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Cablegate: Vietnam: 2002 Annual Terrorism Report

This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.


2002HANOI02692 - UNCLASSIFIED

UNCLASSIFIED PTQ0844

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ACTION SCT-00

INFO LOG-00 NP-00 AID-00 AMAD-00 CIAE-00 DODE-00 SRPP-00
DS-00 EAP-00 FBIE-00 UTED-00 VC-00 TEDE-00 INR-00
IO-00 LAB-01 VCE-00 DCP-01 NSAE-00 TEST-00 USIE-00
ASDS-00 IIP-00 DSCC-00 PRM-00 DRL-02 NFAT-00 SAS-00
/004W
------------------0429C1 061029Z /38
FM AMEMBASSY HANOI
TO SECSTATE WASHDC 8036
INFO AMCONSUL HO CHI MINH CITY

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 HANOI 002692

SIPDIS

STATE FOR S/CT FOR REAP AND EAP/BCLTV

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PTER PREL VM CTERR
SUBJECT: VIETNAM: 2002 ANNUAL TERRORISM REPORT

REF: SECTSTATE 201772

1. EMBASSY'S RESPONSE TO REFTEL FOLLOWS IN PARAGRAPH 2.
THE RESPONSE IS KEYED TO THE PARAGRAPHS IN REFTEL.

2.
A) THE GVN HAS ACTIVELY SUPPORTED THE GLOBAL COALITION
AGAINST TERRORISM AND TAKEN A NUMBER OF MEASURES AGAINST AL-
UNCLASSIFIED

PAGE 02 HANOI 02692 01 OF 02 061028Z
QAIDA. THE GVN HAS CLEARLY AND FREQUENTLY DENOUNCED
TERRORISM DOMESTICALLY AND INTERNATIONALLY. THE GVN
RATIFIED FOUR ADDITIONAL INTERNATIONAL CONVENTIONS RELATED
TO COUNTERTERRORISM, BRINGING ITS TOTAL TO EIGHT. THE GVN
SUPPORTED THE ADOPTION OF THE US-ASEAN COUNTERTERRORISM
DECLARATION. AT THE UN, THE GVN DESCRIBED TERRORISM AS "A
GLOBAL SCOURGE," ADDING THAT "ANY COUNTERTERRORISM MEASURE
MUST COMPLY WITH THE UNITED NATIONS CHARTER, RESPECT THE
FUNDAMENTAL PRINCIPLES OF INTERNATIONAL LAW AND THE
SOVEREIGNTY OF STATES." THE GVN HAS CONTINUED TO AGREE TO
RECEIVE FROM THE U.S. LISTS OF SUSPECTED TERRORISTS AND
ORGANIZATIONS, TO REVIEW ITS IMMIGRATION RECORDS, TO ADD
THESE NAMES TO ITS WATCHLISTS, AND TO ORDER SEARCHES OF THE
RECORDS OF ALL FINANCIAL INSTITUTIONS FOR ASSETS RELATED TO
AL-QAIDA AND OTHER TERRORIST ENTITIES. DURING 2002, THE GVN
FURTHER UPGRADED SECURITY FROM ALREADY ELEVATED POST-
SEPTEMBER 11, 2001 LEVELS AT MANY DIPLOMATIC MISSIONS IN
HANOI AND HO CHI MINH CITY, INCLUDING THOSE OF THE U.S., TO
DETER TERRORISM.

