Country Reports on Terrorism 2013 - Serbia
|Publisher||United States Department of State|
|Publication Date||30 April 2014|
|Cite as||United States Department of State, Country Reports on Terrorism 2013 - Serbia, 30 April 2014, available at: http://www.refworld.org/docid/536229c0b.html [accessed 30 July 2016]|
|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.|
Overview: Serbia continued its efforts to counter international terrorism and remained focused on harmonizing its law enforcement protocols with EU standards. The Serbian government continued to welcome U.S. government-provided counterterrorism training and assistance to police and security agency counterparts. Authorities confirmed that a small number of citizens from the country's Sandzak region had been recruited to join violent extremist movements in Syria, Libya, and other countries.
Legislation, Law Enforcement, and Border Security: Changes to the Serbian criminal code in December 2012 criminalized a broader range of terrorist activities, including recruitment and training of future terrorists. Authorities remained vigilant against efforts by local terrorist groups and international terrorists seeking to establish a presence in, or transit through, the country. Counterterrorism police and prosecutors began preliminary investigations into several possible terrorist incidents during the year, including open gunfire at the border with Kosovo, and have acted upon reports received from foreign partners, including U.S. authorities.
The Criminal Procedure Code adopted in September 2011, which introduced prosecutor-led investigations and other innovations, such as plea agreements, took effect nationwide in all courts on October 1, 2013. In November, the Parliament passed a set of four structural laws reforming the nationwide court and prosecutor networks, which were intended to increase efficiency and improve the administration of justice.
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 bilateral counterterrorism cooperation. Serbia's two main specialized police organizations, the Special Anti-Terrorist Unit and the Counter-Terrorist Unit (PTJ), operate as counterterrorism tactical response units. Overall, Serbian law enforcement units have demonstrated their capacity to detect, deter, and respond to terrorist incidents. There was good interagency cooperation and timely sharing of terrorism-related information; prosecutors were consulted at early stages of investigations and worked in coordination with law enforcement counterparts.
Serbian points of entry are connected to a centralized system, with a majority connected to Interpol databases, and have biographic and biometric screening processes in place. Border Police also shared information with other countries via bilateral agreements. Although Serbian authorities do not receive passenger name records (PNR) on a regular basis, they requested PNR directly from airline companies if they deemed a flight to be of particular risk.
Countering the Financing of Terrorism: Serbia is a member of the Council of Europe (COE)Committee of Experts on the Evaluation of Anti-Money Laundering Measures and the Financing of Terrorism (Moneyval), a Financial Action Task Force-style regional body. Serbia's Administration for the Prevention of Money Laundering (APML) has developed a draft law on restricting property disposal, with the aim of preventing terrorist financing, which if passed would strengthen Serbia's legislative framework on freezing terrorist assets. 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 terrorist financing prosecuted in 2013.
As part of Serbia's efforts to meet EU standards and advance its EU accession effort, several conferences and workshops connected to the Project against Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing in Serbia (MOLI-Serbia Project) took place. MOLI-Serbia, which is co-sponsored and funded by the EU and the COE, principally benefitted APML and supported Serbian efforts to establish a more robust legislative and operational capacity to counter money laundering and terrorist financing systems in accordance with EU and international standards. For further information on money laundering and financial crimes, see the 2014 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: S erbia is a member of the UN, the OSCE, and the COE. Serbia participated in the UN Office on Drugs and Crime Regional Program to promote rule of law and human security in South East Europe (SEE), which focuses primarily on increasing member states' counterterrorism capacities. Serbia was the first country in the SEE region to adopt the National Action Plan for the implementation of UNSCR 1540 (2004) and hosted the first Regional Workshop on its implementation. In April, Serbia became a full member of the Nuclear Suppliers Group, which controls the export of nuclear materials and dual-use goods that could be exploited by terrorist organizations.