Finland continued its support of the War on Terror, as evidenced by the approximately 100 Finnish troops deployed in Afghanistan in support of ongoing NATO/ISAF operations. Government officials and the general population focused on economic, social, and development aid projects aimed at addressing the conditions that terrorists exploit. Finland maintained its annual contribution of approximately $15 million in development assistance to Afghanistan, and announced new law enforcement, humanitarian, and counternarcotics assistance initiatives.
Finnish and American officials shared counterterrorism information effectively, including a wide range of information on threat assessments, terrorist networks, and government responses to both. Following its EU Presidency in the second half of 2006, when it made counterterrorism and combating terrorist financing top priorities, the Finnish government continued to participate actively in ongoing EU efforts to remove institutional barriers to counterterrorism cooperation.
Finland pressed for EU cooperation with the U.S and the international community on counterterrorism issues. The Government of Finland maintained legislative and regulatory mechanisms to keep close watch over potential terrorist cells or financial support operations and to interdict their activities within the country. Finland effectively implemented new regulations requiring ships to submit security-related information prior to entry into port. In cases when another government presented a legal request for action or when an individual or organization was suspected of having committed an offense within Finland's borders, Finland implemented regulations that allowed it to freeze assets without prior UN or EU action.
Finland engaged in significant efforts to mitigate the social and economic factors that might lead members of the country's extremely small (less than 2 percent) population of foreign-born residents to adopt extremist ideologies. It carried out programs to help Muslim and other immigrants find jobs and integrate into Finnish society, and it encouraged religious and ethnic tolerance through a variety of legislation, government-funded social programs, and ombudsmen's offices.