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Cablegate: Mali: 2009 Country Reports On Terrorism

VZCZCXRO8830
RR RUEHMA RUEHPA
DE RUEHBP #0842 3650834
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 310834Z DEC 09
FM AMEMBASSY BAMAKO
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 1010
INFO RUEHZK/ECOWAS COLLECTIVE
RUEAIIA/CIA WASHDC

UNCLAS BAMAKO 000842

SIPDIS

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

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: KDEM PGOV PHUM ML
SUBJECT: MALI: 2009 COUNTRY REPORTS ON TERRORISM

REF: STATE 109980

1. The following constitutes Embassy Bamako's responses for
the 2009 country report on terrorism for Mali per reftel.

2. In contrast to 2008, 2009 saw offensive terrorist activity
on Malian soil. On May 31, Al-Qa,ida in the Islamic Maghreb
(AQIM) executed a British citizen, Edwin Dyer, who had been
kidnapped in Niger on January 22 but was taken to and held in
northern Mali along with several other western hostages. On
June 10, AQIM elements assassinated Malian State Security
officer Colonel Lamana Ould Bou at his residence in Timbuktu.
During the course of Malian military operations against the
terrorist organization, AQIM ambushed a Malian military unit
on July 4, killing at least 20 Malian soldiers. On November
25, AQIM proxies kidnapped a French citizen, Pierre Camatte,
in Menaka, Mali. In addition, AQIM continued to use isolated
and remote areas of northern Mali as a safe haven. Three
Spanish aid workers and two Italian citizens kidnapped by
AQIM in Mauritania during December are believed to have been
brought into northern Mali, where they are currently being
held. Although the kidnappings of westerners is a
continuation of AQIM,s tactics in prior years, the execution
of Edwin Dyer, the kidnapping of Pierre Camatte on Malian
soil, and the attacks against Colonel Ould Bou and the Malian
army are novelties that represent a significant departures
from AQIM,s prior practice in northern Mali.

3. Following the assassination of Colonel Ould Bou, the
Malians launched a military operation in northern Mali
targeting AQIM. The Malian military effort included extended
patrols through areas where AQIM was thought to be present,
and resulted in engagements on June 15 and July 4. The
beginning of rainy season led to a lull in military action.
Mali continued to address terrorist financing issues. Mali's
National Section for the Processing of Financial Information
(CENTIF), which began operations in May of 2008, received
eight reports of suspicious financial activities in 2009,
although ongoing investigations have not yet revealed any
links to terrorist financing or terrorist activity. There
was no new anti-terrorism legislation passed in the National
Assembly in 2009. Although the Malian government is aware
that northern Mali is being used by AQIM as a safe haven,
Mali,s long porous borders and a general lack of resources
have hindered Mali,s ability to combat AQIM effectively.

4. Mali has expressed a willingness to increase regional
cooperation against AQIM and terrorism generally. Malian
President Amadou Toumani Toure has long called for a regional
Heads of State Summit to be held in Bamako to discuss
coordination of anti-terrorism efforts, including improving
border monitoring and security. Although Algeria,
Mauritania, and Niger have agreed to attend the Summit, a
final date has not yet been set.

5. Mali is an engaged an active member of the Trans-Sahara
Counterterrorism Partnership (TSCTP). Mali is also an active
participant in U.S. programs including bilateral and regional
military training and the Antiterrorism Assistance Training
program.

6. Embassy Bamako's point of contact is Political Officer
Fred Noyes, email: noyesfn@state.gov.


BARLERIN

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