Cablegate: United Kingdom - 2003 Annual Terrorism Report
O 261734Z NOV 03
FM AMEMBASSY LONDON
TO SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 6497
UNCLAS LONDON 009572
DEPT FOR S/CT REAP AND EUR/UBI
E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PTER PINR PREL PGOV UK
SUBJECT: UNITED KINGDOM - 2003 ANNUAL TERRORISM REPORT
REF: STATE 301352
1. (U) This telegram contains Embassy London's contributions
to the 2003 "Patterns of Global Terrorism" Report. Embassy
input is keyed to reftel questions.
2. (U) A) SIGNIFICANT ACTIONS TAKEN BY HOST GOVERNMENTS TO
SUPPORT THE GLOBAL COALITION AGAINST TERRORISM, PARTICULARLY
LAW ENFORCEMENT ACTIONS TAKEN AGAINST AL QAIDA OPERATIVES,
BUT INCLUDING DIPLOMATIC EFFORTS AND ACTIONS TO BLOCK
TERRORIST ASSETS, ENACT NEW COUNTER TERRORISM LAWS, AND
RATIFY EXISTING TREATIES.
-- The Anti-Terrorism, Crime and Security Act (2001) provides
UK authorities with the power to detain indefinitely foreign
nationals suspected of being international terrorists, but
who cannot be removed from the UK immediately. Since the act
came into force in December 2001, 16 foreign nationals have
been detained using its powers. Of the total detained, two
have voluntarily left the UK. The others remain in
detention. The names of the detainees are not public.
-- Between October 2002 and October 2003, the UK issued 25
terrorist asset freeze orders against 74 individuals and 15
organizations. Two of the orders implemented the European
Union's September 2003 decision to freeze all funds, other
financial assets, and economic resources of Hamas.
-- The UK did not enact major new counter terrorism
legislation in 2003. The UK has ratified all 12 UN Counter
3. (U) B) DESCRIBE THE RESPONSE OF THE JUDICIAL SYSTEM OF THE
UK TO ACTS OF INTERNATIONAL TERRORISM AND/OR SIGNIFICANT ACTS
OF DOMESTIC TERRORISM DURING 2003, INCLUDING ANY HOST
GOVERNMENT PROSECUTIONS RELATING TO TERRORISM. PARTICULAR
ATTENTION SHOULD BE GIVEN TO ACTIONS REGARDING ACTS OF
TERRORISM AGAINST OR AFFECTING U.S. CITIZENS OR FACILITIES.
-- UK security and law enforcement authorities have disrupted
numerous terrorist attacks by dissident Irish republican,
particularly the Real Irish Republican Army (RIRA) and the
Continuity Irish Republican Army (CIRA) as well as loyalist
paramilitary groups. In one significant disruption, the
Police Service of Northern Ireland intercepted a 1,200 pound
car bomb in Londonderry in June that was linked to the REAL
-- HMG continues its investigation of the 1998 bombing in
Omagh, which killed 29 people.
-- Between October 2002 and October 2003, 59 new
terrorism-related cases have been presented to the Crown
Prosecution Service by the police, either for advice on
whether or how to proceed with the investigation or for
-- On April 1, 2003, a jury in Leicestershire convicted
Brahim Benmerzouga and Baghdad Mezaine on charges related to
terrorist fund raising. The two were sentences to 11 years
-- In connection with a long-running investigation into a
group of North Africans involved in the
production/importation of toxins, including ricin, into the
UK, UK authorities have charged nine individuals with
conspiracy to murder and other related charges. Trials for
the nine are scheduled to begin in April and September 2004.
One of the individuals, Kamel Borgass, has been charged with
the murder of Greater Manchester Police Officer Stephen Oake,
who was attacked an killed during a January 14 raid connected
with the investigation.
4. (U) C) DID THE UK EXTRADITE OR REQUEST THE EXTRADITION OF
SUSPECTED TERRORISTS FOR PROSECUTION DURING THE YEAR?
PARTICULAR ATTENTION SHOULD BE GIVEN TO HOST GOVERNMENT
RESPONSES TO U.S. REQUESTS FOR EXTRADITION OR ASSISTANCE IN
-- A bilateral Extradition Treaty, which entered into force
on January 21, 1977, and a Supplementary Treaty, which
entered into force on December 23, 1986, govern extradition
between the U.S. and the UK.
-- The U.S. and UK completed negotiation on a new Extradition
Treaty in 2003, which will streamline the extradition
process. The new treaty has not yet been ratified by either
-- There have been no terrorism-related extraditions in the
past year to the U.S.
-- The UK continues to assist with the U.S. request for the
extradition of Khaled Al-Fawwaz, Adel Abdel Bary, and Ibrahim
Eidarous to the U.S. for their involvement in the bombing of
the U.S. Embassies in East Africa. In December 2001, the Law
Lords, the UK's highest court, rejected their appeal to block
the extradition. These cases then passed to the Home
Secretary for final decision as to whether these individuals
would be extradited. However, all three exercised their
legal right to make representations to the Home Secretary
against their surrender to the U.S. Those representations
gave rise to a set of inquiries on a range of issues from the
Home Office to the U.S., which were made in March 2002. In
the intervening 18 months, there has been regular contact
between U.S. officials and the Home Office, including replies
to some, though not all, UK inquiries.
