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Zimbabwe not a safe haven for terrorists

Zimbabwe was not a safe haven for terrorists though it maintained relations with countries identified as being state sponsors of terrorism, such as Cuba, Iran, Libya and Sudan, which all had embassies in Harare.

The United States embassy said the country was well positioned to be aware of any terrorist activities in its territory because of its oppressive and omnipresent security and intelligence agencies.

The embassy said despite the strained bilateral relationship between the two countries local intelligence and criminal investigative agencies were responsive to United States government needs and concerns regarding terrorist issues.

These agencies routinely provided assistance by conducting investigative inquiries, traces, and border checks of individuals thought to be threats to the United States when requested to do so.

 

Full cable:


Viewing cable 06HARARE1499, ZIMBABWE: 2006 COUNTRY REPORTS ON TERRORISM

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Reference ID

Created

Classification

Origin

06HARARE1499

2006-12-28 06:11

UNCLASSIFIED//FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY

Embassy Harare

VZCZCXYZ0001

PP RUEHWEB

 

DE RUEHSB #1499 3620611

ZNR UUUUU ZZH

P 280611Z DEC 06

FM AMEMBASSY HARARE

TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 0964

INFO RUEILB/NCTC WASHINGTON DC

UNCLAS HARARE 001499

 

SIPDIS

 

SENSITIVE

 

SIPDIS

 

AF/S FOR S. HILL

NSC FOR SENIOR AFRICA DIRECTOR B. PITTMAN

S/CT FOR R. SHORE AND NCTC

 

E.O. 12958: N/A

TAGS: ASEC PTER PGOV PREL ZI

SUBJECT: ZIMBABWE: 2006 COUNTRY REPORTS ON TERRORISM

 

REF: STATE 175925

 

1. (U) This cable responds to reftel request to update

information for the 2006 Country Reports on Terrorism.

 

——————

GENERAL ASSESSMENT

——————

 

2. (SBU) Zimbabwe does not fit the criteria stipulated in

paragraph 10 (a) and (b) of reftel instructions. Despite our

strained bilateral relationship and the GOZ’s self-imposed

isolation on most diplomatic issues, local intelligence and

criminal investigative agencies to date have been responsive

to USG needs and concerns regarding terrorist issues. At

Embassy request, these agencies have routinely provided

assistance by conducting investigative inquiries, traces, and

border checks of individuals thought to be threats to USG

facilities or personnel. The government in 2004 passed the

Bank Use Promotion and Suppression of Money Laundering Act,

which addresses terrorist financing and authorizes the

tracking and seizing of assets, and has since implemented it.

In May 2006, the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) released new

guidelines on anti-money laundering and combating the

financing of terrorism for financial institutions and

non-financial businesses and professionals. In August 2006,

Zimbabwe assumed the Presidency for the Eastern and Southern

Africa Anti-Money Laundering Group (ESAAMLG) for the

2006/2007 administrative year. Zimbabwe, however, has yet to

become a party to the UN International Convention for the

Suppression of the Financing of Terrorism.

 

———————

SAFE HAVEN ASSESSMENT

———————

 

3. (SBU) Given the country’s oppressive and omnipresent

security and intelligence agencies, the GOZ is

well-positioned to be aware of any terrorist activities on

its territory. There is no credible evidence that Zimbabwe

is being used as a safe haven or that the GOZ provides

sanctuary to any international or indigenous terrorist group.

The GOZ does, however, maintain diplomatic relations with

countries identified as being state sponsors of terrorism.

Cuba, Iran, Libya, and Sudan have embassies in Harare and

there is an emerging North Korean diplomatic presence.

Additionally, President Robert Mugabe visited both Cuba and

Iran in 2006.

 

——————————-

INFORMATION ON TERRORIST GROUPS

——————————-

 

4. (SBU) No terrorist cells were identified in Zimbabwe by

the GOZ in 2006 and Post has no reason to believe that any

are active in the country. To date, Zimbabwe has not been a

good operating environment for terrorist groups due to the

country’s aggressive security and intelligence apparatus.

This operating environment may, however, become more

appealing to terrorists if the capabilities of these agencies

continue to be eroded by the country’s deteriorating economic

conditions.

 

———————————————

INFORMATION ON FOREIGN GOVERNMENT COOPERATION

———————————————

 

5. (SBU) Although the GOZ has not been requested to cooperate

in the investigation or prosecution of any terrorist act

within the past five years, there exist no known impediments

to host government prosecution and/or extradition of

suspected terrorists. Additionally, as noted in paragraph 2,

Zimbabwe currently holds the Presidency for ESAAMLG and

hosted the group’s Council of Ministers of Finance meeting in

August. Also in August, Zimbabwe and Republic of South

Africa signed a memorandum of understanding for the exchange

of information in combating money laundering and financing of

terrorism.

 

6. (U) Post’s terrorism reporting officer is Political

Officer Scott C. Higgins. His telephone number is (263) (4)

250-593 ext 321 and email addresses are HigginsSC@state.gov

(unclassified) and HigginsSC@state.sgov.gov (classified).

SCHULTZ

 

(46 VIEWS)

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