Cablegate: Romania: 2008 Country Reports On Terrorism

Published: Mon 22 Dec 2008 02:41 PM
R 221441Z DEC 08
E.O. 12958: N/A
REF: (A) STATE 124915; (B) STATE 124033; (C) STATE 120019
1. This message contains Post's submission for the 2008 Country
Reports on Terrorism.
2. Begin text. Romania provided throughout 2008 a full range of
public and diplomatic support to counterterrorism efforts.
Approximately 500 Romanian troops were serving in Iraq and 820 in
Afghanistan as part of coalition and NATO Alliance efforts to combat
terrorism and promote peace and stability. The Romanian troops in
Afghanistan, representing a 300-plus increase over 2007,
demonstrated a significant and growing contribution to the efforts
against international terrorism and in promotion of regional peace
and security. In June, the Supreme Council for National Defense
(CSAT) confirmed Romania's commitment of troops deployed in Iraq and
Afghanistan through 2009. Romania makes its airspace, ground
infrastructure, and naval facilities available to U.S. and NATO
forces. Romania is an active participant in the Global Initiative
to Combat Nuclear Terrorism.
3. Romania implements the 13 International Conventions and Protocols
on preventing and countering terrorism. Romanian also ratified the
European Convention on the Suppression of Terrorism, the Protocol
amending the European Convention on the Suppression of Terrorism,
the Council of Europe Convention on the Prevention of Terrorism, and
the Council of Europe Convention on laundering, search, seizure and
confiscation of the proceeds from crime and on the financing of
4. The Romanian Government has comprehensive and robust internal
mechanisms to combat terrorism, including the development of a
"National Anti-Terrorism Strategy" and guidelines to prevent the use
of Romanian financial institutions, including its banking system,
for the purpose of financing terrorist-related activities. The CSAT
in 2008 updated the General Protocol for the National System for
Preventing and Countering Terrorism (NSPCT) that was adapted in
2002. The Protocol empowered the Romanian Intelligence Service
(SRI) as the national authority in the counter-terrorist field and
the technical coordinator of the NSPCT.
5. The SRI operates as the technical coordinator for 11 Ministries
of the Romanian Government; three other special Services (the
Foreign Intelligence Service, the Protection and Guard Service, and
Special Telecommunications Service); three other governmental
agencies (the National Agency for Export Controls, the National
Committee for Control of Nuclear Activities, and the National Office
for Prevention and Control of Money Laundering); the National Bank
of Romania; and the Prosecutor's Office attached to the High Court
of Cassation and Justice. There are 54 prosecutors assigned to the
Directorate to Investigate International Criminal Organizations and
6. Bucharest is also the headquarters for the Southeast European
Cooperation Initiative (SECI) Regional Center for Combating
Transborder Crime (SECI Center), a regional center that provided law
enforcement training and intelligence sharing on transborder
criminal activities, including terrorist-related activities, for the
12 member countries in South Eastern and Central Europe, including
Romania. The SECI Center's Anti-Terrorism task force, in which
Romania participates, is chaired by Turkey.
7. The High Court of Cassation of Justice reconfirmed in February
2008 the 20-year prison sentence for Omar Hayssam who was convicted
for terrorism in the 2004 kidnapping case of four Romanian
journalists in Iraq (the Syrian-born, Romanian citizen Hayssam fled
Romania following his conviction and remains at large).
8. On April 21, 2008, the government adopted Emergency Ordinance
(EO) number 53 per 2008 to amend the law 656 per 2002 to prevent and
sanction money laundering and to introduce measures to prevent and
combat terrorism financing. The EO was adopted to incorporate into
Romanian legislation the Directive 2005/60/EC of the European
Parliament and of the European Council of October 26, 2005, on the
prevention of using the financial system for the purpose of money
laundering or terrorism financing, and two other related EC
Directives (2006/70/EC of August 1, 2006, and 2005/60/EC). These
Directives required action on the part of Romania following its
January 2007 induction into the European Union. EO 53 per 2008 took
effect upon publication in the Official Gazette.
9. Romania passed Law no. 112 on May 15, ratifying the September
2007 Bucharest Protocol to the May 1999 Treaty between the United
States of America and Romania on Mutual Legal Assistance on Criminal
Matters. The Protocol enhances mutual assistance, including mutual
assistance on money laundering and terrorism matters. The Protocol
will enhance the already robust U.S. and Romania cooperation on
counterterrorism law enforcement issues. Notable cases of
U.S.-Romania law enforcement cooperation in this area include the
extradition of Tareq Al Ghazi and Luis Moreno to the United States
to stand trial on terrorism and money laundering charges related to
their efforts to sell weapons to the Revolutionary Armed Forces of
Colombia (FARC); significant assistance related to Viktor Bout - the
renowned international arms trafficker known as the "Merchant of
Death" who also agreed to sell weapons to the FARC; and in the case
of Yeyha Ali Zeiter who was arrested on drug-related terrorism
10. On June 4, 2008, the government issued Executive Order 594/2008
which approves the rules to enforce the provisions of the law
656/2002 in conformity with EU regulations on preventing and
sanctioning money laundering, as well as on establishing some
measures to prevent and counter the financing of terrorist
11. On June 25, 2008, the National Securities Commission issued
Order 83/2008 to institute measures to prevent and fight money
laundering and terrorism financing via the capital market. The order
was published in the Official Gazette 525 of July 11, 2008.
12. The National Bank of Romania issued its own internal regulations
regarding customer due diligence procedures in order to prevent
money laundering and terrorism financing. The regulations were
published in the Official Gazette on July 14, 2008.
13. The Romanian Government's Emergency Decision no. 202/2008, which
was published in the Official Gazette on December 8, 2008, provides
a mechanism for the implementation of international sanctions to
prevent and counter terrorism, including empowering the National
Office for Prevention and Control of Money Laundering, reporting on
suspicious transactions, blocking funds, and obliging institutions
to conduct due diligence in establishing the bona fides of clients.
14. On December 16, 2008, the U.S. Embassy in Bucharest received
through the local mail an envelope with a Texas postmark containing
an unknown, suspicious white powder. The event was similar to others
that occurred at several other U.S. Embassies within the same day.
The SRI assisted the Embassy in sampling and analyzing the
substance, which was determined to be non-lethal. End text.
15. POC for the terrorism report for Bucharest is Christopher Ellis.
Tel. number is (40) (21) 200-3425 ext. 3425 and e-mail
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