Country Reports on Terrorism 2008 - Finland
|Publisher||United States Department of State|
|Author||Office of the Coordinator for Counterterrorism|
|Publication Date||30 April 2009|
|Cite as||United States Department of State, Country Reports on Terrorism 2008 - Finland, 30 April 2009, available at: http://www.refworld.org/docid/49fac68e28.html [accessed 20 April 2014]|
|Disclaimer||This is not a UNHCR publication. UNHCR is not responsible for, nor does it necessarily endorse, its content. Any views expressed are solely those of the author or publisher and do not necessarily reflect those of UNHCR, the United Nations or its Member States.|
The Government of Finland focused on economic, social, and development aid projects aimed at addressing the conditions that terrorists exploit. Finland maintained its annual contribution of approximately $15 million in development assistance to Afghanistan, synchronizing reconstruction support in Afghanistan with other donors and announcing new Rule of Law (particularly police), governance, humanitarian, and counternarcotics assistance initiatives.
Finnish and American officials shared counterterrorism information effectively, including a wide range of information on threat assessments, terrorist networks, and government responses to both. The Finnish government continued to participate actively in ongoing EU efforts to remove institutional barriers to counterterrorism cooperation.
During Finland's 2008 OSCE Chairmanship, it supported UN activities and sought ways to intensify international co-operation in combating terrorism within the OSCE. It used legislative and regulatory mechanisms to keep a close watch over potential terrorist cells or financial support operations and to interdict their activities within the country. In May, Finland tightened its terrorism prevention law, criminalizing planning and support for terrorism. Finland upgraded port and border security to monitor more traffic. In cases when another government presented a legal request for action or when an individual or organization was suspected of having committed an offense within Finland's borders, Finland had available regulations that allowed it to freeze assets without prior UN or EU action.
Finland engaged in significant efforts to mitigate the social and economic factors that might lead members of the country's small (less than 2 percent) population of foreign-born residents to adopt extremist ideologies. It carried out programs to help immigrants find jobs and integrate into Finnish society, and it encouraged religious and ethnic tolerance through a variety of legislation, government-funded social programs, and ombudsmen's offices.
Finland provided approximately 100 troops in Afghanistan in support of ongoing NATO/International Security Assistance Force operations.
As a country participating in the Visa Waiver Program (VWP), Finland continued to comply with requirements in the VWP law related to information sharing and other law enforcement and counterterrorism cooperation. This cooperation was further enhanced by the Implementing Recommendations of the 9/11 Commission Act of 2007.