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These attacks frequently included beheadings and kidnappings. The law adds articles to the penal code that provides for the punishment of anyone committing, planning, or participating in terrorist acts, as well as for those who provide or receive training for terrorist purposes. It also stipulates punishment for individuals who travel or attempt to travel to join a terrorist organization, as well as those who facilitate such travel. An ongoing counterterrorism trial of more than defendants — held in an improvised court in Cabo Delgado and closed to the media — is seen as the first test of the new law.
Many of these defendants were later acquitted. Mozambique lacks a counterterrorism strategy or national action plan, and as a result, the response to terrorist threats has been primarily focused on security and ad hoc. The government reports that in its operations in Cabo Delgado, military units and elements of the national police coordinate through a joint headquarters that de-conflicts government interventions and facilitates the transfer of detainees to police control.
A more formalized working group is in development, which would provide more consistent and comprehensive information sharing. Mozambique identified border security as a significant challenge, including the need to enhance security screening at official land border posts, particularly with Tanzania, to increase its ability to deter illegal overland or maritime entry through unofficial border-crossing points. Weak border controls facilitate the entry into Mozambique of East African individuals linked to terrorist organizations, laying the groundwork for the current insurgency.
In , the International Organization for Migration provided assistance and capacity building in integrated border management at key air and land border points in the southern region of the country. Through ARINSA, Mozambique affords its investigators and prosecutors the opportunity to share information with other members to identify, track, and potentially seize criminal assets.
Mozambique is focused on the problem — specifically in Cabo Delgado — and is developing a multi-sectoral approach to address the drivers of terrorist radicalization. The security situation and remote location of Cabo Delgado presents challenges in interagency cooperation, communications, intelligence, and general capacity.
Civil society and religious organizations are planning several programs to assist in identifying and addressing the drivers of terrorist radicalization through research and capacity-building activities that will begin after Mozambique is developing a relationship with the Intergovernmental Authority of Development and has security cooperation memoranda of understanding with Malawi, South Africa, Tanzania, and Uganda. Mozambique is reportedly coordinating its counterterrorism operations with Tanzanian counterparts in some cases.
Overview: The Government of Niger cooperated with its neighbors and international partners on counterterrorism. Terrorist organizations recruited from border populations with low access to government services and high levels of poverty. Attacks targeted security forces and civilians.
In the west, near the Burkina Faso border, the frequency and intensity of attacks increased and terrorists employed new tactics including the use of IEDs. Terrorist incidents in included the following:. Global Security Contingency Fund, an interagency program between the U. Departments of Defense, Justice, and State.
Nigerien law enforcement and security services were actively engaged in detecting, deterring, and preventing acts of terrorism. Niger continued to use rudimentary terrorism watchlists that it shared with the security services and at border checkpoints. Niger continued its efforts to disrupt terrorist activities by arresting and prosecuting terrorist suspects.
Since , more than of an estimated 1, BH-related detainees have moved through trial processes. Niger continued a U. Niger was one of six African countries participating in the Security Governance Initiative to strengthen coordination among its military and law enforcement services. Niger had adequate aviation security measures in place and hosted an ICAO meeting in July, although it did not take additional explicit steps to respond to UNSCR on aviation security.
Local leaders in the Diffa and Tillaberi regions initiated disarmament, demobilization, and reintegration efforts supported by the MOI and the High Authority for the Consolidation of the Peace. Niger hosted the presidency of the G-5 Sahel for one year, starting in February In late , Niger, Burkina Faso, Benin, and Mali began developing a regional counterterrorism strategy to police nature reserves and ungoverned spaces.
Niger also participates in the Sahel Judicial Platform. BH attacks did not appear to discriminate between civilians and government officials, whereas ISIS-WA tended to generally focus on government and security forces, while trying to cultivate stronger ties with local communities, including by providing limited social services. Human rights groups documented numerous allegations of human rights violations by Nigerian security forces during counterterrorism operations.
To date, terrorist actions by BH and ISIS-WA have contributed to the internal displacement of nearly two million persons in the states of Adamawa, Borno, and Yobe, and the external displacement of more than , Nigerian refugees to neighboring countries, principally Cameroon, Chad, and Niger. The following list details only a fraction of the incidents that occurred:.
