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Cablegate: Czech Republic - 2008 Country Reports On Terrorism

VZCZCXRO9851
PP RUEHAG RUEHAST RUEHDA RUEHDF RUEHFL RUEHIK RUEHKW RUEHLA RUEHLN
RUEHLZ RUEHNP RUEHPOD RUEHROV RUEHSK RUEHSR RUEHVK RUEHYG
DE RUEHPG #0787 3531638
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 181638Z DEC 08
FM AMEMBASSY PRAGUE
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 0928
INFO RUEHZL/EUROPEAN POLITICAL COLLECTIVE
RUEILB/NCTC WASHINGTON DC

UNCLAS PRAGUE 000787

SIPDIS

S/CT - Rhonda Shore and NCTC

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: ASEC EFIN PTER KCRM EZ
SUBJECT: CZECH REPUBLIC - 2008 COUNTRY REPORTS ON TERRORISM

REF: STATE 120019

1. Czech authorities continue to cooperate with the USG across a
wide spectrum of security, law enforcement and military matters as
part of the global war on terrorism. Whether protecting the Prague
headquarters of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty and other U.S.
facilities, providing critical military assistance in Iraq and
Afghanistan, or cooperating in criminal investigations, the Czech
Republic remains a steadfast U.S. ally. While intelligence services
continue to do their job well, ongoing shortage in the police force
raises some concern about the government's ability to effectively
respond to a terrorist incident.

2. The Czech Republic continues to make significant contributions
in support of coalition efforts. In 2008, the Czechs deployed a new
Provincial Reconstruction Team to Logar and a new Special Operations
task force in support of Operation Enduring Freedom (OEF). They
also provided security to the Dutch PRT in Uruzgan, deployed an
Operational Mentoring and Liaison Team to work alongside the
Afghanistan National Air Corps, and continue the deployment of a
100-person military field hospital based at the Kabul International
Airport. The Czechs also took part in the U.S. efforts to equip the
Afghanistan National Air Corps by donating 12 newly reconditioned
Mi-family helicopters.

3. In total, in 2008 the Czechs deployed to Afghanistan over 500
soldiers in support of OEF and International Security Assistance
Force, which represents a 100 percent increase from 2007. It is
expected that the Czechs will slightly increase their troop levels
in Afghanistan in 2009 and deploy a new Czech Air Force helicopter
detachment. In Iraq, Czech forces successfully transitioned from
providing security in Basra to helping train the Iraqi Armored Corps
in Tadji. The Czech forces will complete their mission in Iraq by
the end of 2008, leaving only a small presence at the NATO Training
Mission.

4. On the information sharing front, the Czech Interior Ministry
signed a cooperative treaty with the United States on October 15,
establishing the National Contact Point for Terrorism in Prague
(NCPT) to open on April 15, 2009. The NCPT is intended as a
specialized and centralized analytical and information gathering
unit of the Czech police for combating terrorism. The NCPT will
monitor and evaluate terrorist threats and will cooperate with other
law enforcement agencies to detect and prevent terrorist acts.
Within the next two - three years, the Police Presidium plans to
establish a Passenger Information Unit within NCPT and a National
Criminal Bureau that would be partner with NCPT, with a long term
goal of bringing other emergency, law enforcement and intelligence
agencies under the NCPT umbrella.

5. A continued shortage of manpower in the police force raises some
concern about the government's ability to effectively respond in the
event of a terrorist incident. Since the end of 2007, the police
Combating Terrorism and Organized Crime Unit has recruited 40 top
level professionals and provided training, including language
training for the new officers. 80 more officers, however, are still
needed.

6. Police sources report that there has been no terrorist threat so
far in the Czech Republic. Although there may be potential risks,
according to the Czech security and intelligence sources' assessment
the Czech Republic does not face any open threat from Islamic
terrorists. Embassy contacts at the Czech Ministry of Foreign
Affairs say that during the Czech EU Presidency from January to June
2009, the country's priorities in combating terrorism will be
enhancing Trans-Atlantic cooperation, as well as cooperation with
Eastern Europe and Western Balkans countries.

7. Embassy Point of Contact is Economic Officer Malgorzata
(Margaret) Bula-Duane. Address: U.S. Embassy Prague, Trziste 15,
118 01 Prague 1, Czech Republic; e-mail: bula-duanem@state.gov;
telephone: (420) 257-022-021.

THOMPSON-JONES

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