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Tuesday, May 01, 2007

U.S. State Department Releases 2006 Country Reports on Terrorism

U.S. State Department Releases 2006 Country Reports on Terrorism

US State Department
Press Release

Country Reports on Terrorism 2006 is the U.S. Department of State’s annual, statutorily mandated assessment of trends in international terrorism, which includes a country by country breakdown of foreign government cooperation in the War on Terror. The report covers events from January to December 2006.

The portion of the report specific to Cambodia is reproduced below. Media inquiries on the report should be directed to the U.S. Embassy's Public Affairs Section. The complete report may be found on the State Department's website at http://www.state.gov/s/ct/rls/crt/.

Cambodia Country Report on Terrorism

Cambodia's ability to investigate potential terrorist activities was limited by a lack of training and resources. An absence of comprehensive domestic legislation to combat terrorism also hindered the government’s ability to arrest and prosecute terrorists. Cambodia's political leadership, however, demonstrated a strong commitment to take aggressive legal action against terrorists.

There were no indications that specific terrorist groups operated in Cambodia, but porous borders and endemic corruption could make the country vulnerable to a terrorist presence. The Cambodian government believed that the Cambodian Freedom Fighters (CFF), which carried out an armed attack in November 2000 that killed eight people, are still capable of carrying out attacks in Cambodia. The leader of this group was arrested in California in 2005. The Cambodian government was working with the FBI to bring the leader of the CFF to trial in the United States.

Various officials were identified to take positions in Cambodia’s National Counterterrorism Committee (NCTC), a policy level decision-making body established by the government in 2005 and chaired by the prime minister. The Australian military conducted a conference with the NCTC in August and expressed its intention to follow-up with a tabletop exercise with the Center.

In addition to providing assistance for the NCTC, the Australian government was helping Cambodia draft a new counterterrorism law. The draft law was being reviewed by the relevant legislative committee and the national legislature was expected to adopt it. The Australian and U.K. governments jointly sponsored a National Seminar on Counterterrorism in April to help train the Cambodian military and police. The Malaysian government cooperated with the Cambodian government on Malaysia-specific cases.

In December, following the visit of the Sri Lankan prime minister, the Cambodian government announced that a Sri Lankan military intelligence official would work with police and defense officials on intelligence matters. His announcement followed Prime Minister Hun Sen's assurance to his Sri Lankan counterpart that the Tamil Tiger rebels would not receive arms smuggled from Cambodia, although the government acknowledged it was likely this has occurred in the past. Cambodia has destroyed 200,000 small arms over the last several years with EU assistance, and, with U.S. assistance, has destroyed its stockpile of MANPADS.

With U.S. assistance, the Government of Cambodia installed computerized border control systems at Phnom Penh and Siem Riep airports and at the land border crossing of Poipet and Koh Kong. The Cambodian government also cooperated fully with U.S. requests to monitor terrorists and terrorist entities listed as supporters of terrorist financing.

Released May 1, 2007

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