B) DURING 2002 THERE WERE NO KNOWN ACTS OF DOMESTIC
TERRORISM OR PROSECUTIONS FOR ACTS OF TERRORISM IN VIETNAM.
THERE WERE NO KNOWN JUDICIAL ACTIONS IN VIETNAM DURING 2002
RELATED TO ACTS OF INTERNATIONAL TERRORISM. THE GVN
CONTINUED THROUGH DIPLOMATIC CHANNELS TO PRESS FOR THE
PROSECUTION OF INDIVIDUALS ACCUSED OF COMMITTING "TERRORIST"
ACTS IN 2001 AGAINST VIETNAMESE INTERESTS OVERSEAS. IN
OCTOBER 2002, A US COURT CONVICTED ONE OF THESE INDIVIDUALS
OF ATTEMPTED ARSON AND ASSAULT ON A FEDERAL OFFICER DURING
AN ATTEMPTED ATTACK ON DEPUTY PRIME MINISTER NGUYEN TAN DUNG
IN SAN FRANCISCO IN DECEMBER 2001. THE GVN HAS DESCRIBED
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PAGE 03 HANOI 02692 01 OF 02 061028Z
THIS ATTEMPTED ATTACK INCIDENT AS "TERRORISM." US
AUTHORITIES ARRESTED A US RESIDENT ON TERRORISM-RELATED
CHARGES IN OCTOBER 2001 AND HELD HIM PENDING AN EXTRADITION
HEARING IN NOVEMBER 2002 TO STAND TRIAL IN THAILAND FOR AN
ATTEMPT TO BOMB THE VIETNAMESE EMBASSY IN BANGKOK.

C) EXTRADITION: THE GVN DID NOT EXTRADITE ANY SUSPECTED
TERRORISTS DURING THE YEAR, NOR WERE ANY REQUESTS FOR SUCH
EXTRADITIONS MADE TO OUR KNOWLEDGE. THE GVN HAS CONTINUED
TO PRESS FOR THE EXTRADITION TO THAILAND OF TWO INDIVIDUALS
RESIDING IN THE U.S. THAT THE GVN ASSERTS WERE INVOLVED IN
ATTEMPTS TO BOMB GVN INTERESTS OVERSEAS. US AUTHORITIES
ARRESTED ONE OF THESE INDIVIDUALS IN 2001 (SEE PARA B); US
EXTRADITION HEARINGS ARE PROCEEDING.

D) THERE ARE NO SIGNIFICANT IMPEDIMENTS TO PROSECUTION OF
SUSPECTED TERRORISTS. THERE IS NO EXTRADITION TREATY
BETWEEN THE GVN AND THE USG. HOWEVER, AT USG REQUEST, THE
GVN HAS DEPORTED INDIVIDUALS ACCUSED OF CRIMES TO THE U.S.

E) THE GVN MADE NUMEROUS PUBLIC STATEMENTS CONDEMNING
TERRORISM; SOME EXAMPLES FOLLOW. IN JANUARY, COMMUNIST
PARTY GENERAL SECRETARY NONG DUC MANH, DURING AN INTERVIEW
WITH A WESTERN JOURNALIST, SAID THAT "WE OPPOSE TERRORISM IN
ANY FORM." ON APRIL 28, DURING THE NON-ALIGNED MOVEMENT
MINISTERIAL CONFERENCE, DEPUTY FOREIGN MINISTER NGUYEN PHU
BINH STATED THAT "VIETNAM CONDEMNS ALL FORMS OF TERRORISM."
ON MAY 10, THE MFA SPOKESPERSON "STRONGLY CONDEMNED" THE MAY
9 BOMBINGS IN DAGESTAN. ON OCTOBER 14, AFTER THE BALI
BOMBINGS, THE MINISTRY OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS SPOKESPERSON
STATED THAT "VIETNAM RESOLUTELY CONDEMNS AND ACTS AGAINST
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PAGE 04 HANOI 02692 01 OF 02 061028Z
TERRORISM IN WHATEVER FORMS. . . . IT IS WORTHY TO NOTE THAT
THE BLAST TOOK PLACE AT A TIME WHEN THE WORLD COMMUNITY IS
EXERTING CONCERTED EFFORTS TO PREVENT TERRORIST MOVES." SHE
ADDED THAT "THE BOMB BLAST IS AN INTOLERABLE CRIME." THE
GVN SUPPORTED MISSION-SPONSORED SEPTEMBER 11 MEMORIAL
EVENTS. PROVINCIAL-LEVEL GVN AUTHORITIES SEIZED PRODUCTS
BEARING USAMA BIN-LADEN'S IMAGE ON AT LEAST ONE OCCASION AND
ANNOUNCED THAT PRODUCTION OF SUCH ITEMS WAS PUNISHABLE BY
LAW.

