Country Reports on Terrorism 2008 - Iceland

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 - Iceland, 30 April 2009, available at: [accessed 17 July 2018]
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 Iceland worked to strengthen domestic border security and counterterrorism capabilities. The Icelandic Coast Guard (ICG) strengthened ties with neighboring states and took over as Chair of the North Atlantic Coast Guard Forum in October. In June, the government established the Icelandic Defense Agency under the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The IDA has responsibility for operational ties with NATO and other allied states, including intelligence exchanges.

In July, the Minister of Justice presented a threat assessment prepared by the National Police Commissioner to the government. The assessment focused on the threat to Iceland from domestic and international terrorism and organized crime, and it was the first to be ever prepared in Iceland. It concluded that, although the likelihood of terrorist incidents in Iceland is low, the potential consequences are severe enough to merit a high level of vigilance.

In October, the ICG hosted NORTHERN CHALLENGE 2008, a NATO-supported exercise focusing on Explosive Ordnance Disposal and counterterrorism scenarios.

Also in October, the ICG and the U.S. Coast Guard signed a cooperative agreement based on the bilateral Joint Understanding from October 2006 and its provisions on increasing bilateral security cooperation between civil institutions. In May, the United States and Iceland held the second annual round of high level security dialogue talks as specified in the Joint Understanding.

The Icelandic government supported multilateral counterterrorism efforts. Iceland continued its deployment of personnel at Kabul International Airport and International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) Headquarters in Afghanistan in support of NATO operations there, and made funding contributions to several key NATO/ISAF trust funds.

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