Al Shibh, forced Al Qaeda to scale down the 9-11 operation. For instance, when Es Sayed called Abdulrahman on February 12, 2001, another man Abdelwahab answered. When Es Sayed asked: I heard you had entered America, Abdelwahab responded: I m sorry, but we weren t able to get in. It s our greatest desire and objective. They also refer to a 10 member highly secretive German group suggesting other Al Qaeda members preparing for similar attacks. Similarly, sharing of intelligence and coordination of disruption operations are imperative towards protecting Europe from Al Qaeda attack. At the Genoa Summit in Italy, where world leaders met in July 2001, Al Qaeda plans to crash a plane was disrupted. Every terrorist attack leads to the disruption of terrorist cells connected with that attack. Although the Spanish network suffered immediately after 9-11, considering the importance of Spain, Al Qaeda will seek to rebuild it. Despite a series of operations, the Spanish members of Al Qaeda and other associated groups forming a part of the larger European network, are determined to maintain a presence in Spain, an important hub and a transit point. As much as Spain is vulnerable, the country provides an opportunity for the Spanish and other security services to cultivate, recruit and manage terrorist assets, agents and informants. Even before 9-11, Al Qaeda members trained in security took certain security precautions in leading their day-to-day lives and conducting operations. But after 9-11, Al Qaeda members evaded telephone and electronic eves-dropping by using public telephone and fax services. As a learning organisation, Al Qaeda learnt that the European services generated considerable information including evidence to detect, disrupt and prosecute their members by tapping phones and bugging their homes and vehicles, in the future they will become even more security conscious. Therefore, the future success of the fight against terrorism will depend to a large extent on the human penetration of terrorist groups and their support cells throughout Europe including in Spain. 8 Ibid 8

11 U.S. SECURITY POLICY AND COUNTER-TERRORISM IN SOUTHEAST ASIA AUTHOR 1 : DAVID GARCÍA 2 UNISCI DATE: May Introduction: Bush Administration Policy for Asia-Pacific Northeast Asia was established as the center of the U.S. National Security Policy and U.S. Strategic Policy in the Asia-Pacific region before September 11 occurred. The 2001 Quadrennial Defense Review outlined an enhanced focus on Asia security even after its post 9/11 release. In fact, the U.S. policy responded to the following guidelines: a U.S.-Japan alliance renewed; the vision of China as a strategic competitor; a change in the U.S. policy on North Korea to a tougher posture; maintenance of an ongoing approach to India diminished attention to Southeast Asia. But after 9/11, the priorities of the U.S. Asian policy changed, above all, U.S. security policies in the area. The United States focused on homeland security and terrorism after September 11. This diverted the attention from Northeast Asia toward Central and Southeast Asia. reinforcement of U.S.-Japan Alliance a halt in China policy; an even tougher stand on the North Korea issue; a halt in the approach to India because of the approach to Pakistan due to Afghanistan s operations and the War on Terror; 1 Las opiniones expresadas en estos artículos son propias de sus autores. Estos artículos no reflejan necesariamente la opinión de UNISCI. The views expressed in these articles are those of the authors. These articles do not necessarily reflect the views of UNISCI. 2 Prof. David García, Ph.D., is a UNISCI Senior Researcher. 1

12 a greater attention to Southeast Asia and Central Asia: priority area in the War on Terrorism The Bush Administration Asian policy s bedrock is the relationship with Japan, and, particularly, the alliance that maintains the security balance in East Asia. Before the Bush Administration took office, this position had been previously established by the final report of a INSS group, headed by the future Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage and the former Undersecretary of Defense Joseph Nye, the so-called Armitage/Nye Report, which called for an expanded Japanese role in this alliance, using the 1997 U.S.-Japan Defense Guidelines as the first step for further and deeper cooperation 3. This position was upheld in 2001 by Secretary Powell in his confirmation hearing and by Assistant Secretary of State James Kelly some months later. This posture was reinforced by the election of Junichiro Koizumi as Prime Minister in April 2001 and it is currently making further steps with the deployment of 600 Japanese troops to Iraq. The Bush Administration had not really articulated a vision on U.S.