Cablegate: Bosnia - 2009 Country Report On Terrorism


DE RUEHVJ #1379 3511413
P 171413Z DEC 09




E.O. 12958: N/A

REF: STATE 109980

1. Attached is Post's draft submission for the 2009 country
report on terrorism. Embassy point of contact for this
report is Michael Martin,

2. Despite ethnic polarization and disputes among Bosnian
political leaders that hindered the functioning of state
government, Bosnia and Herzegovina's law enforcement
organizations cooperated with the United States on
international counterterrorism issues. Bosnia remained a
weak, decentralized state with poor interagency communication
and competing security structures. Efforts by Republika
Srpska officials to undermine state-level institutions slowed
efforts to improve operational capabilities to combat
terrorism and terrorist financing. These factors resulted in
Bosnia being vulnerable to exploitation as a potential
staging ground for terrorist operations in Europe.

The State Investigation and Protection Agency (SIPA) is the
state-level Bosnian law enforcement agency with primary
responsibility for counterterrorism operations. SIPA's
capacity is limited, but it improved its cooperation with the
entity-level police forces in the Federation and Republika
Srpska on terrorism issues. In an effort to more effectively
investigate and prosecute terrorism cases, the State
Prosecutor's Office transferred responsibility for these
cases to the Special Department for Organized Crime, which
receives technical assistance from the U.S. and other members
of the international community. Politicization of the
terrorism issue in Bosnia, including terrorism threat
analysis, was less of a problem this year than in the past.
The state-level intelligence service provided excellent
cooperation, and Bosnian authorities were generally
responsive to U.S. counterterrorism cooperation requests. In
December 2008 Bosnia accepted three former Guantanamo
detainees for resettlement.

Some former members of the mujahedin brigade, whose
citizenship was revoked by the Citizenship Review Commission,
have pursued appeals of these decisions that remained
unresolved. In the case of Abu Hamza al-Suri (Imad
al-Husayn), the appeals process has lasted more than one
year. The state-level Constitutional Court returned several
portions of Hamza's appeal to the State Court, and the court
had not adjudicated this case as of December 2009.

In November, four individuals led by Rijad Rustempasic with
alleged ties to extremists were arrested for terrorism and
weapons trafficking. One of the suspects wanted in this case
remains at large.

The Bosnian organization Aktivna Islamska Omladina (Active
Islamic Youth, or AIO) fractured and is no longer an
officially registered organization. However some former
members continued to spread extremist doctrine. These former
members maintained links with extremists in Western Europe
and the United States.

Former AIO member Nusret Imamovic and his community in Gornja
Maoca are attracting increased attention. Concerns have been
raised over the extent to which he and his followers are
attempting to create a community that follows Shariah law and
operates outside the Bosnian legal system. Some law
enforcement officials have reportedly encountered resistance
while attempting to patrol or carry out investigations in the

Bosnia has deployed 10 officers to augment Alliance military
staffs operating under NATO's International Security and
Assistance Force (ISAF) in Afghanistan. Bosnian defense
institutions are considering the deployment of approximately
100 additional soldiers to Afghanistan to provide assistance
in Emergency Ordnance Disposal (EOD) and fixed site security.
However, the Bosnian government has yet to approve this
deployment as of December 2009.

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