Last Updated: Monday, 19 February 2018, 07:35 GMT

2009 Country Reports on Terrorism - Cape Verde

Publisher United States Department of State
Publication Date 5 August 2010
Cite as United States Department of State, 2009 Country Reports on Terrorism - Cape Verde, 5 August 2010, available at: [accessed 19 February 2018]
DisclaimerThis 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.

Cape Verdean authorities continued to prosecute a case against Jean-Charles Mendes Da Silva, a French citizen and alleged member of the Algerian terrorist organization, the Armed Islamic Group.[1] On March 10, 2007, Cape Verdean police arrested Da Silva on an Interpol warrant and unrelated forgery and weapons charges. A Cape Verdean court convicted him of those crimes, as well as of certain criminal offenses related to his activities in France, but prosecutors declined to seek a conviction under Cape Verde's counterterrorism laws. Moreover, Cape Verde refused the French government's request to extradite Da Silva, because he had claimed and obtained Cape Verdean citizenship prior to his arrest.[2] At year's end Da Silva was awaiting sentencing.

With respect to counterterrorism legislation, Cape Verdean law specifically criminalizes terrorist activity, including the provision of material assistance to terrorists. The code of criminal procedure gives police wide authority to perform wiretaps and warrantless searches in cases of suspected terrorism. Additionally, in November Cape Verde's two major political parties informally agreed to amend the Cape Verdean constitution in order to allow nighttime searches and seizures in such circumstances.

Cape Verdean law enforcement has taken special measures to prevent terrorists from entering the country. Immigration authorities check names of visitors against a database of actual and suspected terrorists, which includes data furnished by the U.S. government. Cape Verde was in the process of obtaining access to certain data from the FBI's Integrated Automated Fingerprint Identification System, and also participated in the Economic Community Of West African States Warning and Response Network, an information sharing program addressing security issues.

[1] In 2000, Da Silva escaped from a French prison where he had been incarcerated for participating in a Paris-area bombing. According to media reports, the French Directorate-General for External Security believes Da Silva contacted terrorist organizations throughout North Africa after his escape and then sought refuge in Cape Verde, where he attempted to establish a terrorist cell.

[2] The Cape Verdean constitution forbids extradition of its citizens, and some speculate that Da Silva claimed citizenship when he arrived in Cape Verde specifically to obtain this protection.

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