-China relations when it took office. The range of positions went from considering China a strategic competitor, competitor for influence, a potential regional rival to a trading partner and a potential partner on areas of common interest: the only clear position was the rejection of the Clinton Administration s posture of strategic partnership. Moreover, the first months of the Bush Administration were marked by a set of actions against China related to Taiwan (arms sales, visit of president Lee Teng-hui), China s accession to WTO (delayed), deployment of NMD and plans to deploy TMD systems jointly with Japan, and finally the EP-3E incident on April 1, 2001 and the President Bush remarks on the U.S. commitment to defending Taiwan (U.S. is prepared to do whatever it took to help Taiwan defend itself) on April 25. The 9/11 provoked a halt in this China policy, seeking cooperation with Beijing. Both countries took advantage of this new scenario; the Bush Administration obtaining support in the war on terrorism; China needed a stable international environment, an improved relation vis-à-vis the United States, and cooperation to fight Xingjian s Uighur Islamic separatism with links in Afghanistan. But neither the United States forgot its anxiety about Chinese missile and WMD transfers 4 nor China its concerns about U.S. military expansion in Central Asia and improved U.S.-Russia relations. Regarding South and Southeast Asia, September 11 had opposing consequences. Strategically, India was one of the main focuses of U.S. policy in the area for the Clinton administration, and the Bush Administration continued this approach enhancing a closer relationship. But the centrality of Pakistan in the war on terrorism and the operations in Afghanistan forced a change in this approach. However, India understood that a decisive moment had arrived and offered full military support to the U.S. war on terrorism. Southeast Asia was soon to receive greater attention as the next battlefield against terrorism, above all due to the rise of militant Islamic fundamentalism in countries such as Indonesia (Free Aceh Movement, Lashkar Jihad and Jemaah Islamiyah), The Philippines (Abu Sayyef) or Malaysia, and their relations with Al Qaida. In fact, counter-terrorism has moved to 3 INSS Special Report. The United States and Japan: Advancing toward a Mature Partnership. National Defense University. Washington D.C. October 11, See DeSutter, Paula A., Assistant Secretary of State for Verification and Compliance: China s Record of Proliferation Activities. Testimony before the U.S.-China Commission. Washington D.C. July 24,

13 the top of U.S. Foreign Policy priorities in South East Asia 5. Now, the War on Terrorism strongly points to Southeast Asia as the main front instead of the Middle East and Central Asia. Still, U.S. security policy has maintained a steady focus on Northeast Asia because North Korea has common ground for regional security and war on terrorism: rogue state, WMD proliferators and terrorist supporting country. On October 2003, National Security Advisor, Condoleezza Rice, established the Bush Administration s strategy on Asia-Pacific by referring to a strong U.S. presence and U.S. alliances with Japan, Australia, South Korea, the Philippines and Thailand as the centerpiece of the U.S. policy in Asia-Pacific 6. Above all, Rice stressed a parallel path in U.S. policy: enhance the alliance with Japan and maintain a constructive relationship with China. This last way is being built on a pragmatic basis because of North Korea, counter-terrorism and proliferation This article reviews U.S. security policy and counterterrorist approaches for fighting terrorism in Southeast Asia, pointing out general approaches and mechanisms, and focusing on main battlefield countries as The Philippines, Malaysia-Singapore and Thailand. 2. War on Terror and Southeast Asia The Bush Administration considered Southeast Asia as the second front in the War on Terrorism after 9/11, but soon this region has become the main front. Although each country and situation in the area requires different approaches, at the same time, the efforts have to be coordinated due to the trans-national nature of terrorist groups. From the point of view of U.S. interests, combating terrorism in the region ranks at the top of list of immediate priorities. This is inextricably linked to long-term regional stability, but it also impacts directly on each of the U.S. s five top goals for the region: promoting and deepening democracy; improving sustainable economic development; countering proliferation and weapons of mass destruction; countering international crime in the region; promoting open markets 7. Terrorist networks are a direct threat to U.S. national security and to the security of U.S. allies and friends in the region. Terrorism carries enormous potential to disrupt regional trends toward peace, prosperity, and democracy. However, there are problems in defining and fighting terrorism because a set of different groups coexists in the area. There are terrorist 5 See Daley, Mathew P., Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for East Asia and the Pacific: U.S. Counter- Terrorism Policy for East Asia and the Pacific. Testimony before the Subcommittees on Asia and Pacific and on International Terrorism, Non-Proliferation and Human Rights. House of Representatives International Relations Committee. Washington D.C. October 29, Rice, Condoleezza: Our Asia Strategy. The Wall Street Journal. October 24, Kelly, James A., Assistant Secretary of State for East Asian and Pacific Affairs. Statement before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. Washington, DC. March 26,

