Country Reports on Terrorism 2008 - Sudan
|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 - Sudan, 30 April 2009, available at: http://www.refworld.org/docid/49fac6b928.html [accessed 18 May 2013]|
|Disclaimer||This 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.|
Sudan remained a cooperative partner in global counterterrorism efforts. During the past year, the Sudanese government continued to pursue terrorist operations directly involving threats to U.S. interests and personnel in Sudan. Sudanese officials have indicated that they view their continued cooperation with the United States as important and recognize the benefits of U.S. training and information-sharing. Though the counterterrorism relationship remained solid, some hard-line Sudanese officials continued to express resentment and distrust over actions by the USG and questioned the benefits of the bilateral cooperation. Their assessment reflected disappointment that Sudan's counterterrorism cooperation has not resulted in its removal from the State Sponsors of Terrorism list. Nonetheless, there was no indication at year's end that the Sudanese government will curtail its counterterrorism cooperation with the United States.
Al-Qa'ida (AQ)-inspired terrorist elements, and elements of both Palestine Islamic Jihad (PIJ), and HAMAS remained in Sudan. In light of the continuing hybrid UN-AU deployment to Darfur, various terrorist threats against this mission have emerged, and AQ leadership has called for "jihad" against UN forces in Darfur. In the early hours of January 1, 2008, attackers in Khartoum sympathetic to AQ shot and fatally wounded two U.S. Embassy staff members – an American and a Sudanese employee – both of whom worked for the U.S. Agency for International Development. Sudanese authorities cooperated closely with the USG in investigating this terrorist crime. On February 1, five alleged conspirators were arrested and put on trial for murder on August 31. Their trial was ongoing at year's end. Other extremist groups also have threatened attacks against Western interests in Sudan. The July 14 request by International Criminal Court Chief Prosecutor Moreno-Ocampo for an arrest warrant against Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir on charges related to atrocities committed in Darfur has further inflamed tensions. Therefore, the terrorist threat level remained critical in Khartoum and Darfur, and potentially other parts of Sudan.
Elements of designated terrorist groups remained in Sudan. With the exception of HAMAS, whose members the Sudanese government consider to be "freedom fighters" rather than terrorists, the government does not appear to openly support the presence of extremist elements. We note, however, that there have been open source reports that arms were purchased in Sudan's black market and allegedly smuggled northward to HAMAS.
The Sudanese government has prevented foreign fighters from using Sudan as a logistics base and transit point for extremists going to Iraq. However, gaps remained in the Sudanese government's knowledge of and ability to identify and capture these individuals. There was evidence to suggest that individuals who were active participants in the Iraqi insurgency have returned to Sudan and were in a position to use their expertise to conduct attacks within Sudan or to pass on their knowledge. There was also evidence that Sudanese extremists continued to participate in terrorist activities in Somalia, which the Sudanese government has also attempted to disrupt.