F) THE GVN, REPRESENTED BY PRIME MINISTER PHAN VAN KHAI,
SUPPORTED THE ADOPTION OF THE US-ASEAN COUNTERTERRORISM
DECLARATION AT THE ASEAN SUMMIT IN BRUNEI DURING JULY. HO
CHI MINH CITY POLICE ESTABLISHED A "TACTICAL RESPONSE TEAM"
THAT THEY DESCRIBED AS A COUNTERTERRORISM TOOL, ALTHOUGH ITS
MORE IMMEDIATE USE WAS PROBABLY AGAINST ORGANIZED CRIME
GANGS. A SIMILAR TACTICAL UNIT NOW EXISTS IN HANOI,
ALTHOUGH THE EMBASSY HAS NOT YET SEEN ANY EVIDENCE OF ACTUAL
DEPLOYMENT OR OPERATIONS.

G) THE GVN IS NOT KNOWN TO SUPPORT INTERNATIONAL TERRORISM,
TERRORISTS, OR TERRORIST GROUPS.

UNCLASSIFIED

UNCLASSIFIED PTQ0845

PAGE 01 HANOI 02692 02 OF 02 061028Z
ACTION SCT-00

INFO LOG-00 NP-00 AID-00 AMAD-00 CIAE-00 DODE-00 SRPP-00
DS-00 EAP-00 FBIE-00 UTED-00 VC-00 TEDE-00 INR-00
LAB-01 VCE-00 DCP-01 NSAE-00 TEST-00 USIE-00 ASDS-00
IIP-00 DSCC-00 PRM-00 DRL-02 NFAT-00 SAS-00 /004W
------------------0429C8 061029Z /38
R 061013Z NOV 02
FM AMEMBASSY HANOI
TO SECSTATE WASHDC 8037
INFO AMCONSUL HO CHI MINH CITY

UNCLAS SECTION 02 OF 02 HANOI 002692

SIPDIS

STATE FOR S/CT FOR REAP AND EAP/BCLTV


H) THE GVN HAS NOT PUBLICLY SUPPORTED A TERRORIST-
SUPPORTING COUNTRY ON A TERRORISM-SPECIFIC ISSUE.

I) THE GVN TOOK A MORE SERIOUS ATTITUDE TOWARDS
COUNTERTERRORISM FOLLOWING THE DISCOVERY OF TERRORIST CELLS
IN FELLOW ASEAN MEMBERS SINGAPORE AND MALAYSIA EARLY IN THE
YEAR. THE GVN HAS BEEN FOLLOWING CLOSELY THE TRIAL OF
INDIVIDUALS INVOLVED IN THE ATTEMPTED ATTACK ON DEPUTY PRIME
MINISTER NGUYEN TAN DUNG IN SAN FRANCISCO IN DECEMBER 2001.
UNCLASSIFIED

PAGE 02 HANOI 02692 02 OF 02 061028Z
THE GVN HAS DEEMED THIS A TERRORIST ACT.

J) THE GVN HAS COOPERATED WITH THE USG IN A NUMBER OF
COUNTERTERRORISM AREAS. THE STATE BANK OF VIETNAM HAS
ISSUED INSTRUCTIONS TO ALL STATE, PRIVATE, FOREIGN AND JOINT
VENTURE BANKS AND BRANCHES TO SEARCH FOR ASSETS RELATED TO
NAMED ENTITIES ON LISTS PROVIDED BY THE USG, ALTHOUGH IT
LACKS AN EFFECTIVE MECHANISM FOR REPORTING RESULTS OF THESE
SEARCHES. THE GVN HAS COOPERATED WITH THE US CUSTOMS
SERVICE'S OPERATION GREEN QUEST. THE MINISTRY OF FOREIGN
AFFAIRS HAS AGREED THAT THE MINISTRY OF PUBLIC SECURITY
(MPS) WOULD CHECK IMMIGRATION RECORDS AGAINST LISTS OF
SUSPECTED TERRORISTS PROVIDED BY THE USG. AT USG REQUEST,
MPS HAS PROVIDED A HIGHLY VISIBLE SECURITY PRESENCE AROUND
USG FACILITIES. HOWEVER, IN ONE CASE IN SEPTEMBER, IT TOOK
SEVERAL DAYS TO PROVIDE A SATISFACTORY SECURITY PRESENCE AT
ONE FACILITY.