14 groups such as Jemaah Islamiyah with clear links to Al Qaida; separatist groups which have a radical Islamism nature such as Abu Sayyaf, but with links to Al Qaida; and other fundamentalist Muslim organizations and political parties, using violent and non-violent measures with no clear links to Al Qaida. This complexity joins to different positions in governments there: the Philippines, Singapore and Malaysia have cooperated with United States since 9/11; Indonesia was quite reluctant to recognize terrorism inside the country before the Bali bombings despite the fact of hosting Jemaah Islamiyah; Thailand is facing attacks from south Thailand Muslim minority, approaching to an insurgency situation but with no link to Al Qaida until now. For U.S. policy, security and prosperity are inseparable. Leaders of the 21 APEC economies are committed to take all essential actions to dismantle, fully and without delay, transnational terrorist groups that threaten APEC economies. Over the past two years, the United States has also worked very closely and productively with the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), the ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF) and the Pacific Islands Forum (PIF) to develop multilateral responses and cooperation on terrorism. U.S. Government agencies, including Department of Treasury, Department of Defense, and Department of Homeland Security further enhance this reinforcing web of bilateral and multilateral relationships that foster not only a greater U.S. ability to combat terrorism in the region, but also influence growing intra-regional efforts to come to grips with terrorism. Regional stability remains the overarching strategic goal of the United States, and provides the underpinning for achievement of other key goals and objectives. For instance, Southeast Asia is a region in which democratization has proceeded at a mixed pace. Thus, in the past decade, the Philippines and Thailand have consolidated relatively young democracies 8. Terrorism in the Asia-Pacific region is a serious threat to U.S. national security interests, including the welfare and security of American citizens in the region and the security of friends and allies. It poses a direct and immediate threat to regional trends toward stability, democratization, and prosperity that are otherwise generally positive. To root out terrorism and address the underlying conditions, including the absence of rule of law, makes the region vulnerable to terror 9. In Indonesia, the U.S. Department of State, for example, intend to build on the successful efforts, funded by the Non-proliferation, Anti-terrorism, De-mining, and Related Programs (NADR). They will continue training and expanding the Indonesian National Police s Counter-terrorism Task Force. And using an increase in FY 2005 Economic Support Fund (ESF) funds for Indonesia to support basic education through USAID program, this is a key element in the effort to combat terror. The ASEAN Cooperation Plan is an essential tool for building long-term stability in Southeast Asia. To support activities under the ASEAN Cooperation Plan, the Bush Administration has requested $2.5 million for FY The funds will be used to bolster the ability of ASEAN to play a stabilizing role in Asia, to facilitate cooperation to address transnational issues, to foster economic and political integration, to spur development and to enhance U.S. influence in a region of significant economic importance to the United States. 8 Daley, Matthew P., Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for East Asian and Pacific Affairs. Testimony before the House International Relations Committee, Subcommittee on East Asia and the Pacific. Washington, DC. March 26, Keyser, Donald W., Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary for East Asian and Pacific Affairs: FY 2005 Foreign Assistance Programs in the East Asia and Pacific Region. Remarks Before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. Washington, D.C. March 2,

15 The U.S. Department of State requested $250,000 in FY 2005 for Regional Security to support U.S. efforts in the ASEAN Regional Forum to shape regional views on issues such as arms control, counter-terrorism, and maritime security through seminars, workshops, and exchanges and to promote regional stability through strengthening regional institutions in which the United States participates. The U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) programs assisted Indonesia with support programs that advocate public tolerance and strengthen local governments, in addition to basic education initiatives. The Asia-Pacific region is key to global economic growth. While the region has moved a long way down the path of recovery since the economic crisis of , resumption of dynamic growth rates will require significant financial and corporate restructuring and improved economic and political governance, including an end to endemic corruption, and expanded trade and investment. The U.S. role through bilateral assistance, free trade arrangements, support for reforms and regional programs in APEC and ASEAN will be critical to the success of this transformation. Free trade arrangements with the