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Cablegate: Annual Terrorism Report - Uk

R 111804Z DEC 98
FM AMEMBASSY LONDON
TO SECSTATE WASHDC 1686
INFO AMEMBASSY DUBLIN
AMCONSUL BELFAST
AMCONSUL EDINBURGH

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 03 LONDON 012113

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PTER UK

SUBJECT: ANNUAL TERRORISM REPORT - UK

REF: STATE 202128

1. THE UNITED KINGDOM IS ONE OF THE UNITED STATES' CLOSEST
ALLIES AND PARTNERS IN THE FIGHT AGAINST INTERNATIONAL
TERRORISM. IT ROUTINELY TAKES A ROBUST STANCE AGAINST
TERRORISM, AND CONTRIBUTES ACTIVELY TO THE WORK OF
INTERNATIONAL BODIES -- PARTICULARLY THE UNITED NATIONS, THE
GROUP OF EIGHT (G8) AND THE EUROPEAN UNION -- IN PROMOTING
INTERNATIONAL COOPERATION AGAINST TERRORISM. THE CEASE-
FIRES IN NORTHERN IRELAND HAVE LESSENED THE INCIDENTS OF
TERRORISM, ALTHOUGH THE THREAT OF VIOLENCE FROM DISSIDENT
REPUBLICAN AND LOYALIST PARAMILITARY GROUPS CONTINUES TO BE
TAKEN VERY SERIOUSLY BY AUTHORITIES. RESPONSES BELOW ARE
KEYED TO REFTEL PARAGRAPHS.

A) DOMESTIC LEGISLATION AND RESPONSE OF JUDICIAL SYSTEM
--------------------------------------------- ------

2. RESPONDING TO THE THREAT OF INTERNATIONAL TERRORISM AS
WELL AS TO TERRORISM ASSOCIATED WITH THE TROUBLES IN
NORTHERN IRELAND, UK COUNTERTERRORISM POLICY HAS DEVELOPED A
FOCUS ON MEASURES WHICH PROMOTE PRACTICAL TOOLS TO TARGET
TERRORISM WHEREVER IT ORIGINATES. THE UK SEEKS TO ENSURE
CRIMINALS CANNOT EXPLOIT JURISDICTIONAL BOUNDARIES TO ESCAPE
PROSECUTION AND PUNISHMENT.

3. TWO PIECES OF EMERGENCY LEGISLATION HAVE PROVIDED THE
STATUTORY BASIS FOR THE UK'S COUNTERTERRORISM EFFORTS. THE
"PREVENTION OF TERRORISM (TEMPORARY PROVISIONS) ACT 1989" IS
APPLICABLE THROUGHOUT THE UNITED KINGDOM AND IS DIRECTED
AGAINST BOTH INTERNATIONAL AND TERRORISM CONNECTED WITH
NORTHERN IRELAND. IT IS SUBJECT TO REGULAR REVIEW BY
PARLIAMENT, WHICH MUST RENEW ITS PROVISION ANNUALLY. IN
ADDITION, "THE NORTHERN IRELAND (EMERGENCY PROVISIONS) ACT"
GIVES THE GOVERNMENT BROAD ANTI-TERRORISM POWERS IN NORTHERN
IRELAND.

