During 2009, 29 Bulgarians attended U.S. government-sponsored counterterrorism training courses within the context of the Combating Terrorism Fellowship Program, administered by the Embassy's Office of Defense Cooperation. This training had courses in intelligence, security, operations, legal processes, and civilian-military cooperation. In July, 15 analysts from the Defense Information Service received a two-day seminar on terrorist network analysis and terrorist finance.

Bulgaria participated in the International Security Assistance Force in Afghanistan with approximately 470 service members. At U.S. request, Bulgaria added its first Operational Mentor and Liaison Team in February and agreed to add a second. On a yearly basis since 2004, Bulgaria has deployed a frigate in support of the Mediterranean Operation Active Endeavor (OAE). OAE's mission is to conduct maritime operations in the OAE area of operations to demonstrate NATO's resolve to help deter, defend, disrupt, and protect against terrorist activity.

In November, the new center-right government achieved a major success with the passage of two bills designed to overhaul the structure and operation of the Ministry of Interior and the agency responsible for counterterrorism, the State Agency for National Security (DANS). The two pieces of legislation eliminate duplication of effort and unclear responsibilities, making it easier for them to cooperate and share information. The DANS amendments explicitly restored the powers of the Financial Intelligence Directorate (FID) to conduct on-site inspections of banks and other financial institutions, and collect "bank secret" information for money laundering and terrorist financing cases. The FID remained vigilant against terrorist financing and continued to cooperate with the U.S. government on identifying and investigating terrorist assets. The FID reliably distributed lists of individuals and organizations linked to terrorism to all of the banks in Bulgaria, the Ministry of Interior, Customs, and the Border Police. The FID has been responsive to all mandated UNSCR-designated terrorist organizations, and has also been supportive and cooperative on U.S. government designated individuals and organizations. The FID has advised the banking sector to use the Department of Treasury Office of Foreign Assets Control OFAC website as a reliable information resource for individuals and organizations associated with terrorism. The FID continued to provide feedback, including information on the response level of Bulgaria's banks, to the U.S. Treasury Department's Financial Crimes Enforcement Network, as well as to the U.S. Embassy.


This is not a UNHCR publication. UNHCR is not responsible for, nor does it necessarily endorse, its content. Any views expressed are solely those of the author or publisher and do not necessarily reflect those of UNHCR, the United Nations or its Member States.