U.S. will be an important vehicle for driving competitive trade liberalization in the region. The United States is moving ahead with the Enterprise for ASEAN Initiative (EAI), which offers the prospect of FTAs between the United States and ASEAN countries that are committed to reform and openness. The goal is to create a network of bilateral FTAs, which will increase trade and investment, tying their economies more closely together. The EAI has already resulted in an FTA with Singapore, which came into force in early In the Philippines funding through USAID will support micro-financing, anti-corruption, civil society, governance, and other programs to promote economic development in impoverished areas. Active U.S. engagement and renewed emphasis on alliance relationships has helped keep the Asia-Pacific region generally stable. Terrorism in Asia carries the potential to destabilize friendly governments in Southeast Asia. The Bush Administration continues to reinforce ties with five regional allies, Japan, Korea, Australia, the Philippines, and Thailand, to maintain its ability to sustain a stable and secure environment in the region. U.S. strategy in this effort includes the forward deployment of military assets. 3. U.S. Counter-Terrorism Policy for Southeast Asia In Southeast Asia, counter-terrorism moved to the top of U.S. foreign policy priorities after September Southeast Asia, home to more than 200 million Muslims, is threatened not only by Al-Qaida but also by regional terrorist organizations such as the Jemaah Islamiyah. With the murder of 202 people in the October 2002 bombing in Bali in Indonesia, Southeast Asia suffered the worst terrorist attack since September 11. Southeast Asia was often viewed as on the fringe of the Muslim world. Thus, immediately after 9/11, Islamic-based terrorism was often portrayed as a foreign import to the region. The Bush Administration was most concerned that members of Al-Qaida would make their way from Afghanistan to Southeast Asia. But that was a misunderstanding. Southeast Asia countries as well as the United States have been forced to readjust their views, and acknowledge the extent and sophistication of indigenous terrorist organizations and networks. Moreover, these networks are not composed of the wretched of the earth, but often of 10 Daley, op. cit. October 29,

16 educated and well-off recruits, but with deep links that connect Southeast Asian terrorists with their counterparts inside and outside the region 11. Concentrated attention on and coordinated policies to combat terrorism have damaged terrorist networks in Southeast Asia. More than 200 terrorists have been detained or arrested by U.S. partners. Hambali a key link between Al Qaida and the Jemaah Islamiyah is now in custody. Malaysia has established a nascent regional CT center and regional training and cooperation is at an all time high. Nonetheless, we are well aware of the costs should complacency re-emerge, and of the long road many nations still have to travel to improve CT capabilities. Moreover, as they come under pressure in former havens in Southeast Asia, terrorists search for softer targets, in neighboring countries or potentially in piracy-infested waters, such as the Strait of Malacca U.S. Pacific Command Counter-Terrorist Role The new terrorism is transnational. Thus, this demands unprecedented international cooperation. Diplomacy is the bedrock on which intelligence, law enforcement, financial and, in specific cases, military cooperation against terrorism, has expanded in Southeast Asia. The U.S. Pacific Command (USPACOM) is the main CINC in charge to develop military counterterrorist measures and operations in the area. In fact, the highest priority for the USPACOM is sustaining and supporting the Global War on Terrorism (GWOT). In order to coordinate PACOM, the Department of Defense and other department and agencies efforts in USPACOM Area of Responsibility, AOR, a Joint Interagency Coordination Group for Counter-terrorism has been created, JIACG/CT. This group coordinates these actions, develops targets for military operations, plans USPACOM regional and counterterrorism campaigns and enhances U.S. and Southeast Asian countries CT capabilities. The Army component of PACOM, U.S. Army Pacific (USARPAC) is designed as joint command for Homeland Defense/Civil Support/Consequence Management in all PACOM AOR. Moreover, the USPACOM Counterintelligence program links these missions with the FBI s Joint Terrorist Task Forces and with allied agencies, including joint international training on asymmetric warfare. Through Special Operations Command-Pacific and Joint Task Force 510, USPACOM can deploy SOF and maintain relations to support allies thanks to the Joint Combined Exchange Training, JCET, and other Theatre Security Cooperation programs, TSC. USPACOM supplies intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance, IRS, above all, SIGINT in tracking terrorists in Indonesia and the Philippines. However, the lack of HUMINT, Human Intelligence, is apparent Philippines U.S.-Philippine relations have been strengthened during the past decade. President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo has supported U.S. policies on the War on Terrorism, Iraq and North Korea, adopting an ambitious program of economic and political reform along with taking strong action against terrorists in the Philippines. She announced last December she would not run in the 2004 election so that can she can focus on her agenda, including poverty alleviation, good governance, economic reform, and reconciliation between the government and insurgent groups in the southern Philippines. The Philippines is confronting a serious threat from Communist and Muslim insurgencies and international terrorists. The United States, for example, has listed four indigenous groups 11 Ibid. For example, a cell of Jemaah Islamiyah was dismantled in Karachi, Pakistan. 6

