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Cablegate: Latvia: 2008 Country Reports On Terrorism

VZCZCXYZ0010
PP RUEHWEB

DE RUEHRA #0801 3501544
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 151544Z DEC 08
FM AMEMBASSY RIGA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 5487
INFO RUEILB/NCTC WASHINGTON DC

UNCLAS RIGA 000801

SIPDIS

STATE FOR S/CT (RHONDA SHORE)

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PTER ASEC LG
SUBJECT: LATVIA: 2008 COUNTRY REPORTS ON TERRORISM

REF: STATE 120019
1. (U) Latvia's Financial Intelligence Unit continued to maintain a
terrorist financing database that it shared with local banks. Since
the May 2005 U.S. Treasury designation of two Latvian banks as
institutions of "primary money laundering concern" under Section 311
of the Patriot Act, Latvian government and regulatory agencies have
worked very closely with the United States to enhance their
legislative and regulatory framework. There have been no further
sanctions on Latvian banks. In 2006, Treasury lifted the proposed
sanction against one bank. In the case of the second bank, the issue
is specific to the bank and its ownership structure, and does not
reflect Latvian regulatory efforts.
2. (U) On September 4, the Counterterrorism Center of the Latvian
Security Police and the Freeport of Riga Authority organized the
counterterrorism exercise "RiverJack" in Riga harbor. The scenario
was a hostage situation on a hijacked passenger ferry. It included a
fire during the hostage release operation. Representatives from the
State Police (including the Counterterrorism Unit "OMEGA' and the
Mobile Team "Alfa"), State Border Guards, State Fire and Rescue
Service, Center of Emergency and Disaster Medicine, Mobile Team of
the National Armed Forces, Navy Coast Guard Unit, Maritime
Administration and the Prosecutor's General Office participated. The
exercise was part of the counterterrorism plan "Ship", developed by
the Counterterrorism Center.

3. (U) In 2008, Latvia contributed 150 soldiers to support the
International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) in Afghanistan,
including deploying its first ever Operational Mentoring and Liaison
Team (OMLT). Latvia will continue to contribute to the ISAF mission
at that approximate strength level in 2009. Latvia completed its
participation in Iraq in 2008, with the last three officers
returning in November. There are no plans to contribute Latvian
soldiers to the Iraq mission in 2009.

4. (U) Post's point of contact for this report is Ann Mason
(masonal@state.gov) 371-6703-6278.

ROGERS

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