Three rounds of hearings reportedly resulted in convictions for terrorism-related offenses. Four hundred twenty-one suspects were relocated to Abuja to await trial, and cases were dismissed because the government had insufficient evidence to bring charges, however, the individuals reportedly remained in detention. Suspects awaiting trial in Abuja were largely those who pleaded not guilty. Two individuals, Haruna Yahaya and Banzana Yusuf, were convicted and jailed for involvement in the Chibok kidnapping; Yahaya was convicted in February and sentenced to 15 years, while Yusuf was convicted in July and sentenced to 20 years.
In December, police reported arresting Umar Abdulmalik in connection with a bombing that killed 15 people in Abuja. Police said Abdulmalik confessed to carrying out several crimes including the bombing. Human rights groups alleged that terrorist suspects detained by the military were denied their rights to legal representation, due process, and to be heard by a judicial authority.
Coordination among agencies was limited. The Nigerian government continued to participate in U. The Nigerian government actively cooperated with the United States and other international partners to prevent further acts of terrorism in Nigeria, and to assist with counterterrorism investigations, including disruptions, information sharing, and interviews.
In December, Nigerian authorities in Abuja participated in a crisis response exercise with the United Kingdom focused on responding to an active shooter or terrorist attack. Nigeria is also a member of the Security Governance Initiative, a joint endeavor between the United States and six African partners that offers a comprehensive approach to improving security sector governance and capacity to address threats.
Overview: Although there were no reported terrorist attacks in Senegal in , the Government of Senegal considers itself a likely potential target given ongoing terrorist activities in West Africa. In light of these concerns, Senegal worked closely with U. The risk of terrorist activity in Senegal arises from external and internal factors. Externally, the prevalence of multiple active terrorist groups in neighboring Mali risks spilling across the border into Senegal and threatening stability. Internally, the promotion of extremist ideologies by a small number of religious leaders constituted the chief concern; however, these ideologies remain outside the Islamic norms that predominate in Senegal.
In , the Superior Court of Dakar adjudicated and published comprehensive decisions on four terrorism cases, including the defendant trial involving popular religious leader Alioune Ndao. Evidence suggested that all four cases resulted from exploitation of intelligence and involved relatively sophisticated investigative techniques and considerable domestic and regional cooperation.
The cases demonstrate that Senegal takes seriously its small terrorism docket. The near 50 percent acquittal rate also provides a roadmap for U. Challenges remain to effective interagency cooperation and information sharing between the various governmental bodies that have counterterrorism functions in the country.
Development of the CICO is leading to improvements in these areas. The facility provides a base for U. Additionally, Senegal continued to work with the International Organization for Migration to promote cooperation and coordination between border agencies. Senegalese officials identified a continued lack of border resources and regional cooperation as security vulnerabilities. These vulnerabilities were exacerbated by the absence of systems to verify travel document security, the effective use of terrorist screening watchlists, and the capabilities of biographic and biometric screening collection beyond that deployed at major ports of entry.
The new law increases the independence of CENTIF, heightens scrutiny of bulk cash transactions and virtual banks, and expands terrorist finance investigations to include preparatory acts such as attempt and conspiracy. The president has not yet signed a decree implementing the new law.
However, the group still maintained influence over large portions of the country. Al-Shabaab retained the ability to carry out high-profile attacks using VBIEDs, suicide bombings, mortars, and small arms. ISIS-Somalia, located primarily in Puntland, expanded activities, establishing influence in Mogadishu with an intimidation and extortion campaign while declaring war on al-Shabaab.
Despite military pressure and law enforcement actions to disrupt plots some leading to prosecutions and convictions , Somalia remained a terrorist safe haven. Terrorists used their relative freedom of movement to obtain resources, recruit fighters, and plan and mount operations within Somalia and in neighboring countries, mainly in Kenya. Al-Shabaab launched multiple, often coordinated attacks, on a regular basis throughout the country, using suicide bombers, VBIEDs, ambush-style raids, targeted killings, and mortar attacks, and continued to use its tactic of amassing fighters to overrun AMISOM or SNA bases, allowing the group to capture weapons, ammunition, uniforms, and other equipment to replenish its supplies.