17 as Foreign Terrorist Organizations: the Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG), the Communist Party of the Philippines/New People s Army, Alex Boncayo Brigade, and the Pentagon Gang. Washington and Manila are concerned there could be a link between the ASG and Iraq. The United States and the Philippines started joint counter-terrorism efforts in 2001 through the Balikatan framework. U.S. special operations forces have no combat role but are training Filipino forces and doing support operations. "Balikatan 02-1" represented a special counter-terrorism-focused exercise on Basilan, involving 1,000 U.S. forces in Mindanao. Training is carried out in Luzon for two light infantry reaction companies, four light infantry battalions and helicopters for night operations. Current programs further enhance Philippine military counter-terrorist capabilities through a Five Year program since 2002, including the Terrorist Interdiction Program, a Security Assistance program 12 and the transfer of excess military equipment and supplies under the Mutual Logistics and Supplies Agreement. Total U.S. military assistance in 2002 was $70 million. USPACOM is implementing a Foreign Military Financing, FMF, and Maintenance Assistance Plan to sustain tactical mobility of Philippine forces including UH-1H helicopters, C-130 transport aircraft. There is also a Mutual Logistic Support Agreement to lease body armor pieces. However, the U.S. training plan, though labeled counter-terrorist, is a counter-insurgency effort aimed at the paramilitary forces of Abu Sayyaf and the MILF. But military assistance to fight the MILF goes beyond the war on terrorism because it is larger and politically popular. Philippine military action against the MILF is a problematic situation to be involved in, because it is a domestic security problem and would be incongruent with President Arroyo's initiative to explore the possibility of peace negotiations with the separatist Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) and funds to support a peace process and new educational assistance for Muslim areas from the U.S. Institute of Peace. This and other programs reflect an effort to address terrorism directly and also through programs designed to reduce its appeal to economically and politically disadvantaged populations. Philippines programs such as the Livelihood Enhancement and Peace program in Mindanao that has enabled 13,000 excombatants to take up peaceful pursuits such as farming, offer a good example and have been successful in developing better alternatives for populations susceptible to terrorist recruitment. This funding in Mindanao is contingent on the MILF separating itself from terrorist organizations and personnel in deed as well as word and also on a successful negotiating process. Meanwhile, the United States will continue to support the territorial integrity of the Philippines, even as the Bangsamoro people have legitimate and long-standing grievances to be addressed. Unfortunately, some factions of the MILF have maintained links with terrorists. Another key factor is institutional reform, without which U.S. assistance will not avail. At the same time, the Philippines government has created a multiagency counter-terrorism task force chaired by the National Security Advisor and consisting of officials from 34 Philippine Government agencies representing the security, economic, and social components essential for an effective counter-terrorism strategy and a newly created cabinet-level position, Ambassador-at-Large for Counter-terrorism. The Philippines also established a task force on protection of critical infrastructure chaired by the Undersecretary of the Presidential Office of Special Concerns. 12 Fargo, Admiral Thomas, USCINCPACOM. Statement before House International Relations Committee. June 26, p

