Country Reports on Terrorism 2008 - Czech Republic
|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 - Czech Republic, 30 April 2009, available at: http://www.refworld.org/docid/49fac68dc.html [accessed 29 July 2015]|
Czech authorities continued to cooperate with the United States across a wide spectrum of security, law enforcement, and military matters as part of its counterterrorism efforts. Whether protecting the Prague headquarters of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty and other U.S. facilities, providing critical military assistance in Iraq and Afghanistan, or cooperating in criminal investigations, the Czech Republic remained a steadfast U.S. ally. While intelligence services continued to do their job well, an ongoing manpower shortage in the police force raised some concern about the government's ability to effectively respond to a terrorist incident.
The Czech Republic made significant contributions in support of coalition efforts in Afghanistan: the Czechs deployed a new Provincial Reconstruction Team to Logar and a new Special Operations task force in support of Operation Enduring Freedom (OEF). They also provided security to the Dutch PRT in Uruzgan, deployed an Operational Mentoring and Liaison Team to work alongside the Afghanistan National Air Corps, and continued the deployment of a 100-person military field hospital based at the Kabul International Airport. The Czechs also took part in the U.S. efforts to equip the Afghanistan National Air Corps by donating 12 newly reconditioned Mi-family helicopters. The Czechs deployed over 500 soldiers to Afghanistan in support of OEF and International Security Assistance Force, which represented a 100 percent increase from 2007. In Iraq, Czech forces successfully transitioned from providing security in Basra to helping train the Iraqi Armored Corps in Tadji. In Iraq, the Czech forces completed their mission at year's end, leaving only a small presence at the NATO Training Mission.
On the information sharing front, the Czech Interior Ministry signed a cooperative treaty with the United States on October 15, establishing the National Contact Point for Terrorism (NCPT) in Prague. The NCPT is intended as a specialized and centralized analytical and information gathering unit of the Czech police for combating terrorism. The NCPT will monitor and evaluate terrorist threats and will cooperate with other law enforcement agencies to detect and prevent terrorist acts. Within the next three years, the Police Presidium plans to establish a Passenger Information Unit within NCPT and a National Criminal Bureau that would be partner with NCPT, with a long term goal of bringing other emergency, law enforcement, and intelligence agencies under the NCPT umbrella.
A continued shortage of manpower in the police force raised some concern about the government's ability to effectively respond in the event of a terrorist incident. Since the end of 2007, the police Combating Terrorism and Organized Crime Unit has recruited 40 top level professionals and provided training, including language training for the new officers. Eighty more officers are still needed, however.
As a country participating in the Visa Waiver Program (VWP), the Czech Republic 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.