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Cablegate: Addis Ababa Eac Meets to Discuss Recent Terrorist

VZCZCXYZ0001
RR RUEHWEB

DE RUEHDS #2655 2671328
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 231328Z SEP 08
FM AMEMBASSY ADDIS ABABA
TO SECSTATE WASHDC 2158

UNCLAS ADDIS ABABA 002655

SIPDIS

DEPT FOR: DS/IP/AF, DS/TIA/ITA, AF/EX AND CA/OCS/ACS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: ASEC CASC
SUBJECT: ADDIS ABABA EAC MEETS TO DISCUSS RECENT TERRORIST
ATTACKS IN YEMEN AND PAKISTAN

1. (SBU) SUMMARY: U.S. Embassy Addis Ababa's Emergency
Action Committee (EAC) convened on September 22, 2008 to
review the details of the September 17, 2008 terrorist attack
on U.S. Embassy Sana'a and the September 20, 2008 attack on
the Marriott hotel in Islamabad, Pakistan. Post,s primary
focus was to discern if current security posture can be
increased or adjusted to deter/defend against these types of
attacks. END SUMMARY.

2. (SBU) Embassy Addis Ababa's EAC convened on September 22,
2008 to discuss the September 17, 2008 terrorist attack on
U.S. Embassy Sana'a and the September 20, 2008 terrorist
attack on the Marriott hotel in Islamabad, Pakistan. The EAC
was chaired by the COM and included: DCM, CONS, P/E, DAO,
PAO, RAO, RSO, CJTF HOA, USAID, the U.S. Mission to the
African Union and the African Center for Strategic Studies.

3. (SBU) The EAC discussed the Embassy's current security
posture, which immediately increased its vigilance as events
unfolded in Sana,a. RSO briefed actions taken as news of
attack in Yemen was received to include: alert of all Post,s
security elements inclusive of MSG, LGF, MP, SD, SSM and host
country police/security services. RSO also ensured ancillary
facilities, were notified and instructed to follow post,s
measures to increase vigilance. A request was made to host
government to increase Ethiopian National Police officers
assigned to chancery and other locations. Host government
did not increase staff levels but added additional patrols.
NOTE: RSO has held a subsequent meeting with the commander of
the National Police assigned to the chancery compound and
requested implementation of a color-of-the-day system to
ensure post security elements are able to identify
friend-or-foe in the event of an incident. RSO is also
working to ensure combined drills inclusive of local police
and other host government security services are scheduled to
create a cohesive and co-ordinated response to security
incidents. RSO will reiterate these goals with the National
Director of the Federal Police. END NOTE. EAC members
agreed that there were not any specific or imminent threats
against U.S. Embassy Addis Ababa. EAC members also feel that
host government is supportive and is committed to ensure
security of post and the Mission community. Post,s physical
and procedural posture continues to operate at an optimal
level but will be continually monitored and adjustments made
if required.

4. (SBU) The EAC then discussed the attack on the Marriott
hotel in Pakistan and the possibility of a similar attack of
Western hotels in Addis Ababa. Both the Hilton and Sheraton
hotels are frequented and utilized by Mission personnel on a
daily basis. EAC members agreed that although there are
measures in place security at both venues could make them
softer targets than official U.S. instillations in Addis
Ababa. However, host government does deploy security
personnel to enhance security at these locations as they are
constantly used to host diplomatic, NGO and business events.
Mission employees are aware of the need to increase their
awareness while at any location with a large number of people
present and/or any location that can be symbolic of U.S.
interests and to immediately report any suspicious activity
to the RSO. COM reminded all that any conferences need to be
coordinated with the RSO, especially if either venue is to be
utilized. EAC members agreed that there was not any new
information to pass to the American community via a warden
message.

5. (SBU) Post EAC will continue to monitor the security
environment and will report any developments to the
department accordingly.

6. (U) POC for this reporting in Addis Ababa is RSO Kevin
O,Connor.
YAMAMOTO

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