18 While Philippine CT operations, involving U.S. military training and operational support, achieved significant results against the Abu Sayyaf Group, the Philippines failed to enact new antiterrorism legislation in Poor communication between Philippine law enforcement agencies and the Anti-Money Laundering Council (AMLC) remains an impediment to effective implementation of the Anti-Money Laundering Act amended in March The amendments to the Act granted Central Bank personnel unfettered access to deposit accounts. However, the Central Bank and the AMLC face logistic challenges due to the lack of information technology platforms to collect and process covered transaction reports. Although the amendments addressed international Financial Action Task Force (FATF) concerns about the Philippines legal and regulatory framework, the Philippines remains on the FATF s list of noncooperating countries and territories (NCCT). Removal from the NCCT list awaits the adoption of an anti-money laundering implementation plan and corresponding actions. In October, the Philippine Government ratified the remaining six of the 12 international conventions and protocols relating to terrorism Malaysia/Singapore U.S. relations with Malaysia have historically been very good, particularly at the working level. Despite sometimes blunt and intemperate public remarks by Prime Minister Mahathir, U.S.-Malaysian cooperation has a solid record in areas as diverse as education, trade, military relations, and counter-terrorism. Malaysia hosts U.S. Navy ship visits per year, and Malaysian military officers train at U.S. facilities under the International Military Education and Training (IMET) program. Malaysia is a staunch partner in the global war on terrorism. The Malaysian government pursues terrorists relentlessly, and currently has about 90 suspected terrorists in detention, including members of Jemaah Islamiyah, which was plotting to bomb U.S. military, diplomatic, and commercial facilities in Singapore. Some of the detainees have links to al Qaida. Malaysia's quiet, nuts-and-bolts support has proved crucial to U.S. efforts: Malaysia granted the U.S. military overflight clearance on a case-by-case basis during Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan. The Malaysian government also provides superb on-the-ground law enforcement and intelligence CT cooperation. It has agreed to freeze assets identified by the UNSC Sanctions Committee, though to date it has located no terrorist assets belonging to those entities. It requires financial institutions to file suspicious transaction reports on all names listed under U.S. Executive Order 13224, but is not yet a party to the International Convention for the Suppression of the Financing of Terrorism. Both countries signed a bilateral Declaration of Cooperation against International Terrorism. On July 1, 2003, Malaysia established a Southeast Asia Regional Center for Counter-terrorism (SEARCCT). SEARCCT is expected to focus on regional training, information sharing, and public awareness campaigns. In August 2003, SEARCCT started hosting a training program sponsored by the U.S. Treasury s financial intelligence unit, FinCEN, and Malaysia s Central Bank (Bank Negara) on combating terrorist financing. Other nations, including the United Kingdom, Germany, and Australia, are also expected to provide trainers and training materials to the center. Malaysia assisted Indonesian efforts to prosecute terrorist suspects by making video testimony from suspects in Malaysian custody available to Indonesian prosecutors. In recent months the tone of Malaysian rhetoric regarding the United States has soured. The Bush Administration has objected to a series of public remarks made by senior Malaysian 8

19 officials criticizing America's role in the world, beginning with Prime Minister Mahathir's opening speech at the NAM Summit in Kuala Lumpur in late February. Notwithstanding differences on Iraq and on Middle East issues, Malaysia has repeatedly made clear that it will meet its obligations to protect foreigners and related institutions. Its onthe-ground law-enforcement and intelligence cooperation against terrorism remains extremely strong, illustrating the nature of their respective national security interests. Malaysia generally respects the human rights of its citizens although concerns remain in certain areas. The U.S. has criticized Malaysia over the years when the Internal Security Act has been used to stifle domestic opposition, although it has distinguished between that use and its current implementation in a counter-terrorism context. However, Malaysia has detained more than 100 suspected terrorists under the Internal Security Act (ISA) since May Malaysia has responded quickly to UN Security Council requirements to prohibit terrorist financing and freeze the accounts of named entities. In November, Malaysia s Parliament amended its anti-money laundering legislation of 2001 to include terrorist activity as a predicate offense. Parliament also amended the penal and criminal procedure codes to increase penalties for terrorist acts, allow for the prosecution of individuals who provide material support for terrorists, expand the use of wiretaps and other surveillance of terrorist suspects, and permit video testimony in terrorist cases. On 24 September 2003, Malaysia deposited the instruments of ratification for two international antiterrorism conventions: the International Convention for the Suppression of Terrorist Bombings and the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of Crimes against Internationally Protected Persons. Malaysia is a party to three additional international conventions and protocols relating to terrorism and is a signatory to the Protocol for the Suppression of Unlawful Acts of Violence at Airports Serving International Civil Aviation. It has not yet become a party to the International Convention