Country Reports on Terrorism 2008 - Montenegro
|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 - Montenegro, 30 April 2009, available at: http://www.refworld.org/docid/49fac69626.html [accessed 13 February 2016]|
The Ministry of Interior, through the Police Directorate and the Agency for National Security (ANB), is primarily responsible for counterterrorism operations. In 2008, the Ministry of Interior began work on a National Counterterrorism Strategy, which will foster better counterterrorism cooperation among the different institutions. Montenegrin legislation on terrorism has been harmonized with EU standards and UN conventions. Criminal acts of terrorism are defined by Montenegrin Criminal Code Article 365 as, "anyone who, with the intention of endangering the constitutional order and security of Montenegro causes an explosion or fire or undertakes other dangerous measures or kidnaps a person, or commits another act of violence or threatens to undertake some dangerous action or to use nuclear, chemical, biological, or other dangerous substance and whereby may cause fear or feeling of insecurity of citizens shall be punished by imprisonment for a term of three to fifteen years."
In 2007, the Parliament of Montenegro passed the Law on the Prevention of Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing, and during the same year the government's Agency for the Prevention of Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing (also known as the Financial Intelligence Unit, or FIU) accepted the Financial Action Task Force on Money Laundering (FATF) Special Recommendations on Terrorist Financing. The FIU also publishes an international list of terrorists and terrorist organizations established pursuant to Security Council resolution 1483.
Montenegro ratified the Council of Europe's Convention on the Prevention of Terrorism, and Convention on the Laundering, Search, Seizure, and Confiscation of the Proceeds from Crime and on the Financing of Terrorism. In addition, Montenegro has signed bilateral agreements and memoranda on police cooperation in counterterrorism with almost all regional countries including Serbia, Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Slovenia, and Albania, as well as with Belgium, Turkey, Bulgaria, Romania, and Austria.
In September 2006, in what is known as the "Eagle's Flight" case, seventeen ethnic Albanians, four of whom are U.S. citizens, were arrested and charged with planning terrorist acts to incite an ethnic Albanian rebellion. In August 2008, after a lengthy trial, the Higher Court in Podgorica convicted the defendants of plotting to disturb the constitutional order and security of Montenegro. Sentences ranged from three months to six years and six months in prison. The defendants have filed appeals.
Although Montenegro is not a known safe haven for terrorists, the Montenegrin authorities are focused on potential threats stemming from Islamic extremists in neighboring countries and the activities of very small groups of local extremists. Montenegrin police forces, including the Special Antiterrorism Unit, have received international and U.S. training and equipment. For example, the Department of Justice ICITAP program conducted a regional international terrorism workshop and provided training for the police organized crime unit, which is responsible for conducting terrorism investigations. Despite significant training and equipment from outside donors, Montenegrin law enforcement and security agencies required additional assistance to attain international standards.