Most countries do not recognize Somali identity documents, leaving Somalia with few options for travel document verification and regional partners unable to properly screen Somali travelers. MIDAS provides biographic and biometric screening capabilities, but procedural and network connectivity deficiencies limited its effectiveness.
Following the presidential election, the FGS announced its intent to offer amnesty to any al-Shabaab members willing to denounce terrorism and support the FGS. A donor-supported effort to reintegrate former al-Shabaab combatants continued, primarily through reintegration centers operating in Mogadishu, Kismayo, and Baidoa. In May, an attack on the only Shia mosque in the Durban area was reported to be sectarian in nature.
The suspects arrested and charged in this case and the incendiary devices were linked to ISIS by the prosecutor. In the weeks following the attack, several incendiary devices were detected in local shopping malls. Since publicly acknowledging the presence of ISIS facilitation networks and cells in , the South African government has not provided public estimates of the number of South African nationals who have migrated or returned from ISIS-controlled territories. However, prominent think tanks and analysts in South Africa estimate that around individuals migrated to ISIS-controlled parts of Syria or Iraq between early and late , with the majority subsequently returning to South Africa or perishing on the battlefield.
The National Prosecuting Authority is committed to prosecuting cases of terrorism and international crime. The Department of Justice submitted a Cybercrimes Bill to Parliament in , aimed at halting the spread of malicious communications over the internet. The bill is still under parliamentary procedure. Embassy and Jewish institutions in South Africa, was postponed several times in The Thulsies were designated as terrorists by the United States in Charges against seven suspects were later withdrawn.
The remaining suspects are being charged with murder, attempted murder, offenses relating to explosive or other lethal devices, arson, extortion, possession of explosives, kidnapping, unlawful possession of a firearm, and possession of unlicensed ammunition. State prosecution linked the assailants to ISIS, and provided supportive affidavits tying the group to terrorist activity.
On November 27, the magistrate approved the leave applications for the remaining 11 incarcerated suspects, releasing them on bail. Border security is challenging in South Africa because of its numerous land, sea, and air ports of entry for international travelers. South Africa has multiple law enforcement agencies policing its borders, but they often operate within information silos and inadequate communication limits their border control ability.
Counterterrorism measures at international airports include screening with advanced technology X-ray machines, but land borders do not have advanced technology and infrastructure. Trafficking networks made use of these land borders for many forms of illicit smuggling. Regulation of visa, passport, and identity documents remained a challenge within South Africa. The SAPS internal affairs office investigated allegations of corruption within the Department of Home Affairs concerning the illicit sale of passports and identity documents, but the use of illegitimately obtained identity documents continued.
The strategy is supported by an implementation plan, as well as timeframes for implementation, assessment, and reassessment, and is updated annually by the South African interagency. Overview: The Government of Tanzania cooperates with the United States and regional partners on select security and counterterrorism initiatives. The proliferation of suspected terrorist attacks in northern Mozambique, some of which allegedly included Tanzanian perpetrators, led to increased cross-border security cooperation and the arrest of more than Tanzanian nationals suspected of involvement in terrorism.
Heavy-handed efforts by the government to deter attacks in Tanzania, particularly in the south, have led to concerns about excessive use of force, denial of due process, and possible movement of alleged instigators to border regions. Risks of attacks in Tanzania remain high, exacerbated by possible cooperation among terrorists in the Democratic Republic of the Congo DRC , Mozambique, and elsewhere in the region who seek to take advantage of lightly governed spaces and porous borders, including the return of trained and radicalized Tanzanian terrorists.
The United States provided counterterrorism assistance to Tanzanian judicial officials through the U. Tanzania codified security coordination with Mozambique in January , signing a Memorandum of Understanding to increase joint efforts to combat terrorism, drug trafficking, and money laundering.
