Last Updated: Friday, 16 February 2018, 15:01 GMT

2009 Country Reports on Terrorism - Cambodia

Publisher United States Department of State
Publication Date 5 August 2010
Cite as United States Department of State, 2009 Country Reports on Terrorism - Cambodia, 5 August 2010, available at: [accessed 17 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.

Cambodia's political leadership demonstrated a strong commitment to legal action against terrorists and the Government of Cambodia remained committed to strengthening its counterterrorism capability through training and international cooperation.

In Cambodia, terrorists could attempt to exploit various local conditions – including endemic corruption, poverty, high unemployment, a poor education system, porous borders, and disaffection within the Cham Muslim population, which makes up approximately five percent of the population – to gain recruits, resources, and lines of operation. Although the Cham are not generally politically active, the Cambodian government is aware that foreign terrorists might use Cham areas as safe havens. For example, Hambali, a senior Jemaah Islamiya operative accused of involvement in the 2002 Bali nightclub bombings, took refuge in a Muslim school in Cambodia in 2002-2003.

With U.S. assistance, Cambodian authorities monitored computerized border control systems at Phnom Penh and Siem Reap airports, and at the land border crossings of Poipet and Koh Kong. International ports employed the use of this computerized system, as well as E-passport for Cambodian nationals and VISPEC, which was provided, installed, and trained to Cambodia's immigration police by the United Kingdom. Although biometric systems were not available in Cambodia, various officials received biometrics training from Singapore. U.S. officials also provided training to Cambodian authorities on financial investigation, methods for countering money laundering and terrorist financing, hostage release negotiations, and terrorist incident management.

In 2009, 70 Cambodian government officials participated in 17 separate Cambodia-based training and workshop sessions hosted by the Australian, German, Russian, and U.S. Embassies. Twenty officials participated in 15 separate overseas training and workshop sessions in the United States, Malaysia, Japan, Australia, Vietnam, Philippines, India, and Thailand, which covered a range of topics, including security, counterterrorism, and investigation of fraudulent documents.

In November, a counterterrorism exercise on Southeast Asian-Japan Maritime Security was conducted in Preah Sihanouk Province under the auspices of Australia, the United States, and the secretariat of the National Counterterrorism Committee.

The Cambodian government continued to make progress in strengthening its counterterrorist finance regime. The Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU), which operated within the framework of the National Bank of Cambodia, conducted on-site examinations of banks and financial institutions and signed Memorandums of Agreements on information exchanges concerning money laundering and terrorist financing with the Bank Nagara Malaysia FIU, the FIU of the Central Bank of Sri Lanka, and the Anti Money-Laundering Department of the Bangladesh Bank on information exchange concerning money laundering and terrorist financing.

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