Last Updated: Friday, 22 August 2014, 15:07 GMT

Country Reports on Terrorism 2007 - Malta

Publisher United States Department of State
Author Office of the Coordinator for Counterterrorism
Publication Date 30 April 2008
Cite as United States Department of State, Country Reports on Terrorism 2007 - Malta, 30 April 2008, available at: http://www.refworld.org/docid/48196cb328.html [accessed 23 August 2014]
DisclaimerThis 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 Malta continued to freeze assets of organizations on the consolidated list promulgated by the UNSCR 1267 Committee. Since its accession to the EU in 2004, Malta has actively participated in the EU Clearing House and cooperates with other Member States and third states to prevent and suppress terrorist acts, including the preparation and financing of any acts of terrorism, denying safe havens to terrorists, and exchanging information in order to prevent the commission of terrorist acts.

Some of the most significant Maltese contributions to international counterterrorism efforts were in support of U.S. military operations, including approval of requests for overflight and emergency landing for all military aircraft including those with hazardous material, use of the Malta Shipyards for repairs of U.S. Navy ships, and full security support for visiting U.S. Navy ships. Malta also demonstrated a commitment to interdiction operations and compliance with international requests.

While the Government of Malta was responsive to requests for action in support of the War on Terror, a lack of financial resources, dedicated training, and specialist staff sometimes hampered their efforts. Malta made significant progress in the area of customs inspection and border security procedures, however. Improvements included establishment of both the authority for Maltese Customs to inspect goods transiting the container port (Malta Freeport) and the necessary procedures to prevent the transshipment of WMD material through the Freeport. Maltese police and intelligence service officials have provided timely assistance to the Embassy's requests for investigation of potential suspects or groups within or transiting Malta as well as other terrorism related intelligence.

The United States affirmed its commitment to developing Malta's counterterrorism efforts by committing a 2005 earmark of $2,976,000 in the International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs (INL) budget toward the purchase of a helicopter to enhance Malta's ability to control its borders and deter terrorists. Final acquisition will require the Government of Malta to more than match the U.S. contribution.

The Maltese criminal code included specific provisions on terrorism. The law addressed "acts of terror" and "terrorism" and enumerated actions that constitute the offense. Malta criminalized terrorist financing. Recently, Malta's Prevention of Money Laundering Act was expanded to include provisions on the "funding of terrorism." In addition, the Act broadened the money laundering mission of Malta's Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU) and gave it the authority to focus on terrorism funding. In February 2006, the Prevention of Money Laundering Regulations was extended to include "financing of terrorism," which criminalized terrorist financing and imposed additional obligations, namely customer due diligence, record keeping, reporting, and training procedures.

With Malta's entry into the EU in 2004, and its geographic location between northern Africa and the European mainland, Malta could become increasingly attractive to terrorist organizations seeking entry into Europe. The Government of Malta has become increasingly concerned about migrant discontent and the possibility of radicalization within the detention centers. Maltese government officials received training last summer from the EU on recognizing the signs of radicalization, and from the FBI on the radicalization process, indicators, and infiltration.

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