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Cablegate: Finland: Country Reports On Terrorism

VZCZCXRO3320
RR RUEHAG RUEHAST RUEHDA RUEHDF RUEHFL RUEHIK RUEHKW RUEHLA RUEHLN
RUEHLZ RUEHNP RUEHPOD RUEHROV RUEHSK RUEHSR RUEHVK RUEHYG
DE RUEHHE #0579 3580931
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 230931Z DEC 08
FM AMEMBASSY HELSINKI
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 4720
INFO RUEILB/NCTC WASHINGTON DC
RUEHZL/EUROPEAN POLITICAL COLLECTIVE

UNCLAS HELSINKI 000579

STATE FOR S/CT/RSHORE
SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PTER ASEC EFIN KCRM KHLS FI
SUBJECT: FINLAND: COUNTRY REPORTS ON TERRORISM

REF: STATE 120019

1. Finland continued its support of the War on Terror,
as evidenced by its approximately 100 troops deployed
in Afghanistan in support of ongoing NATO/ISAF
operations, 450 troops in KFOR operations in Kosovo and
60 in Chad. Officials of the Government of Finland
focused on economic, social, and development aid
projects aimed at addressing the conditions that
terrorists exploit. Finland maintained its annual
contribution of approximately $15 million in
development assistance to Afghanistan, synchronizing
reconstruction support in Afghanistan with other donors
and announcing new Rule of Law (particularly police),
governance, humanitarian and counternarcotics
assistance initiatives.

2. Finnish and American officials shared
counterterrorism information effectively, including a
wide range of information on threat assessments,
terrorist networks, and government responses to both.
The Finnish government continued to participate
actively in ongoing EU efforts to remove institutional
barriers to counterterrorism cooperation.

3. During Finland's OSCE Chairmanship in 2008, Finland
pursued the development of OSCE anti-terrorism
initiatives. Supporting UN activities and seeking ways
to intensify international co-operation in combating
terrorism within the OSCE area constituted a central
objective of the Finnish Chairmanship.

4. Finland pressed for EU cooperation with the U.S and
the international community on counterterrorism issues.
The Government of Finland used legislative and
regulatory mechanisms to keep a close watch over
potential terrorist cells or financial support
operations and to interdict their activities within the
country. Finland tightened its terrorism prevention
law in May 2008, criminalizing planning and support for
terrorism. Finland upgraded port and border security
to monitor more traffic. In cases when another
government presents a legal request for action or when
an individual or organization is suspected of having
committed an offense within Finland's borders, Finland
has available regulations that allow it to freeze
assets without prior UN or EU action.

5. Finland engaged in significant efforts to mitigate
the social and economic factors that might lead members
of the country's small (less than 2 percent) population
of foreign-born residents to adopt extremist
ideologies. It carried out programs to help Muslim and
other immigrants find jobs and integrate into Finnish
society, and it encouraged religious and ethnic
tolerance through a variety of legislation, government-
funded social programs, and ombudsmen's offices.

BARRETT

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