Country Reports on Terrorism 2011 - Serbia
|Publisher||United States Department of State|
|Publication Date||31 July 2012|
|Cite as||United States Department of State, Country Reports on Terrorism 2011 - Serbia, 31 July 2012, available at: http://www.refworld.org/docid/501fbca2c.html [accessed 5 May 2016]|
Overview: The Government of Serbia sustained its efforts to counter international terrorism. Serbia's law enforcement and security agencies, particularly the Ministry of Finance's Customs Administration, the Ministry of Interior's Directorate of Police, and the Security Information Agency, continued close counterterrorism cooperation with the United States. Intra-governmental cooperation between these and other agencies also improved. Serbia has two main police organizations that operate as counterterrorism tactical response units, the Special Anti-Terrorist Unit and the Counterterrorist Unit. Serbian and U.S. law enforcement and intelligence agencies also had close counterterrorism collaboration. Serbia participated in U.S. government-funded counterterrorism training. Harmonization of law enforcement protocols with European Union (EU) standards was a priority for the Serbian government. Serbia does not recognize Kosovo as an independent, sovereign country, and therefore had no direct cooperation with Kosovo on counterterrorism, but the European Union Rule of Law Mission in Kosovo (EULEX) played an intermediary role on some law enforcement cooperation matters.
2011 Terrorist Attacks: No terrorist attacks occurred in Serbia during 2011. In October, however, Serbian national Mevlid Jasarevic opened fire on the U.S. Embassy in Sarajevo and wounded a police officer guarding the Embassy. Bosnia and Herzegovina authorities immediately arrested Jasarevic. The next day, Serbian police took into custody 17 people with suspected ties to Jasarevic in Sandzak, a Bosniak-majority region in southwest Serbia.
Legislation and Law Enforcement: The National Assembly did not amend the Law on Travel Documents, thus non-biometric passports will not be valid past December 31, 2011. These passports have not been valid for visa-free travel to EU countries since 2009. Serbia continued to participate actively in the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) Regional Program to promote the rule of law and human security in South East Europe, which primarily focused on increasing member states' counterterrorism capacities. Serbia established a working group in charge of drafting a law on counterterrorism that would provide a legal basis for the subsequent adoption of a counterterrorism strategy and specific action plans for relevant ministries and agencies.
In November, U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation agents traveled to Serbia and met with Serbian law enforcement counterparts in conjunction with an investigation into the October attack on the U.S. Embassy in Sarajevo.
The Export Control and Related Border Security (EXBS) Program, in coordination with other U.S. government agencies including Customs and Border Protection, Immigration and Customs Enforcement, the U.S. Coast Guard, and the Department of Energy, conducted nineteen border security exercises with Serbian government agencies. These exercises focused on controlling the movement of suspected terrorists, risk analysis, and the control of terrorism-related goods and materials. EXBS provided training and material assistance to Serbian Customs, Border Police, and other agencies with oversight on the manufacture and movement of strategically sensitive commodities. Many of the activities were conducted regionally with the participation of Serbia's neighbors.
Countering Terrorist Finance: Serbia is a member of the Council of Europe Committee of Experts on the Evaluation of Anti-Money Laundering Measures and the Financing of Terrorism. Although the National Assembly did not adopt any new terrorism related legislation, Serbia's Administration for the Prevention of Money Laundering developed a draft law on restrictions on property disposal with the goal of preventing terrorist financing. The Government of Serbia asked foreign experts, including the U.S. Treasury Department, to provide comments on the draft law. According to the Prosecutor's Office for Organized Crime, Serbian police did not arrest anyone involved in terrorist finance activities, nor were any cases related to terrorism financing prosecuted in 2011.
In June, the Council of Europe and the EU held a high-level conference on the Prevention of Money-Laundering and Terrorist Financing in Serbia, as part of Serbia's efforts to meet EU standards and advance its EU membership application. This conference initiated the Project against Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing in Serbia (MOLI-Serbia Project), which principally benefits the Administration for the Prevention of Money Laundering.
For further information on money laundering and financial crimes, we refer you to the 2011 International Narcotics Control Strategy Report (INCSR), Volume 2, Money Laundering and Financial Crimes: http://www.state.gov/j/inl/rls/nrcrpt/index.htm.
Regional and International Cooperation: In July, more than 80 counterterrorism specialists met in Belgrade for a two-day workshop organized by the UN Counter-Terrorism Executive Directorate, the Southeast European Law Enforcement Center (formerly SECI Center), the Regional Cooperation Council, and the UNODC. The discussion focused on terrorist financing in southeastern Europe and the link between terrorist financing and organized crime.