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Cablegate: Nigeria: 2002 Annual Terrorism Report

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

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 ABUJA 000039

SIPDIS


S/CT FOR REAP


E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PTER NI
SUBJECT: NIGERIA: 2002 ANNUAL TERRORISM REPORT

REF: STATE 201772


1. (U) Post provides the following input for the 2002 Annual
Terrorism Report. The information is keyed to the questions
asked in REFTEL:


A. (U) Civilian rule returned to Nigeria with the
inauguration
of Olusegun Obasanjo as President in May 1999. Since his
inauguration, President Obasanjo has pursued an active
international agenda commensurate with Nigeria's perception
of
its role as a leader in both continental and world affairs.
As
such, Nigeria has established a balanced foreign policy that
coincides with USG interests in many important respects.


(U) President Obasanjo's government was among the first to
send condolences after the September 11 attacks. More
importantly, Nigeria steadfastly and publicly lent its
diplomatic support to Coalition efforts against the Taliban
and
Al Queda despite the domestic political ramifications of
being
home to Africa's second largest Muslim population. The GON
backed UN Resolutions 1267, 1333 and 1368 and has initiated
legislative and regulatory steps to shore up its anti-money
laundering regime in order to fight terrorism. The New
Partnership for African Development (NePAD), an organization
founded by Obasanjo and other African Heads of State, has
condemned terrorism and called for concrete measures to be
taken
by African states to combat the scourge. Nigeria is signatory
to
three UN counter-terrorism conventions and is reviewing other
UN
conventions with the view of acceding to these instruments.


(U) Nigeria also has taken on a leading role in making
counter-
terrorism an important issue in West Africa, the sub-region
where Nigeria's diplomatic and political influence is most
pronounced.


B. (U) Judiciary: There have been no known acts of terrorism
nor
criminal prosecutions of terrorists during the year. While
current criminal law does not contain many specific anti-
terrorism provisions, the penal code does proscribe acts of
violence, which includes terrorism. Because President
Obasanjo
has given terrorism a high priority, the GON is moving
quickly
to draft improved terrorism legislation. Likewise, the
judiciary probably would prosecute diligently any cases of
terrorism and would cooperate with the USG in prosecution
despite some of the institutional shortcomings of the
judiciary,
i.e. understaffing, corruption, lack of equipment, large
caseloads and inadequate pay.


C. (U) Extradition: The GON did not extradite any suspected
terrorists or request extradition of any terrorists during
the
year.


D. (U) Possible Impediments to Prosecution/ Extradition:
There
are no known legal impediments to prosecution or extradition
of
suspected terrorists. However, members of both the police
force
and the judiciary have been susceptible to corruption in the
past. Given the high-level GON focus on counter-terrorism, it
would be difficult for corrupt practices to impede the
prosecution or extradition of any high-visibility terrorism
cases.


E. (U) Other Responses: The GON has enacted legislation, the
Anti-Terrorism, Economic and Financial Crimes Commission Act,
containing explicit criminal sanctions against both terrorism
and terrorist financing. Not only does the Act expressly
prohibit terrorism; it establishes an inter-agency commission
with the mandate to coordinate GON anti-terrorist activities.


In view of Nigeria's importance as an oil exporter, the
establishment of the Niger Delta Security Commission (NDSC)
was
aimed to protect important American and other foreign
economic
interests in Nigeria. The NDSC's mission is to enhance the
security of oil installations against possible terrorist
attacks. While the NSDC's mandate is laudable, the
effectiveness
of the Commission is uncertain.
(U) The Central Bank of Nigeria has been helpful in
circulating
lists of terrorist organizations. The CBN has promised to
confiscate terrorist assets should they be discovered. To
date,
no terrorist assets have been discovered. Unfortunately,
institutions with responsibilities for fighting terrorist
financing are weak. In December, under pressure from the
Financial Action Task Force (FATF), the GON enacted several
new
laws to strengthen regulatory institutions. Although the
threat of imminent FATF sanctions was necessary to push the
National Assembly into action, the legislation demonstrates
the
GON's commitment to fighting money laundering and other
financial crimes.


F. (U) International Fora: The GON has given clear
diplomatic
support in the UN and within the Economic Community of West
African States to counter-terrorism. President Obasanjo also
worked to include anti-terrorism as a major aspect of the New
Partnership for African Development (NePAD).


G. (U) The GON does not support international terrorism or
terrorists. The GON clearly and repeatedly has condemned
terrorism and followed up with concrete actions. However,
some
individuals and private groups in Nigeria have ties to and
perhaps receive funding from sources in Sudan, Iran, Pakistan
and Libya. It is possible that some of these individuals or
groups may have indirect links with extremist or terrorist
organizations. There has been one report of a Nigerian
national
fighting for the Taliban/Al-Qa'ida in Afghanistan. The GON
does
not condone any such ties to terrorist groups.


H. (U) Public Statements: The GON has made no public
statements
supporting terrorism or any terrorist group. All GON
statements
have been against terrorism.


I. (U) Change in Posture: The GON has continued to be vocal
in
its opposition to terrorism.


J. (U) Bilateral Cooperation: The Central Bank of Nigeria
(CBN)
responded quickly to USG requests to identify and freeze
terrorist assets if found in Nigeria. The CBN issued a Call
Circular requiring all banks to identify any terrorist
entities
listed in Executive Order 13224. The CBN has amended the
list
several times to reflect USG additions. Although no assets
have
been found to date, the CBN requires banks within its
jurisdiction to continuously monitor accounts. The CBN also
has
implemented stricter customer identification procedures that
require banks to maintain sufficient information about
customers
and correspondent financial institutions.


(U) By establishing the NDSC to protect oil installations
from
terrorist activity the GON is protecting U.S. economic and
commercial interests.


(U) In general, the Nigerian Police and other security forces
have cooperated, within the limitations of their
capabilities,
in combating terrorism and in protecting American citizen
residents, USG personnel and USG installations.


K. (U) The U.S. Government has not sought the cooperation of
the
GON in the investigation or prosecution of an act of
international terrorism in the past five years.


L. (U) Prevention of Terrorism: As stated in section J, GON
security agencies have cooperated in protecting U.S. citizens
and interests from possible acts of terrorism. For example,
the
GON has provided enhanced and ongoing security for the
Embassy
and its related agencies and has given high priority to
information sharing for security purposes.
JETER

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