Country Reports on Terrorism 2008 - Liberia

Despite limited resources, inadequately trained personnel, and a weak judicial system, products of 14 years of civil war, the Government of Liberia demonstrated a willingness to cooperate with the United States and the international community to combat terrorism. Through rule of law and security sector reform assistance programs, the United States supported a number of initiatives that addressed Liberia's vulnerabilities, which included porous borders, rampant identification document fraud, lax immigration controls, wide-scale corruption, and underpaid law enforcement, security, and customs personnel.

There have never been any acts of transnational terrorism in Liberia. Of concern, however, were reports that during the Charles Taylor-era, hundreds of Middle Eastern businessmen purchased legitimately issued but fraudulently obtained Liberian diplomatic passports from Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) officials. These documents would permit free movement between the Middle East and West Africa. The government took steps to stop this practice by requiring that diplomatic passports be issued only by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Monrovia. New restrictions on who qualifies for Liberian diplomatic or official passports were implemented by the Foreign Ministry's passport office.

Liberia's indigenous, war-weary, and predominantly Sunni Muslim community, which represents between 15-20 percent of the country's population, has demonstrated no interest in religious extremism to date. That said, outstanding land disputes negatively affecting large numbers of Muslim land owners in Nimba and other counties could fan ethnic and religious tensions with the predominantly Christian central government.


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