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Cablegate: Draft Country Report On Terrorism 2008 From Bangladesh

VZCZCXRO5915
PP RUEHCI
DE RUEHKA #1355 3641059
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 291059Z DEC 08
FM AMEMBASSY DHAKA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 8031
INFO RUEHLM/AMEMBASSY COLOMBO PRIORITY 8769
RUEHIL/AMEMBASSY ISLAMABAD PRIORITY 2509
RUEHKT/AMEMBASSY KATHMANDU PRIORITY 0008
RUEHNE/AMEMBASSY NEW DELHI PRIORITY 0990
RUEHCI/AMCONSUL KOLKATA PRIORITY 1619

UNCLAS DHAKA 001355

SIPDIS
DEPT PASS TO S/CT RHONDA SHORE AND SETH BAILEY

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PTER PREL PGOV BG
SUBJECT: DRAFT COUNTRY REPORT ON TERRORISM 2008 FROM BANGLADESH

1. (U) The following is the draft text of the draft country report
on terrorism for 2008 from Bangladesh:
2. (SBU) Jamaatul Mujahedin Bangladesh (JMB), the banned domestic
Islamic extremist group responsible for a wave of bombings and
suicide attacks in late 2005, continued to be a threat in 2008.
Authorities arrested several suspected JMB members and uncovered
weapons caches that included grenades and chemicals that could be
used to make explosives, including during the national Parliamentary
election campaign in December 2008.
3. (SBU) Neighboring India continued to allege that the United
Liberation Front of Assam (ULFA) and other anti-India insurgency
groups operated from Bangladesh with the knowledge of senior
Bangladeshi government officials. India also blamed the terrorist
group Harakat ul-Jihadi-Islami-Bangladesh (HUJI-B) for bomb attacks
within India. Bangladesh strongly denied those allegations. The
absence of counterterrorism cooperation between India and Bangladesh
fueled mutual allegations that each country facilitated terrorism
inside the borders of the other.
4. (SBU) In April and June 2008 the caretaker government promulgated
the Money Laundering Prevention Ordinance and the Anti-Terrorism
Ordinance. The laws facilitate international cooperation in
recovering money illegally transferred to foreign countries and
mutual legal assistance in criminal investigation, trial
proceedings, and extradition matters. The new ordinances are part of
the effort to enable Bangladesh to enter Egmont, the international
body of Financial Intelligence Units that plays a critical role in
fighting terror financing.
5. (SBU) The caretaker government's anti-corruption campaign
unraveled in 2008. The courts released on bail during the Caretaker
Government's final months many of the high-profile politicians and
businessmen who had been jailed on graft charges. Several of those
released went on to run for Parliament as candidates of the two
major political parties.
6. (SBU) U.S. and Bangladeshi law enforcement agencies cooperated
well on several cases related to domestic and international
terrorism. The United States continued to fund Antiterrorism
Assistance programs for Bangladeshi security forces. Bangladesh also
continued cooperation with the United States to strengthen control
of its borders and land, sea, and air ports of entry. The United
States began human rights training for the Rapid Action Battalion,
the country's premier counterterrorism law enforcement force.

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