U.S. Department of State Country Reports on Terrorism 2004 - United Arab Emirates

In 2004, the United Arab Emirates continued to provide staunch assistance and cooperation to the global war against terrorism. In July, late President Sheikh Zayed issued an antiterrorism law defining terrorist crimes and punishment, and specifically criminalizing the funding of terrorist organizations. In December, the United States and the Emirate of Dubai signed a Container Security Initiative Statement of Principles aimed at screening US-bound containerized cargo transiting Dubai's ports. The UAE also undertook several security measures along its land border and at sea to deter terrorists from reaching UAE soil.

In October, the UAE hosted an international conference on Islam intended to encourage moderation and condemn terrorism and extremism. The conference included sessions by prominent international and Emirate Muslim religious figures, and called for moderate Islamic preaching, increased training of imams, and reforms of the Islamic studies education curriculum.

In suppressing terrorist financing, the UAE Central Bank continued to enforce anti-money laundering regulations aggressively. Tightened oversight and reporting requirements for domestic financial markets resulted in a stronger legal and regulatory framework to deter abuse of the UAE financial system. The Central Bank has provided training programs to financial institutions on money laundering and terrorist financing. In April, the Central Bank hosted the Second International Hawala Conference, which was attended by 375 participants from around the world to discuss how to better monitor money flows occurring outside the formal banking structure. (Hawalas are informal money remittance and exchange businesses common in the Middle East and South Asia.) The conference included interactive panels, overviews of anti-money laundering systems in various other countries, and presentations from multilateral organizations such as the International Monetary Fund, World Bank, FATF, and the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime. The Central Bank has also investigated financial transactions and frozen accounts in response to UN resolutions and internal investigations, and continued the process of registering hawala dealers.


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