4. THE GOVERNMENT INTRODUCED ADDITIONAL EMERGENCY ANTI-
TERRORISM LEGISLATION IN THE WAKE OF THE BOMBING ATROCITY
PERPETRATED BY THE "REAL IRA" IN AUGUST 1998 IN OMAGH,
NORTHERN IRELAND. A SPECIAL SESSION OF PARLIAMENT IN
SEPTEMBER 1998 PASSED "THE CRIMINAL JUSTICE (TERRORISM AND
CONSPIRACY) ACT 1998." UNDER THIS LAW, IT IS NOW AN OFFENSE
TO CONSPIRE IN THE UNITED KINGDOM TO COMMIT ANY OFFENSE
(INCLUDING TERRORIST OFFENSES) ABROAD, PROVIDED THE ACTION
WOULD BE AN OFFENSE BOTH IN BRITAIN AND IN THE COUNTRY IN
WHICH IT WAS INTENDED TO OCCUR. THE ACT ALSO ALLOWS A
STATEMENT BY A SENIOR POLICE OFFICER TO BE ADMISSIBLE AS
EVIDENCE OF ALLEGED MEMBERSHIP IN AN ILLEGAL TERRORIST
ORGANIZATION, ALTHOUGH FURTHER CORROBORATION IS REQUIRED FOR
A CONVICTION. THE ACT ALLOWS THE INFERENCE OF GUILT TO BE
DRAWN FROM A REFUSAL TO ANSWER A RELEVANT QUESTION DURING
POLICE INTERVIEWS OR FROM THE REFUSAL TO COOPERATE WITH ANY
RELEVANT INQUIRY PROVIDED THAT THE SUSPECT HAD AN
OPPORTUNITY TO CONSULT A ATTORNEY. THE LAW ALSO PERMITS THE
COURT TO CONFISCATE ASSETS AND PROPERTY OF CONVICTED MEMBERS
OF PROSCRIBED ORGANIZATIONS WHERE IT DETERMINES THESE ASSETS
HAVE BEEN, OR MIGHT BE, USED IN FURTHERANCE OF TERRORIST
ACTIVITIES.

5. IN OCTOBER 1997, HOME SECRETARY JACK STRAW ANNOUNCED HIS
INTENTION TO PUBLISH A CONSULTATION PAPER ON NEW PERMANENT
UK-WIDE COUNTERTERRORISM LEGISLATION TO REPLACE THE CURRENT
TEMPORARY PIECEMEAL PROVISIONS. STRAW RECOGNIZED THAT "THE
CEASE-FIRE IN NORTHERN IRELAND ... DOES NOT MEAN THAT WE NO
LONGER NEED SPECIAL LEGISLATION TO INVESTIGATE, TO DISRUPT
AND TO COUNTER TERRORISM. ON THE INTERNATIONAL FRONT THERE
IS AMPLE EVIDENCE OF THE ACTIVITIES OF TERRORISTS.... SOME
MAY COMMIT ACTS OF TERRORISM WITHIN THE UNITED KINGDOM, OR
RAISE FUNDS HERE, OR OTHERWISE USE THE UNITED KINGDOM AS A
BASE FROM WHICH TO LAUNCH ATTACKS ELSEWHERE IN THE WORLD."

6. UNDER THE LEAD OF THE HOME OFFICE, FURTHER
COUNTERTERRORISM MEASURES ARE UNDER CONSIDERATION AS
PARLIAMENT AWAITS RECOMMENDATIONS FROM THE PROMISED
CONSULTATIVE PAPER "HOPED" TO BE PUBLISHED IN EARLY 1999.
THIS REPORT WILL CONSIDER THE WIDER ASPECTS OF
COUNTERTERRORISM LEGISLATION, INCLUDING THE NEED FOR
STRONGER POWERS TO CURB FUNDRAISING BY TERRORIST GROUPS AND
TO HINDER DOMESTIC ENCOURAGEMENT OF INTERNATIONAL TERRORIST
ACTS.

B) EXTRADITION
-----------

7. A U.S. REQUEST FOR THE EXTRADITION OF KHALID AL-FAWWAZ IS
PENDING IN THE BRITISH COURTS. AL-FAWWAZ, A SAUDI NATIONAL
ALLEGED TO BE A MEMBER OF THE USAMAH BIN LADEN ORGANIZATION,
HAS BEEN IN DETENTION SINCE HIS ARREST BY THE LONDON
METROPOLITAN POLICE IN OCTOBER 1998. HE IS WANTED BY U.S.
AUTHORITIES TO FACE CHARGES FOR CONSPIRING TO MURDER
AMERICAN CITIZENS BETWEEN JANUARY 1993 AND SEPTEMBER 1998.

8. IN MARCH 1998, THE HOME SECRETARY, CITING MEDICAL
GROUNDS, DECLINED TO EXTRADITE ROISIN MCALISKEY TO GERMANY
TO STAND TRIAL FOR OFFENSES RELATED TO A 1996 IRA ATTACK ON
A BRITISH MILITARY FACILITY IN GERMANY.

