Country Reports on Terrorism 2007 - Slovakia

In March, Slovakia hosted a Counterterrorism Fellowship Program seminar that was a follow-on to a 2005 seminar. Participants from law enforcement, judicial, military, and foreign affairs agencies in ten Central and East European countries participated.

Although Slovakia withdrew its last two officers from Operation Iraqi Freedom (OIF), the Minister of Defense and Prime Minister said publicly that this was part of a larger plan to focus efforts on three larger missions, including the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) in Afghanistan. In December, the Slovak Parliament approved a plan to send 56 additional soldiers to Afghanistan, nearly doubling Slovakia's contribution to the NATO mission, albeit with caveats on their deployment. Domestically, Slovakia's Ministry of Defense took the lead in developing a cross-agency Counterterrorism Training Facility in Lest, which is also used by both the Ministries of Interior and Finance.

Slovakia officially acceded to Europe's border-free Schengen zone on December 21. Although not directly involved in Slovakia's preparation for Schengen, the United States provided assistance to Slovakia's efforts to secure its borders against terrorist threats.

In December, Slovak police arrested three men near the border with Ukraine, who were attempting to sell 400 grams of what was later evaluated as not being highly enriched uranium. Slovak police announced that they had worked cooperatively with Hungarian counterparts for a number of months in advance of the arrests, and had both the sellers and potential buyers under surveillance.

A suspected terrorist, Mustapha Labsi, has been held in Slovak custody since May. In November, the Bratislava Regional Court approved a Slovak Government request to extradite him to Algeria where he was convicted in absentia to life in prison, but the verdict was on hold pending an appeal to the Supreme Court. Slovakia's Justice Minister said that he personally will take the final decision on extradition in light of stated concerns that Labsi could be subject to torture in Algeria.


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