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Cablegate: Argentina: 2009 Country Report On Terrorism

VZCZCXYZ0001
RR RUEHWEB

DE RUEHBU #1418 3651543
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 311542Z DEC 09
FM AMEMBASSY BUENOS AIRES
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 0296
INFO MERCOSUR COLLECTIVE
RUEHZP/AMEMBASSY PANAMA

UNCLAS BUENOS AIRES 001418

SENSITIVE
SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PTER PREL ASEC PGOV AR
SUBJECT: Argentina: 2009 Country Report on Terrorism

REF: STATE 109980; STATE 122733

1. (U) Buenos Aires Country Report on Terrorism submission for
2009 follows. Contact is Pol-Mil Officer Ted Craig, at
craigtj@state.gov.

2. (SBU) Begin text:

Argentina and the United States cooperated well in analyzing
possible terrorist threat information. During 2009, Argentina
continued to focus on the challenges of policing its remote
northern and north-eastern borders against threats including drug
and human trafficking, contraband smuggling, and other
international crime, including through the tri-border area where
Argentina, Brazil and Paraguay meet.

During 2009, Argentine security forces received U.S.-Government
provided training in terrorism investigations, special operations
against terrorist incidents and threats, and in dog handling and
dog training. In addition, Argentina hosted a U.S.
Government-financed regional training on the role of police
commanders in responding to terrorist threats. Argentina takes
seriously its responsibility to protect its nuclear technology and
materials; it has begun to provide training to other countries on
best practices against illicit trade in nuclear materials. The
Government of Argentina is supportive of efforts to promote
tolerance and understanding among faith communities in the country,
and it responds to security concerns raised by religious and other
groups.

The National Coordination Unit in the Ministry of Justice and Human
Rights manages the government's anti-money laundering and
counterterrorist finance efforts and represents Argentina to the
Financial Action Task Force, Financial Action Task Force of South
America, and Group of Experts of the Inter-American Commission for
the Control of the Abuse of Drugs (CICAD) of the Organization of
American States' CICAD Group of Experts. The Attorney General's
special prosecution unit, set up to handle money laundering and
terrorism finance cases, began operations in 2007. That same year,
the Argentine Congress criminalized terrorist financing with the
enactment of Law 26.268, "Illegal Terrorist Associations and
Terrorism Financing." This statute amended the Penal Code and
anti-money laundering law to criminalize terrorist financing and
establish it as a predicate offense for money laundering. To date,
Argentina has not filed any charges under the law. In 2008, the
Argentine Central Bank's Superintendent of Banks began specific
anti-money laundering and counterterrorist finance inspections of
financial entities and exchange houses. The Argentine government
and Central Bank remained committed to freezing assets of terrorist
groups identified by the United Nations in Argentine financial
institutions.

An Argentine judge in 2006 issued arrest warrants for eight current
and former Iranian government officials and one member of
Hizballah, who were indicted in the July 18, 1994 terrorist bombing
of the Argentine-Jewish Mutual Association (AMIA) that killed 85
and injured over 150 people. Despite Iranian objections, the
INTERPOL General Assembly voted in November 2007 to uphold the
Executive Committee's decision and the Red Notices on six were
issued. At the 2009 UN General Assembly, President Cristina
Fern????ndez de Kirchner called on Iran to surrender the suspects to
face charges in Argentina. In June 2009, an Argentine judge
requested the capture of a Colombian citizen, Samuel Salman El
Reda, after the AMIA Special Prosecutor identified him as a
mastermind of the 1994 attack. El Reda had been named previously as
a suspect and is presumed to no longer be in Argentina.
MARTINEZ

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