C) IMPEDIMENTS TO PROSECUTION OR EXTRADITION
-----------------------------------------

9. THERE ARE NO SIGNIFICANT LEGAL OR POLITICAL IMPEDIMENTS
TO UK PROSECUTION OR EXTRADITION OF SUSPECTED TERRORISTS.

D) RESPONSES OTHER THAN PROSECUTION
--------------------------------

10. (U) ON 21 SEPTEMBER 1998 BRITISH PRIME MINISTER TONY
BLAIR REITERATED BRITAIN'S COMMITMENT TO COMBATING GLOBAL
TERRORISM IN HIS ADDRESS TO THE UN GENERAL ASSEMBLY, SAYING
"[E]ACH [TERRORIST ATROCITY] IS A REMINDER THAT TERRORISM IS
A UNIQUELY BARBARIC AND COWARDLY CRIME. EACH ONE IS A
REMINDER THAT TERRORISTS ARE NO RESPECTERS OF BORDERS. EACH
ONE IS A REMINDER THAT TERRORISM SHOULD HAVE NO HIDING PLACE,
NO OPPORTUNITY TO RAISE FUNDS, NO LET-UP IN OUR DETERMINATION
TO BRING ITS PERPETRATORS TO JUSTICE."

E) MAJOR INTERNATIONAL COUNTERTERRORISM EFFORTS
--------------------------------------------

11. THE UK HAS RATIFIED TEN OF THE ELEVEN UN CONVENTIONS
RELATING TO TERRORISM. IN JANUARY 1998, IT SIGNED THE
ELEVENTH, THE UN CONVENTION ON THE SUPPRESSION OF TERRORIST
BOMBING.

12. IN 1998, BRITAIN USED ITS CHAIRMANSHIP OF THE G8 AND
PRESIDENCY OF THE EUROPEAN UNION TO HIGHLIGHT TERRORISM
ISSUES. FOLLOWING THE MAY BIRMINGHAM SUMMIT, G8 FOREIGN
MINISTERS REAFFIRMED THEIR COLLECTIVE DETERMINATION "TO
COMBAT TERRORISM IN ALL ITS FORMS, TO OPPOSE ANY CONCESSION
TO TERRORIST DEMANDS AND TO PROMOTE COORDINATED
INTERNATIONAL COUNTERTERRORIST ACTION." THEY IDENTIFIED
FOUR PRIORITY AREAS FOR FURTHER ACTION: PREVENTING
TERRORISTS FROM FUNDRAISING IN G8 STATES; UNITING AGAINST
RANSOM PAYMENTS UNDER A PRINCIPLE OF "NO CONCESSIONS;"
DENYING TERRORISTS ACCESS TO ARMS AND EXPLOSIVES; AND
STRENGTHENING AVIATION SECURITY. THE G8 FOREIGN MINISTERS,
LED BY THE UK, ALSO REAFFIRMED THEIR COMMITMENT TO FULL
IMPLEMENTATION OF THE STANDARDS AND RECOMMENDED PRACTICES
AGREED UNDER THE 1944 CHICAGO CONVENTION ON INTERNATIONAL
CIVIL AVIATION, AND STRONGLY URGED ALL STATES TO COMPLY.

13. THE BRITISH PRESIDENCY OF THE EU SOUGHT TO REFOCUS EU
EFFORTS ON COUNTERTERRORISM. MEASURES IT PROPOSED INCLUDE:
COMBATING TERRORIST FUNDRAISING IN EU STATES; STRENGTHENING
COUNTERTERRORISM COOPERATION WITH THE UNITED STATES AND WITH
THE EU APPLICANT STATES OF CENTRAL EUROPE AND CYPRUS;
DEVELOPING EU POLICY GUIDANCE AGAINST EXTORTION OR RANSOM
DEMANDS; AND IMPROVED COORDINATION OF EU NATIONAL CRISIS
MANAGEMENT SYSTEMS.

