Country Reports on Terrorism 2008 - Botswana

Terrorists could use Botswana as a transit point due to its porous borders, as evidenced by a 2006 report of organized smuggling of immigrants from Bangladesh and Pakistan, the large number of illegal Zimbabwean immigrants living in Botswana, and a 2007 report that suspected Islamic militant Haroon Rashid Aswad resided in Botswana in 2005 prior to his arrest in Zambia.

Botswana is a member of the Southern Africa Development Community (SADC), whose Organ on Politics, Defense, and Security is responsible for its counterterrorism efforts. The Government of Botswana established a National Counterterrorism Committee to address issues pertaining to terrorism and weapons of mass destruction. In April, newly-inaugurated President Ian Khama established Botswana's first intelligence agency, which is responsible for both domestic and foreign intelligence gathering. The Botswana Defense Force designated a squadron as its counterterrorist unit and sent several officers to IMET-sponsored counterterrorism training.

Terrorist financing is not criminalized as a specific offense in Botswana. However, acts of terrorism and related offenses, such as aiding and abetting, can be prosecuted under the Penal Code and under the Arms and Ammunitions Act. The Bank of Botswana circulates to financial institutions the names of suspected terrorists and terrorist organizations listed on the UN 1267 Sanctions Committee's consolidated list, the list of Specially Designated Global Terrorists designated by the United States pursuant to E.O. 13224, and the EU list. This circulation, however, is done on more of a voluntary, informational basis than a legal one because, as a World Bank assessment of the Botswana government's anti-money laundering and countering terrorism financing legislation noted, Botswana does not have a legal framework to implement UNSCR 1267 and 1373. There is no legal basis to freeze assets based on UNSCR 1267 lists. There is neither a legal framework to freeze assets based on a domestic or foreign designation of terrorists or terrorist organizations in the framework of UNSCR 1373. Although there is no Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU), the Directorate on Corruption and Economic Crimes has a dedicated unit investing suspicious transactions.


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