More than 50 Tanzanians were arrested in Mozambique in late and are currently on trial there. In October , Tanzanian authorities announced the arrest of more than Tanzanian nationals in southern Tanzania for alleged involvement with terrorist organizations in Mozambique. Security officials aggressively sought out terrorist actors, reportedly jailing numerous individuals and denying rights to due process. The Department of State provides assistance to police through the Antiterrorism Assistance program, which focused on building law enforcement capacity to reduce terrorism threats along strategic land borders, particularly in the Tanga region.
NCTC has participated in capacity-building efforts and cooperation with international regional partners. While the primary purpose of the restrictions appears to be reduction of tax evasion, the measures will also make it easier to trace transactions, including those associated with money laundering. With support from UNDP, the government worked in to draft a national preventing violent extremism strategy and action plan, which is expected to be finalized in CVE concepts are not well recognized among Tanzanian officials, particularly at the regional and district government levels, inhibiting progress to implement certain measures.
The Tanzanian government benefited from training provided by bilateral and multilateral donors to enhance counterterrorism-related security units. Overview: The Government of Uganda continued to make important contributions toward countering terrorism in East Africa and the Horn of Africa in Members of various East Africa-based terrorist groups are believed to use established smuggling routes throughout Uganda as a transit points to their final destinations.
However, the Uganda government has demonstrated strong political will to apprehend suspected terrorists and disrupt terrorist activity in its territory. Legislation, Law Enforcement, and Border Security: Uganda made no significant changes to its counterterrorism legal framework in In November , the Ugandan court system acquitted six of the suspects because prosecutors failed to provide sufficient evidence.
However, following their release, security forces immediately rearrested the acquitted suspects. The court moved forward with charges against two other alleged terrorists, who remain in police custody. The Uganda Police Force UPF Directorate of Counterterrorism is the lead law enforcement entity charged with investigating, disrupting, and responding to terrorist incidents.
Interagency coordination among Ugandan security and intelligence organizations also remained a significant challenge. The Department of State provides assistance to the UPF through the Antiterrorism Assistance program, which focused on building law enforcement capacity to reduce terrorism threats. Border security remained a persistent concern for the Ugandan government, with especially porous borders between Uganda and both South Sudan and the DRC.
Uganda used the U. In November, Ugandan security officials met with their DRC counterparts to discuss ways to better coordinate and address the security threat posed by the ADF. Although Uganda made significant progress on legislation to govern illicit terrorism financing in , these authorities were reportedly not used to prosecute suspects in However, the government has not socialized the draft with security partners, and there is no timeline for its release.
Senior-level regional leaders agreed to meet subsequently to discuss these issues in more detail. In , governments in East Asia and the Pacific continued to work to strengthen legal frameworks, investigate, and prosecute terrorism cases, increase regional cooperation and information sharing, and address critical border and aviation security gaps. Regional cooperation between domestic law enforcement and judicial authorities among countries throughout Southeast Asia resulted in high numbers of terrorism-related arrests and, in many cases, successful prosecutions.
The region was shocked by the May attack in Surabaya, Indonesia, when entire families, including women and children, committed suicide bombings against security forces and churches. Southeast Asian governments remained concerned about FTFs returning from Iraq or Syria and using their operational skills, connections, and experience to launch attacks. East Asian countries actively participated in regional and international efforts to counter terrorism. Using counterterrorism as a pretext, the Chinese Communist Party arbitrarily detained more than one million Uighurs, ethnic Kazakhs, and other members of Muslim minority groups in camps in the Xinjiang Uighur Autonomous Region.
Overview: In , Australia strengthened counterterrorism laws, investigated and disrupted suspected terrorist plots, and maintained high levels of cooperation with the United States and other international partners. Australia focused on counterterrorism threats in Southeast Asia through capacity-building programs that thwart terrorist travel; effectively manage incarcerated terrorists; stabilize the southern Philippines, including Marawi City; and counter the financing of terrorism.
Other chief concerns included FTFs returning to Australia and the role of social media in inspiring terrorist radicalization. Australian security agencies estimate that about Australian citizens have traveled to Iraq and Syria since The government estimates that approximately remain in conflict areas, 40 have returned to Australia, and between 90 and 94 Australian FTFs have died in the conflict zone.