14. THE UK HOSTED A US-EU SUMMIT IN LONDON IN MAY 1998
WHICH TOUCHED UPON BILATERAL COUNTERTERRORISM COOPERATION.
IT ALSO CONVENED A MEETING IN DECEMBER 1998 OF
COUNTERTERRORISM EXPERTS REPRESENTING THE G8 MEMBERS AS WELL
AS THE EU PRESIDENCY AND EU COMMISSION TO REVIEW MEASURES ON
TERRORIST FUND RAISING.

15. BRITAIN AND THE U.S. REMAIN RESOLVED TO BRING TO JUSTICE
THE TWO LIBYANS ACCUSED OF BOMBING PAN AM FLIGHT 103 OVER
LOCKERBIE, SCOTLAND. TO REMOVE ANY PLAUSIBLE JUSTIFICATION
LIBYA MIGHT CITE FOR FAILING PRODUCE THE SUSPECTS, THE U.S.
AND UK IN AUGUST 1998 PROPOSED AN INITIATIVE WHICH WOULD
PERMIT THE ACCUSED TO BE TRIED BEFORE A SCOTTISH COURT
SITTING IN THE NETHERLANDS. THE TRIAL, CONDUCTED BY A PANEL
OF JUDGES, WILL BE FAIR IN EVERY RESPECT AND ARRANGEMENTS
WILL BE MADE FOR INTERNATIONAL OBSERVERS. THE TWO
GOVERNMENTS HAVE BEEN IN CONTACT WITH THE UN SECRETARY
GENERAL AND THROUGH HIS OFFICES HAVE ENSURED THE LIBYAN
GOVERNMENT UNDERSTANDS THE TERMS OF THIS GENUINE INITIATIVE.
THE INTERNATIONAL COMMUNITY AWAITS DELIVERY BY LIBYA OF THE
ACCUSED FOR TRIAL AS DEMANDED BY UN SECURITY COUNCIL
RESOLUTIONS SO THIS DECADE-OLD WOUND CAN BE BROUGHT TO
CLOSURE.

F-G) SUPPORT FOR TERRORISM OR GOVERNMENT SPONSORS TERRORISM
--------------------------------------------- ---------

16. NONE.

H) SIGNIFICANT CHANGES
-------------------
17. IN THE CONTEXT OF THE APRIL 1998 GOOD FRIDAY AGREEMENT,
NEGOTIATED BY THE NORTHERN IRELAND POLITICAL PARTIES UNDER
THE CHAIRMANSHIP OF SENATOR GEORGE MITCHELL, THE GOVERNMENT
HAS AGREED TO MAKE PRISONERS CONVICTED OF TERRORIST CRIMES
IN NORTHERN IRELAND ELIGIBLE FOR AN EARLY RELEASE PROGRAM.
THE RELEASES ASSUME THE PARAMILITARY GROUPS TO WHICH THE
PRISONERS BELONG WILL MAINTAIN THEIR CEASE-FIRES. SHOULD
THE PRISONERS ENGAGE IN CRIMINAL ACTIVITIES UPON RELEASE,
THEIR "LICENSE" COULD BE REVOKED. ALTHOUGH THIS HAS BEEN
CONTROVERSIAL IN MANY SECTIONS OF THE COMMUNITY IN NORTHERN
IRELAND, THE GOVERNMENT EMPHASIZES THE PROGRAM IS AN
ESSENTIAL ELEMENT OF THE NEGOTIATION TO ACHIEVE A LASTING
PEACE IN NORTHERN IRELAND AND DOES NOT SIGNIFY A GENERAL
AMNESTY OR SUPPORT FOR THOSE WHO COMMIT ACTS OF TERROR.

I-K) COUNTERTERRORISM COOPERATION
----------------------------

18. AT ALL LEVELS AND IN ALL FIELDS, BRITISH AND AMERICAN
OFFICIALS WORK CLOSELY TOGETHER ON THE FIGHT AGAINST
TERRORISM. CLOSE COOPERATION BASED ON INTENSIVE COORDINATION
AND CONSULTATION IS THE NORM.


BRADTKE

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