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2009 Country Reports on Terrorism - United Arab Emirates

Publisher United States Department of State
Publication Date 5 August 2010
Cite as United States Department of State, 2009 Country Reports on Terrorism - United Arab Emirates, 5 August 2010, available at: [accessed 29 November 2015]
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.

While there were no terrorist attacks in the UAE in 2009, seven Emiratis were charged with promoting and funding terrorism. A U.S. citizen was convicted of supporting a foreign terrorist organization and subsequently deported to Lebanon, his country of birth.

The Government of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) repeatedly condemned terrorist acts in Iraq, Lebanon, Pakistan, and elsewhere in the region. In order to prevent extremist preaching in UAE mosques, the General Authority of Islamic Affairs and Endowments provided guidelines for all Friday sermons and monitored compliance. The UAE worked to keep its education system free of radical influences and emphasized social tolerance and moderation.

The Container Security Initiative (CSI), which became operational at Port Rashid and Jebel Ali Port in the Emirate of Dubai in 2005, reviewed approximately 250 bills of lading each week, resulting in about 20 non-intrusive inspections of U.S.-bound containers. Examinations were conducted jointly with Dubai Customs officers, who shared information on transshipments from high risk areas, including those originating in Iran.

The UAE has a cyber-crime law criminalizing the use of the Internet by terrorist groups to "promote their ideologies and finance their activities." The UAE has established a National Security Council charged with formulating and implementing a national strategic plan. Cooperation on law enforcement matters was hampered by the lack of a mutual legal assistance treaty between the United Arab Emirates and the United States.

The UAE continued efforts to strengthen its institutional capabilities to combat terrorist financing, but challenges remained. The Central Bank initiated memoranda of understanding with regional FIUs, and performed anti-money laundering training both locally and regionally. The 2008 MENA-FATF (Middle East North Africa Financial Action Task Force) Mutual Evaluation Report for the UAE made a recommendation to amend the federal anti-money laundering law and increase dedicated resources available to the Central Bank's Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU). Although the UAE took important steps to address hawala remittances, further vigilance is required, as hawalas are easily used for money laundering.

The UAE Central Bank provided training programs to financial institutions on money laundering and terrorist financing. The United States and the UAE worked together to strengthen efforts to combat Bulk Cash Smuggling (BCS), in particular from countries at higher risk of illicit finance activity. Immigration and Customs Enforcement provided Dubai Customs with BCS training for airport interdiction of contraband currency. The Department of Justice also provided BCS training for prosecutors in Dubai.

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