Australian officials are aware of approximately 70 children who traveled with their parents to ISIS-controlled areas or were born in such areas. Since , state and territory governments have analyzed how best to balance the security risks returnees might pose with the humanitarian need to reintegrate them back into Australian society and provide needed support. In , the United States worked closely with Australia to identify and develop new capabilities that meet a wide variety of requirements for countering terrorist threats.
Through a cost-sharing bilateral relationship, both countries advanced their technical ability to defeat or mitigate the evolving capabilities of terrorists and criminal organizations. In February, a Bangladeshi woman traveling on a student visa stabbed and injured her landlord. In November, a Somalia-born man stabbed three pedestrians, killing one, before he was fatally shot by police.
While ISIS claimed responsibility, police called it a lone-offender terror attack. The attacker was known to Australian intelligence and law enforcement for his radical views and family and social ties to other terrorists. Legislation, Law Enforcement, and Border Security: Australia continued to apply its comprehensive counterterrorism legislation against domestic threats and passed additional legislation to strengthen national security protections.
In May, the Australian Parliament passed legislation to finalize implementation of its new Department of Home Affairs, a process that began in July The new department combines federal law enforcement, national and transportation security, criminal justice, emergency management, multicultural affairs, and immigration- and border-related functions from various agencies.
In November , Prime Minister Scott Morrison announced Australia would further amend the Australian Citizenship Act of to lower the threshold requirements for dual citizens convicted of terrorism offenses to lose their Australian citizenship. Since , an estimated Australian passports have been canceled in relation to the Iraq and Syria conflict, including reviews of respective domestic procedures for releasing data about watchlisted individuals in order to promote the relevant and timely disclosure of actionable information.
Department of Homeland Security and the Australian Department of Home Affairs also made progress with operational plans for a limited Global Entry pilot and an international expedited traveler initiative. Australia remained a regional and global leader in countering terrorist financing.
Australia cooperated closely with the United States on terrorist designations and implemented its obligations to restrict terrorism financing, including funding to terrorist groups operating in Syria and Iraq, as well as freezing assets.
Countering Violent Extremism: The Department of Home Affairs, the lead coordinator for national CVE efforts, remained focused on four overlapping streams that emphasize diversity and social participation, target work with vulnerable communities and institutions, address online terrorist propaganda, and assist diversion and de-radicalization.
In February, the co-chairs organized a workshop on monitoring, measuring, and evaluating CVE programs. In October, the co-chairs organized a workshop on CVE in prisons. Finally, in December, the CVE Working Group held its annual plenary session in Melbourne and a workshop exploring issues of gender and extremism that included government and civil society actors from across Southeast Asia.
At the eighth Trilateral Strategic Dialogue, which convened in August, Australia pledged to cooperate with the United States and Japan to counter the terrorism financing, combat the flow of FTFs, and increase cooperation in the Indo-Pacific. In March, Australia signed a Memorandum of Understanding with ASEAN outlining cooperation on counterterrorism, including law enforcement cooperation, capacity building, and technical assistance.
More than two million others have been subjected to political indoctrination in daytime facilities. China also developed new legal guidelines and law enforcement tools to justify and improve its capabilities to carry out this repressive campaign, which included pervasive, arbitrary, high-tech surveillance; the collection of personal data, including DNA samples; compulsory stays by Chinese government officials in Uighur homes; and controls on the expression of cultural or religious observations.
China also impeded U. In addition, Chinese officials provided few responses to requests from U. Chinese citizens abroad were targeted in terrorism-related incidents in The Baloch Liberation Army claimed responsibility for a string of attacks in Pakistan linked to the Chinese Pakistan Economic Corridor and its infrastructure.
In August, a suicide bomber targeted a bus carrying Chinese engineers in Balochistan province. In November, Balochistan separatists attacked the Chinese consulate in Karachi and killed four Pakistani citizens. The guidelines clarified that wearing clothes or symbols that advocate terrorism or extremism, and individuals who write, publish, broadcast, or advocate terrorism-related content online are criminally liable. Satellite imagery analysis, eyewitness accounts, and human rights groups document the use of razor wire, guard towers, and single points of egress consistent with imprisonment.
