2009 Country Reports on Terrorism - Albania
|Publisher||United States Department of State|
|Publication Date||5 August 2010|
|Cite as||United States Department of State, 2009 Country Reports on Terrorism - Albania, 5 August 2010, available at: http://www.refworld.org/docid/4c63b65b5.html [accessed 25 July 2014]|
Albania pledged to increase its contribution of troops to Afghanistan, froze bank accounts related to money laundering and terrorist financing, and aggressively worked with the United States and other countries to combat terrorism. Albania made progress in identifying vulnerabilities at land and sea borders, but the government and police forces continued to face challenges to enforce border security fully and to combat organized crime and corruption.
On January 14, 2008, the criminal trial began against Hamzeh Abu Rayyan, the suspected administrator for UNSCR 1267 Committee-designated terrorist financier Yassin al-Kadi, who is charged with hiding funds used to finance terrorism. This marked the first-ever criminal terrorist finance-related trial in Albania. The trial continued throughout 2009. A civil suit filed by al-Kadi to release his assets from seizure was dismissed and refiled several times. It was later reviewed by higher courts on matters of jurisdiction and statute of limitations. After being dismissed in June, it was filed again and is now pending trial in Tirana District Court. In addition, al-Kadi's company, Loxhall, filed a lawsuit in April. It aimed to annul the Council of Ministers' decision, as well as the two orders of the Ministry of Finance related to the administration of seized terrorism assets. This lawsuit was rejected in October, and is now pending appeal.
On October 12, a local imam, Artan Kristo, was arrested in Durrës. Kristo, also known as Muhamed Abdullah, was accused of "publicly inciting and propagating terrorist acts" for allegedly calling for jihad in the AlbSelafi.net online forum. Previously, Kristo was named as a suspect in the murder of the Secretary General of the Albanian Muslim Community, Salih Tivari, in January of 2003. The Durrës court decided to detain Kristo pending trial.
As of October, the Ministry of Finance stated it maintained asset freezes against six individuals and 14 foundations and companies on the UNSCR 1267 list. No new assets were frozen this year under Albania's Terrorist Financing Freeze law. Despite this, the effectiveness of the government's counterterrorist financing effort was undermined by a lack of data-processing infrastructure and an inadequate capability to track and manage cases properly.