Last Updated: Thursday, 26 May 2016, 08:56 GMT

Country Reports on Terrorism 2008 - Malta

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 - Malta, 30 April 2009, available at: [accessed 26 May 2016]
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.

Malta's location between the African and European continents and its large Search and Rescue area brought many immigrants to Malta's shores. Since 2002, some 11,646 migrants, most from East Africa, have been rescued at sea by the Armed Forces of Malta. Upon arrival in Malta, the immigrants were screened by the Maltese Immigration Police and transferred to closed centers. Most of then applied for asylum. They can be held up to 12 months pending resolution of the application, or up to 18 months if the claim is rejected. The Government of Malta engaged in dialogue with leaders of the migrant community, and provided training to detention center personnel, with the goal of checking possible extremist threats.

The Maltese government continued to freeze the assets of those organizations on the UN consolidated list of designated terrorist organizations. Malta actively participates in the EU Clearing House and cooperates with other Member States and third states to defeat terrorist activities and by extension, to prevent terrorist financing, to deny safe havens to terrorists, and to exchange information to stop the commission of terrorist acts. The Maltese government has historically supported sharing information with the USG on matters relate to terrorism, and has demonstrated a commitment to interdiction operations and compliance with international requests.

The Maltese criminal code includes several specific provisions on terrorism. The law addresses "acts of terror" and "terrorism" and enumerates the actions constituting the offense. Malta criminalized terrorist financing through the Prevention of Money Laundering Act, which was expanded to include provisions for the funding of terrorism. Additionally, the Act expanded the powers of the Maltese Financial Intelligence Unit (the investigative arm) to include terrorist financing. Since 2006, the Prevention of Money Laundering Regulations have been extended to terrorist financing and include controls that require proper record keeping, specific reporting requirements, and relevant training.

As a country participating in the Visa Waiver Program (VWP), Malta 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.

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