for the Suppression of the Financing of Terrorism. Singapore has also been among the U.S. s strongest counter-terrorism partners and in the forefront of Southeast Asian counter-terrorism efforts. The Government of Singapore made two highly publicized major arrests of terrorists who had been planning attacks in Singapore against U.S., British, and Singaporean targets. The first, of 13 suspects, was in December 2001 and the second, of 21 suspects, was in August The majority of these suspects were members of the Jemaah Islamiyah (JI) terrorist network active in Southeast Asia, including several who had trained with al Qaida. On October 17, following the Bali bombing, Singapore joined Australia, the U.S., and 47 other governments to designate the JI as a terrorist entity to the UN. Since 9/11, the Government of Singapore has enhanced its anti-terrorist financing regime, ratified the UN Convention on the Suppression of Terrorist Financing, passed new legislation to permit its authorities to freeze and seize terrorist assets under UNSCR 1373, and implemented asset freeze orders for the UNSCR 1267 list. To date, no terrorist assets have been identified in Singapore. Singapore was the first Asian port to sign on to the U.S. Customs Service Container Security Initiative. The military relationship is also very strong. Although Singapore is not a treaty ally, it supports a strong U.S. military presence in the Asia-Pacific region and has offered the U.S. increased access to its facilities since the closure of U.S. bases in the Philippines. The United 9

20 States and Singapore in 1990 signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) allowing the U.S. access to Singapore facilities at Paya Lebar Airbase and the Sembawang wharves. Under the MOU, a U.S. Navy logistics unit was established in Singapore in 1992; U.S. fighter aircraft deploy periodically for exercises, and roughly 100 U.S. Navy vessels per year visit Singapore. The MOU was amended in 1999 to permit U.S. Navy ships to berth at a special deep-draft pier at the Changi Naval Base. Both militaries have extensive contacts and participate in combined military exercises regularly, supported by approximately 150 U.S. logistics personnel stationed in Singapore. Moreover, there have been contacts between the USPACOM Joint Intelligence Center and Singapore Joint Counter-Terrorism Center, exchanging U.S. SIGINT for HUMINT coming from some countries in the area. The other main issue is the protection of the Strait of Malacca where 1100 supertankers pass eastbound annually Thailand Thailand is one of five U.S. Treaty Allies in Asia. Thai troops fought alongside Americans in Korea and Vietnam. More recently, Thailand has provided critical support, including a military engineering unit currently at work in Afghanistan, for Operation Enduring Freedom. Thailand has actively cooperated with the United States on all aspects of the war on terror. It has also dispatched over 400 soldiers to Iraq and recently completed a deployment in Afghanistan The United States holds annually the largest multilateral exercise in Southeast Asia, Cobra Gold. It is a counter-terrorist scenario in the jungle, without urban exercise. But there is a bilateral maritime exercise including the liberation of a ship taken by terrorists. Since 2002, this exercise includes anti-terrorist components focused on WMD and improvement of interoperability, but not following the Balikatan model in order to avoid investment problems in the country. Nevertheless, Thai officers attend Balikatan Exercises and a new U.S.-Thai exercise that has been created, Known Warrior, focuses on antiterrorism. Thailand s domestic and international counterterrorism efforts, which were bolstered in the wake of the deadly bombing in Bali, Indonesia, in October 2002, intensified during Prime Minster Thaksin Shinawatra publicly expressed the will of the Royal Thai Government to cooperate closely with the United States and other nations in fighting the global war on terror. Thai authorities captured top JI leader with close ties to al-qaida, Nurjaman Riduan bin Isomuddin (a.k.a. Hambali) in Ayutthaya, Thailand. Hambali s capture serves as a major blow to both JI and al-qaida and represents a significant victory in the war on global terror. In August 2003, the King signed an emergency antiterrorist decree, giving the Government powerful new legal tools to fight terrorism. The executive decree was approved after nearly two years of parliamentary consideration. Although existing legislation does not cover terrorist financing, Thailand is planning to expand its Anti- Money Laundering Act to include terrorism. The Government and Thailand s central bank continued to cooperate closely with the United States on reviewing and disseminating lists of persons blocked under U.S. Executive Order Thailand is a participant in the new Southeast Asia Center for Counter-terrorism based in Malaysia. As host of the APEC Leader s Summit in October 2003, Thailand was instrumental in persuading APEC members to adopt the Bangkok Goals, which place security concerns on an equal footing with the economic objectives that previously dominated this forum. 10

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