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Cablegate: Vietnam: 2003 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 HANOI 003073

SIPDIS

STATE FOR S/CT FOR REAP AND EAP/BCLTV

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PTER VM CTERR
SUBJECT: VIETNAM: 2003 ANNUAL TERRORISM REPORT

REF: SECSTATE 301352

1. Embassy's response to reftel follows in Paragraph 2.
The response is keyed to the paragraphs in reftel.

2.
A) In 2003, the GVN clearly and frequently denounced
terrorism domestically and internationally and actively
supported the global coalition against terrorism. The GVN's
total ratified international conventions related to
counterterrorism remained at eight. The GVN supported CT
objectives in international fora, submitting a
counterterrorism action plan at the August 2003 APEC
counterterrorism task force meeting, and signing the Joint
Declaration on Co-operation to Combat Terrorism at the 14th
annual ASEAN-EU Ministerial Meeting in January 2003. 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 2003, the GVN maintained
elevated security levels of 2002 at many diplomatic missions
in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City, including those of the U.S.,
to deter terrorism.

B) During 2003, 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 2003
related to acts of international terrorism. The GVN
continued through diplomatic channels to press for the
prosecution of individuals accused of committing "terrorist"
acts against Vietnamese interests overseas, including
incidents at two SRV Embassies in 2001. U.S. authorities
arrested a U.S. resident on terrorism-related charges in
October 2001 and continued to hold him pending a judicial
decision on a request for extradition to stand trial in
Thailand for an attempt to bomb the SRV 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 of two individuals resident in
the U.S. it has accused of complicity in terrorist acts in
Thailand; one of these individuals was also involved in an
incident against the SRV Embassy in Bangkok in 2001 (see
para B) and remains in custody in the U.S. as hearings
continue on an expedition request by Thailand.

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. On August 6, the GVN put out a public statement
"strongly denouncing" the terrorist bombing of the Marriott
Hotel in Jakarta. On August 19, Vietnam "strongly
denounced" the bombing of the UN headquarters in Baghdad and
declared itself "profoundly shocked" at the terrorist act.
On August 21, 2003, Vietnam's Foreign Ministry released a
statement declaring, "We vehemently oppose all acts of
terror and strongly support efforts to eliminate terrorism
from the life of mankind." On September 11, 2003, Vietnam
"strongly condemned all acts of terrorism against the Iraqi
innocent civilians." That same day, Vietnam released an
official statement on terrorism that read as follows
(verbatim):

BEGIN SEPTEMBER 11 STATEMENT
Once again we would like to convey our profound sympathy to
the American Government and people, and the families of the
victims of the September 11 terrorist attacks. The event
has made the whole mankind more fully aware of the grave
threat of terrorism. Terrorism has become a global menace.
To eliminate terrorism from human life and prevent
catastrophes it may cause to innocent civilians have become
imperative, demanding the international community to
exercise anti-terrorism efforts on the basis of respect for
the UN Charter, international laws, national independence
and sovereignty.

Counter-terrorism is a long-lasting combat which is closely
attached to mankind struggle for a world of peace,
stability, equality and development. Consistently, Vietnam
resolutely denounces and opposes to all terrorist acts under
any form. Vietnam is and will be actively cooperating with
the international community to fight against terrorism on
the basis of respect for the UN Charter, international laws,
national independence and sovereignty. So far, Vietnam has
joined eight international conventions on counter-terrorism
and will take into consideration of joining other treaties.
Vietnam has, together with other members of ASEAN, ASEM,
APEC and the UN, strongly condemned international terrorist
activities and has taken concrete measures against them.

Vietnam has offered active cooperation with the U.S. in
specific areas including fortifying security at the U.S.
representative offices in Vietnam. At the same time, we also
call upon the U.S. and other countries concerned to
cooperate in preventing and strictly punishing those
carrying out terrorist schemes and activities against
Vietnam.
END SEPTEMBER 11 STATEMENT.

In reaction to the spate of bombings in Iraq, Vietnam
released the following statement on October 29, 2003: "We
strongly denounce recent violent acts targeted at innocent
civilians in Iraq and we are particularly indignant at the
bombing at the headquarter of the International Red Cross, a
humanitarian organization which is assisting Iraqi people to
overcome consequences of many years of sanctions and war. At
present, it is imperative to restore peace and stability in
Iraq, enabling the Iraqi people to reconstruct their
country." Following the November, 2003 attacks in Istanbul,
Turkey, the GVN put out statements saying "Vietnam strongly
condemns the bombings of two synagogues in Istanbul, Turkey
on November 15th, causing losses to innocent civilians" and
"Vietnam strongly condemns terrorist bombings causing great
human and material losses in Istanbul, Turkey on 20th
November 2003. The Government and people of Vietnam would
like to send our deep condolences to families of the
victims, to the Government and people of Turkey and of
countries which have victims in the bombings."

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 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, though the GVN has not yet
reported results from these checks. At USG request, MPS has
provided a highly visible security presence around USG
facilities.

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 U.S. 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 U.S. efforts to
identify and suspend financial assets of terrorists and
terrorist groups.

There have been no acts of terrorism committed against U.S.
citizens or interests in Vietnam within the country for more
than five years. (There were incidents against SRV
Embassies in Manila and Bangkok in 2001, and an arson
attempt directed against a Deputy Prime Minister visiting
San Francisco in 2001.) The GVN has provided increased
police presence at USG facilities and developed measures to
respond to specific threat situations.

F) The GVN supported CT objectives in international fora,
submitting a counterterrorism action plan at the August 2003
APEC counterterrorism task force meeting, and signing the
Joint Declaration on Co-operation to Combat Terrorism at the
14th annual ASEAN-EU Ministerial Meeting in January 2003.
The GVN also set up a special research and analysis unit
within the Ministry of Public Security to examine the
situation and recommend counterterrorism policy, and
maintained mechanisms for the exchange of information on
terrorism with the U.S., Singapore, China, Thailand, and
Japan as well as within ASEAN.

G) The GVN does not support international terrorism,
terrorists, or terrorist groups.

H) The GVN has not publicly supported a terrorist-supporting
country on a terrorism-specific issue.

I) The GVN's attitude towards terrorism has remained steady
since 2002.
BURGHARDT

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