K) PRIOR TO 2001, THE INVESTIGATION AND PREVENTION OF
INTERNATIONAL TERRORISM WAS NOT A MAJOR COMPONENT OF THE
BILATERAL RELATIONSHIP. HOWEVER, SINCE SEPTEMBER 11, 2001,
THE GVN HAS COOPERATED IN A NUMBER OF WAYS WITH THE USG
EFFORTS TO INVESTIGATE THOSE RESPONSIBLE FOR COMMITTING
TERRORIST ACTS AGAINST US CITIZENS AND INTERESTS. THE GVN
HAS AGREED TO CONDUCT CHECKS OF IMMIGRATION RECORDS ON LISTS
OF NAMES OF TERRORISTS WHO MAY HAVE TRANSITED THROUGH
VIETNAM. IMMIGRATION AUTHORITIES HAVE ALSO GENERALLY
RESPONDED PROMPTLY TO USG REQUESTS FOR CHECKING THE
BONAFIDES OF PASSPORTS AND VISAS, ESPECIALLY WHEN TIPPED OFF
THAT THE PASSPORT HOLDERS ARE BEHAVING SUSPICIOUSLY. THE
GVN HAS CONTRIBUTED INVESTIGATIVE SUPPORT TO US EFFORTS TO
UNCLASSIFIED

PAGE 03 HANOI 02692 02 OF 02 061028Z
IDENTIFY AND SUSPEND FINANCIAL ASSETS OF TERRORISTS AND
TERRORIST GROUPS.

EXCEPT THE RECEIPT OF SEVERAL SUSPICIOUS PACKAGES --
EVENTUALLY CONFIRMED TO BE HARMLESS -- MAILED BOTH
DOMESTICALLY AND FROM OVERSEAS, THERE HAVE BEEN NO ACTS OF
TERRORISM COMMITTED AGAINST US CITIZENS OR INTERESTS IN
VIETNAM FOR MORE THAN FIVE YEARS. THE GVN HAS PROVIDED
INCREASED POLICE PRESENCE AT USG FACILITIES AND DEVELOPED
MEASURES TO RESPOND TO SPECIFIC THREAT SITUATIONS. THE GVN
HAS RESPONDED HELPFULLY AND PROMPTLY TO ANALYZE THE CONTENTS
OF SUSPICIOUS PACKAGES. HOWEVER, GVN RESPONSE TIMES TO
OTHER POTENTIALLY THREATENING SITUATIONS HAVE VARIED. IN
THE BEST CASE, POLICE RESPONDED WITHIN LESS THAN FIVE
MINUTES. IN ANOTHER CASE INVOLVING A DIFFERENT POTENTIAL
THREAT AT A DIFFERENT FACILITY, CLEARLY THE LOCAL POLICE DID
NOT HAVE THE NECESSARY RESOURCES AT THEIR IMMEDIATE
DISPOSAL, NOR WERE THEY FAMILIAR WITH HOW TO DEAL WITH THIS
TYPE OF THREAT. CALLING IN THE REQUIRED SPECIALISTS TOOK
THREE HOURS, AND COORDINATION AMONG THE VARIOUS GVN OFFICES
INVOLVED WAS SLOW. THE SPECIALISTS THEMSELVES WERE
PROFESSIONALLY COMPETENT, BUT LACKED ANY PROTECTIVE
GEAR/EQUIPMENT.

L. SEE PARAGRAPH K.
BURGHARDT

UNCLASSIFIED

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