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Cablegate: Mali: 2008 Country Reports On Terrorism

VZCZCXRO4707
RR RUEHMA RUEHPA
DE RUEHBP #0937 3471013
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 121013Z DEC 08
FM AMEMBASSY BAMAKO
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 9833
INFO RUEHZK/ECOWAS COLLECTIVE

UNCLAS BAMAKO 000937

SIPDIS

DEPT FOR S/CT RHONDA SHORE
DEPT PLEASE PASS TO NCTC

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PTER ASEC EFIN KCRM ML
SUBJECT: MALI: 2008 COUNTRY REPORTS ON TERRORISM

REF: A. STATE 120019
B. STATE 124815

1. The following constitutes Embassy Bamako's responses for
the 2008 country report on terrorism for Mali per reftels.

2. No terrorist attacks occurred in Mali. Disparate Tuareg
rebel groups in northern Mali attacked Malian military forces
on several occasions, but none of these incidents were
related to terrorist activities. Al-Qa'ida in the Islamic
Maghreb (AQIM) continued to use isolated and remote areas of
northern Mali as a safe haven. On October 31 AQIM released
two Austrian tourists to government authorities in northern
Mali. The Austrians were captured by AQIM in southern
Tunisia in February.

3. Mali worked to combat terrorism and responded on
terrorist financing issues. Mali's National Section for the
Processing of Financial Information (CENTIF) began operations
in May. The CENTIF, which reports to the Ministry of
Finance, is responsible for processing information on money
laundering and terrorist financing. Mali discovered no
terrorist assets or information on terrorist financing. In
July the Malian National Assembly ratified a new
counterterrorism law that classifies terrorist financing as
an act of terrorism. This legislation defines terrorism as
"the commission of a violent act that causes or could cause
death, injury or material harm with the intention of
intimidating the population or forcing a government to do or
abstain from doing something" and carries penalties ranging
from terms of imprisonment to death. Mali also created an
inter-agency counterterrorism commission composed of senior
level officials from the Ministries of Foreign Affairs,
Finance, Interior Security, Defense, Territorial
Administration, and Justice. Mali is a key member of the
Trans-Sahel Counter Terrorism Partnership (TSTCP).

4. AQIM continued to use isolated and remote areas of
northern Mali as a safe haven. The Malian government knew of
AQIM's presence in the northern part of the country. Mali's
extremely long and porous northern border, together with
severe resource constraints stemming from Mali's status as
one of the poorest countries in the world, hampered the
Malian government's ability to prevent AQIM from seeking
refuge within northern Mali. An active and engaged member of
TSCTP, Mali worked with the U.S. and other regional partners
to address the threat posed by AQIM. Mali was also an active
participant in U.S. programs including bilateral and regional
military training and the Antiterrorism Assistance Training
program.

4. Embassy Bamako's point of contact is Political and
Economic Officer Aaron Sampson, email: sampsonab@state.gov.
MILOVANOVIC

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