-- The U.S. has also requested the extradition of Abu Doha in
connection with the December 1999 plot by Ahmed Ressam and
others to attack Los Angeles International Airport. The U.S.
request survived the judicial stages of the UK extradition
process. As in the case of the Embassy bombers, his case is
also now before the Home Secretary. Doha made
representations against his surrender in January 2003. These
were sent to U.S. officials in May for reply.
5. (U) D) DESCRIBE ANY SIGNIFICANT IMPEDIMENTS TO UK
GOVERNMENT PROSECUTION AND/OR EXTRADITION OF SUSPECTED
-- It is UK policy to prosecute and/or extradite suspected
terrorists consistent with UK law, the European Convention on
Human Rights, and the 1951 Convention on Refugees. UK law
requires prima facie evidence in support of an extradition
request and does not allow extradition to occur where the
request is believed to be made for the purpose of punishing a
person on account of his/her race, religion or political
opinion. UK law does not allow the extradition of
individuals if they would face the death penalty where there
is the possibility that the sentence may be carried out. In
death penalty cases, the UK would seek assurances that the
sentence would be waived before agreeing to extradition.
-- In November 2002, the Government introduced legislation to
streamline and shorten the UK extradition process. It became
law in November 2003 and eliminates duplication of hearings
and appeals that were part of the old system. The
legislation also simplifies the rules on authenticating
foreign documents so that faxed documents would be accepted
as valid. However, cases that were pending under the old
system must be completed under the old rules.
6. (U) E) DISCUSS UK RESPONSES OTHER THAN PROSECUTION. THESE
WOULD INCLUDE, BUT ARE NOT LIMITED TO, PUBLIC STATEMENTS BY
GOVERNMENT OFFICIALS OR OFFICIAL NEWS AGENCIES FOLLOWING A
TERRORIST INCIDENT (IN OR OUTSIDE THE UK) AND EFFORTS BY THE
UK TO INVESTIGATE TERRORIST INCIDENTS OR TO ASSIST WITH
INTERNATIONAL TERRORISM INVESTIGATIONS.
-- The UK regularly condemns terrorist attacks, and this
practice continued in 2003. The UK condemned the May 2003 Al
Qaida terrorist attacks in Casablanca and Riyadh and the
attacks in Iraq against the Jordanian Embassy, the United
Nations, and the International Committee of the Red Cross.
The UK also condemned the separate attacks in November on two
synagogues and the British Consulate and a British bank in
-- The UK regularly engages in public diplomacy aimed at
highlighting the global nature of the threat posed by the
al-Qaida network and urging other countries to respond
vigorously to terrorist incidents and threats.
-- UK law enforcement officials have assisted with
investigations into the 2003 terrorist attacks in Saudi
Arabia and Morocco, the 2002 attack in Bali, and the 2003
suicide attacks by British nationals in Israel. In Israel,
UK authorities have worked closely with Israeli authorities
on all aspects of the investigation, and in May 2003, the UK
charged two UK resident with terrorism-related offences in
connection with the suicide attack. Finally, UK law
enforcement is working closely with Turkish authorities on
the investigations into the November 2003 Istanbul bombings.
7. (U) F) DESCRIBE MAJOR COUNTER TERRORISM EFFORTS UNDERTAKEN
IN 2003 BY THE UK, INCLUDING STEPS TAKEN IN INTERNATIONAL
-- The UK actively campaigns in international fora, including
the EU, NATO, OSCE, G-8, and United Nations, for coordinated
global efforts to combat terrorism and routinely lobbies UN
Member States to ratify the twelve international conventions
and protocol relating to terrorism.
-- The UK actively supported efforts to broaden categories of
man portable air defense systems under the Waasenaar
Arrangement in order to ensure that these systems do not fall
into the hands of terrorists.
-- The UK supported the G-8's 2003 initiative to create the
Counter Terrorism Action Group (CTAG) and is an active CTAG
-- In addition, the UK launched a new assistance program in
2003 aimed at increasing international capacity to counter
terrorism and other threats in support of UK's bilateral and
multilateral counter terrorism policy objectives. The
program is focused on countries and issues assessed to
present the greatest threat to the UK interests. The UK
anticipates spending approximately 4 million BPS in UK fiscal
year 2003/04 on projects in three major categories: (1)
Operational counter terrorism assistance aimed as counter
terrorism experts in foreign governments, police and
military; (2) Assistance to support the work of the UN's
Counter Terrorism Committee, and; (3) Wider capacity building
8. (U) G) DESCRIBE ANY SIGNIFICANT UK SUPPORT FOR
INTERNATIONAL TERRORISM, TERRORISTS OR TERRORIST GROUPS.
-- The UK does not provide support for international
terrorism, terrorists or terrorist groups.
9. (U) H) HAS THE UK MADE ANY PUBLIC STATEMENTS IN SUPPORT OF
A TERRORIST-SUPPORTING COUNTRY ON A TERRORISM ISSUE?
-- The UK has not made any public statements in support of a
terrorist-supporting country on a terrorism issue and
consistently and strongly condemns all acts of and support
10. I) DESCRIBE ANY SIGNIFICANT CHANGE SINCE 2002, POSITIVE
OR NEGATIVE, IN THE UK'S ATTITUDE TOWARD TERRORISM,
INTERNATIONAL OR DOMESTIC.
-- There has been no significant change since 2002. The UK
has been and remains one of the United States' strongest
allies in the fight against terrorism. Elimination of
terrorism as a force in international affairs is a primary
objective of UK foreign policy.
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