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Country Reports on Terrorism 2010 - United Arab Emirates

Publisher United States Department of State
Publication Date 18 August 2011
Cite as United States Department of State, Country Reports on Terrorism 2010 - United Arab Emirates, 18 August 2011, available at: http://www.refworld.org/docid/4e52480dc.html [accessed 20 September 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.

Overview: The United Arab Emirates government continued to build its counterterrorism capacity and worked to strengthen international cooperation to counter terrorism. In 2010, the Government of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) improved border security measures and renewed counterterrorist financing efforts. In addition, prominent officials and religious leaders continued to publicly criticize extremist ideology.

2010 Terrorist Incidents: On October 29, UAE authorities foiled a terrorist plot when authorities in Dubai discovered an explosive device in a package transiting from Yemen to the United States via aircraft. Al-Qa'ida in the Arabian Peninsula claimed responsibility for the plot.

Legislation and Law Enforcement: The UAE participated in the Megaports and Container Security Initiatives (CSI). Under the CSI, which became operational at Port Rashid and Jebel Ali Port in the Emirate of Dubai in 2005, three U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers co-located with the Dubai Customs Intelligence Unit at Port Rashid. In 2010, the UAE Ministry of Interior and the Abu Dhabi Customs Authority signed memoranda of cooperation with Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). These agreements facilitated ICE assistance to provide technical support and instruction in the establishment of two separate training academies to further build Emirati Customs and Police capacity. On May 10, Abu Dhabi Customs signed a memorandum of understanding with ICE to exchange investigation-related information obtained at ports of entry, which was the first U.S. Law Enforcement information-sharing agreement with the UAE.

Countering Terrorist Finance: The UAE continued efforts to strengthen its institutional capabilities to counter terrorist financing, but challenges remained. The Central Bank signed a memoranda of understanding (MOU) with regional financial intelligence units, building on cooperation initiated in 2008, and performed anti-money laundering training both locally and regionally. On October 25, the UAE's Financial Intelligence Unit, the Central Bank's Anti-money Laundering and Suspicious Cases Unit, signed an MOU with the Federal Customs Authority to facilitate information sharing in an effort to improve the UAE's anti-money laundering apparatus.

The UAE is a member of the Middle East and North Africa Financial Action Task Force (MENAFATF), a FATF-style regional body, and its most recent mutual evaluation was adopted by the plenary in 2008. It is also a member of the Gulf Cooperation Council and through this body, the UAE is also a member of the FATF. The UAE hosted the February 2010 FATF plenary meeting. Although the UAE has taken important steps to address hawala remittances, further vigilance is required.

The UAE Central Bank has provided training programs to financial institutions on money laundering and terrorist financing. Continuing initiatives from previous years, the United States and the UAE worked together throughout the year to strengthen efforts to combat Bulk Cash Smuggling (BCS), in particular from countries at higher risk of illicit finance activity. The UAE is an enthusiastic proponent of BCS training and has encouraged MENAFATF members to undertake the training.

Regional and International Cooperation: After the Japanese oil tanker M Star was damaged in the Strait of Hormuz in July, UAE authorities allowed U.S. Navy divers to do a forensic inspection of the ship while docked at the port of Fujairah.

The UAE hosted a plenary meeting for the Global Initiative to Combat Nuclear Terrorism on June 22, which was attended by representatives from 47 countries.

Countering Radicalization and Violent Extremism: In order to prevent extremist preaching in UAE mosques, the General Authority of Islamic Affairs and Endowments provided prescribed 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.

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