Country Reports on Terrorism 2008 - Turkmenistan

The September 2008 violence in the Khitrovka region of Ashgabat forced the Government of Turkmenistan to reevaluate its counterterrorism program, training partners, and readiness. The Government of Turkmenistan cooperated with a variety of international organizations and partner countries in conducting counterterrorism training events for government personnel, including, for example, canine bomb detection and professional seminars on terrorism and security studies. While the government strictly controlled access into and passage through Turkmenistan at official border crossings and along main roads, clandestine passage was still possible due to long and porous borders that stretch across mountain and desert terrain, as well as the small size and uneven quality of Turkmenistan's border guard and customs services. Turkmenistan's law enforcement and security agencies exert stringent security control over all aspects of society, making it unlikely that Turkmenistan could easily be used as a terrorist safe haven. The government maintained a military-style counterterrorism unit said to have hostage rescue and explosives threat management capability, as well as a Department for the Prevention of Terrorism and Organized Crime in the Ministry of Internal Affairs. The government entered the names of individuals and organizations on terrorist financing lists into its banking system.


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