Cablegate: Nigeria: 2003 Annual Terrorism Report

Published: Thu 4 Dec 2003 02:25 PM
This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.
E.O. 12958: N/A
REF: STATE 301352
1. Post provides the following input for the 2003 Annual
Terrorism Report. The information is keyed to the questions
asked in REFTEL:
2. A. Civilian rule returned to Nigeria with the
inauguration of Olusegun Obasanjo as President in May 1999.
Since his inauguration, President Obasanjo has pursued an
active international agenda commensurate with Nigeria's
perception of its role as a leader in both continental and
world affairs.
3. President Obasanjo's government was among the first to
send condolences after the September 11 attacks. More
importantly, Nigeria steadfastly and publicly lent its
diplomatic support to Coalition efforts against the Taliban
and Al Queda despite the domestic political ramifications of
being home to Africa's second largest Muslim population. The
GON did not publicly support the invasion of Iraq, however,
it has taken steps to insure the security of Americans and
American property in Nigeria. The GON backed UN Resolutions
1267, 1333 and 1368 and has initiated legislative and
regulatory steps to shore up its anti-money laundering regime
in order to fight terrorism. The New Partnership for African
Development (NePAD), an organization founded by Obasanjo and
other African Heads of State, has condemned terrorism and
called for concrete measures to be taken by African states to
combat the scourge. Nigeria is signatory to three UN
counter-terrorism conventions and is reviewing other UN
conventions with the view of acceding to these instruments.
4. Nigeria also has taken on a leading role in making
counter-terrorism an important issue in West Africa, the
sub-region where Nigeria's diplomatic and political influence
is most pronounced.
5. B. Judiciary: There have been no known acts of terrorism
nor criminal prosecutions of terrorists during the year.
While current criminal law does not contain many specific
anti-terrorism provisions, the penal code does proscribe acts
of violence, which includes terrorism. Because President
Obasanjo has given terrorism a high priority, the GON is
moving quickly to draft improved terrorism legislation.
Likewise, the judiciary probably would prosecute diligently
any cases of terrorism and would cooperate with the USG in
prosecution despite some of the institutional shortcomings of
the judiciary, i.e. understaffing, corruption, lack of
equipment, large caseloads and inadequate pay.
6. C. Extradition: The GON did not extradite any suspected
terrorists or request extradition of any terrorists during
the year.
7. D. Possible Impediments to Prosecution/ Extradition:
There are no known legal impediments to prosecution or
extradition of suspected terrorists. However, members of
both the police force and the judiciary have been susceptible
to corruption in the past. Given the high-level GON focus on
counter-terrorism, it would be difficult for corrupt
practices to impede the prosecution or extradition of any
high-visibility terrorism cases.
8. E. Other Responses: The GON has publicly condemned acts
of terrorism.
9. The Central Bank of Nigeria has been helpful in
circulating lists of terrorist organizations. The CBN has
promised to confiscate terrorist assets should they be
discovered. To date, no terrorist assets have been
discovered. Unfortunately, institutions with
responsibilities for fighting terrorist financing are weak.
10. F. International Fora: The GON has given clear
diplomatic support in the UN and within the Economic
Community of West African States to counter-terrorism.
11. G. The GON does not support international terrorism or
terrorists. The GON clearly and repeatedly has condemned
terrorism and followed up with concrete actions. However,
some individuals and private groups in Nigeria have ties to
and perhaps receive funding from sources in Sudan, Iran,
Pakistan and Libya. It is possible that some of these
individuals or groups may have indirect links with extremist
or terrorist organizations.
12. H. Public Statements: The GON has made no public
statements supporting terrorism or any terrorist group. All
GON statements have been against terrorism.
13. I. Change in Posture: The GON has continued to be vocal
in its opposition to terrorism.
14. J. Bilateral Cooperation: The Central Bank of Nigeria
(CBN) responded quickly to USG requests to identify and
freeze terrorist assets if found in Nigeria. The CBN issued
a Call Circular requiring all banks to identify any terrorist
entities listed in Executive Order 13224. The CBN has
amended the list several times to reflect USG additions.
Although no assets have been found to date, the CBN requires
banks within its jurisdiction to continuously monitor
accounts. The CBN also has implemented stricter customer
identification procedures that require banks to maintain
sufficient information about customers and correspondent
financial institutions.
15. In general, the Nigerian Police and other security
forces have cooperated, within the limitations of their
capabilities, in combating terrorism and in protecting
American citizen residents, USG personnel and USG
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