Cablegate: Sudan: 2008 Country Report On Terrorism


DE RUEHKH #1828/01 3571347
R 221347Z DEC 08 ZDK




E.O. 12958: N/A
SUBJECT: SUDAN: 2008 Country Report on Terrorism

REF: STATE 120019

General Assessment

1. (SBU) Sudan remains a cooperative partner in the Global War on
Terror (GWOT), and the outlook for continued cooperation is
positive. During the past year, the Sudanese government continued
to pursue terrorist operations directly involving threats to U.S.
interests and personnel in Sudan. Sudanese officials have indicated
that they view their continued cooperation with the USG as important
and recognize the benefits of U.S. training and information-sharing.
While the CT relationship remains solid, hard-line Sudanese
officials continue to express resentment and distrust over actions
by the USG and question the benefits of their continued cooperation.
Their assessment reflects disappointment that Sudan's cooperation
on CT has not resulted in its removal from the list of State
Sponsors of Terrorism. Despite this, there is no indication at this
time that the Sudanese government will curtail its current level of
CT cooperation despite bumps in the overall bilateral relationship.

Safe Haven Assessment

2. (SBU) Al-Qaida-inspired terrorist elements, elements of the
Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ), HAMAS, and the Lord's Resistance
Army (LRA) remain in Sudan. In light of the continuing hybrid UN-AU
deployment to Darfur, various terrorist threats against this mission
have emerged, and the Al-Qaida leadership has called for jihad
against UN forces in Darfur. In the early hours of January 1, 2008,
attackers in Khartoum sympathetic to Al-Qaida shot and fatally
wounded two U.S. Embassy staff members: an American and a Sudanese
employee, both of whom worked for the U.S. Agency for International
Development. Sudanese authorities cooperated closely with agencies
of the U.S. government in investigating this terrorist crime. Five
alleged conspirators were arrested on February 1 and put on trial
for murder on August 31. Their trial was ongoing at end of 2008.
Other extremist groups also have threatened attacks against Western
interests in Sudan. The July 14 request by International Criminal
Court Chief Prosecutor Moreno-Ocampo for an arrest warrant against
Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir on charges related to atrocities
committed in Darfur has further inflamed tensions. Therefore, the
terrorist threat level remains critical in Khartoum and Darfur, and
potentially other parts of Sudan.

Terrorist Groups/Organizations

3. (SBU) Elements of designated terrorist groups remain in Sudan.
With the exception of HAMAS, whose members the Sudanese government
considers to be freedom fighters rather than terrorists, the
government here does not appear to openly support the presence of
extremist elements in this country. The Sudanese government has
taken steps to limit the activities of these organizations. For
example, Sudanese officials have welcomed HAMAS members as
representatives of the Palestinian Authority (PA), but have limited
their activities to fundraising. The Sudanese government has also
worked hard to disrupt foreign fighters from using Sudan as a
logistics base and transit point for Jihadists going to Iraq.
However, gaps remain in the Sudanese government's knowledge of and
ability to identify and capture these individuals. There is some
evidence to suggest that individuals who were active participants in
the Iraqi insurgency have returned to Sudan and are in a position to
use their expertise to conduct attacks within Sudan or to pass on
their knowledge. There is also evidence that Sudanese extremists
participate in terrorist activities in Somalia, which the Sudanese
government has also attempted to disrupt.

4. (SBU) The Lord's Resistance Army (LRA) led by Joseph Kony
continued to operate from its base in the Democratic Republic of the
Congo (DRC) and threaten the tri-border area (DRC, Sudan, and
Uganda). The Government of Southern Sudan (GoSS) has worked to
mediate peace between the LRA and the Government of Uganda; by the
end of 2008, however, Kony had failed to sign the Final Peace
Agreement. Following Kony's repeated failure to sign a draft peace
agreement, on December 14 the Ugandan Peoples Defense Force, with
cooperation from the GoSS and DRC, attacked LRA bases along the
border of South Sudan and the DRC. As of late 2008, this Ugandan
military operation against the LRA continued.

Foreign Government Cooperation

5. (SBU) Sudanese officials regularly discuss counterterrorism
issues with U.S. counterparts. Sudan is generally responsive to
international community concerns about counterterrorism efforts.

6. (SBU) Embassy Khartoum Point of Contact is Economic Officer John
Struble. His e-mail address is and his
telephone numbers are 249-183-774-700 (Embassy) and 249-912-167-881
(cellular phone).


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