Patterns of Global Terrorism 2003 - Albania

Despite its limited resources, Albania has provided considerable support on counterterrorism. Albania supported US and international counterterrorist initiatives by extending blanket landing and overflight clearances for Operation Enduring Freedom; providing commando troops to the International Security Assistance Force in Afghanistan and weapons to the Afghan National Army; and adopting legislation to coordinate the counterterrorism efforts of its police, military, intelligence service, and Ministries of Finance and Foreign Affairs. Albania also joined international efforts to fight terrorism by signing agreements with Germany to repatriate illegal immigrants and with Romania to combat terrorism, drug trafficking, and organized crime. Albania had some success in implementing measures at its major ports to combat illegal trafficking.

Tirana took measures to freeze terrorist assets and shut down nongovernmental organizations suspected of international extremist activity and detained or expelled individuals suspected of having links to terrorism. Albania also provided ongoing close cooperation to the United States in sharing information and investigating terrorist-related groups and activities. Institutional weaknesses, corruption, organized crime, and difficult terrain continued to hamper Albania's ability to carry out counterterrorism initiatives, however. Efforts to strengthen Albania's money-laundering legislation in May did not clarify or increase the scope of the laws in 2002, but Parliament expects to pass improved legislation, including specific terrorist-financing provisions, in 2003.

The aftershocks of the Chechen hostage crisis at the Moscow Theater in Russia reached Albania. At the Russian Government's request, Albania denied entry to Chechen delegates who tried to attend the Transnational Radical Party Congress, which supports Chechen independence. Although a previously unknown Islamic terrorist group, "Allah's Martyrs," threatened to disrupt the Congress, the Government stepped up security measures, and the Congress concluded peacefully.

Albania is a party to 11 of the 12 UN international conventions and protocols relating to terrorism.

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