Previous rules made no reference to vocational centers and the change retroactively provided legal cover for the mass detention of Uighurs and other minorities in the XUAR that began in The Chinese government continued to leverage its domestic technology sector to bolster its surveillance capabilities.
Police continued to deepen use of closed-circuit television camera networks paired with facial recognition, iris scanning, and other technologies to track, discover, or predict threats to public safety across the country and most extensively in the XUAR. Although such technology has been used to catch criminal actors, it is also used to monitor and control domestic dissidents and ethnic and religious minorities.
Based on current law enforcement investigations, the United States is concerned that China does not adequately control terrorist financing. Chinese law enforcement claims to have limited ability to freeze funds and investigate banking transactions.
Additional concerns include a lack of guidance for designated non-financial businesses and professions, underdeveloped procedures for individuals and groups who seek to be delisted from domestic sanctions, and inadequate regulations defining the rights of bona fide third parties in seizure and confiscation actions.
Uighurs, Kazakhs, and other Muslims are reportedly forced to learn Chinese, recite slogans in praise of the CCP, and renounce their culture and religion. Regional and International Cooperation: China continued to promote the UN as the primary international forum for counterterrorism while increasing its engagement in other multilateral, regional, and bilateral fora. China continued to participate in the Quadrilateral Cooperation and Coordination Mechanism for Counter Terrorism, along with Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Tajikistan and sought to present itself as a global leader on counterterrorism.
In August, China and other SCO member states conducted a joint counterterrorism military exercise in Russia that included more than 3, participating troops. Beijing also pursued bilateral counterterrorism cooperation with Afghanistan, India, and Pakistan, including agreeing to support the development of an Afghan mountain brigade that would combat terrorists in eastern Afghanistan. The Police Counterterrorism Response Unit provides a strong deterrent presence.
It assists police districts with counterterrorism strategy implementation and complements the tactical and professional support of existing police specialist units, such as the Explosive Ordnance Disposal Bureau, the Special Duties Unit, the Airport Security Unit, and the VIP Protection Unit. In April, the Hong Kong government stood up the Inter-departmental Counterterrorism Unit to strengthen overall counterterrorism efforts by monitoring global trends, reviewing and improving counterterrorism strategies in Hong Kong, developing specialized counterterrorism training, and optimizing emergency response plans.
Terrorist financing is a criminal offense in Hong Kong, and financial institutions are required to search continuously for terrorist financing networks. In March, Hong Kong operationalized two laws to strengthen its ability to counter terrorism financing. The first law placed customer due diligence and record-keeping requirements on numerous designated non-financial businesses and professions, including trust company and service providers TCSPs.
Hong Kong law enforcement officers attended U. The Police Intervention Tactical Unit UTIP , which falls under the Macau Public Security Police Force, is responsible for protecting important installations and dignitaries and conducting high-risk missions, such as improvised explosive device deactivation. In response to FATF recommendations, Macau established a declaration and disclosure system to detect cross-boundary movement of large quantities of currency and bearer negotiable instruments.
Macau has not yet brought criminal charges on offenders based on two laws that went into effect in May that widened the scope of identifiable criminal offenses and strengthened customer due diligence measures.
Terrorist financing is a criminal offense in Macau. Filing suspicious transactions reports irrespective of transaction amounts is obligatory. Overview: Indonesia applied sustained pressure to detect, disrupt, and degrade terrorist groups operating within its borders and deny them safe haven.
In September , the United States and Indonesia signed a Memorandum of Understanding MOU to strengthen and expand cooperation on counterterrorism, to include the exchange of information on known and suspected terrorists. From May , a JAD cell consisting of three families, including children, committed a series of coordinated suicide bombings in Surabaya targeting three churches and Surabaya Police Headquarters.
The bombings resulted in 25 fatalities, including 13 attackers, and 57 injured persons. One terrorist family accidentally detonated a bomb in their apartment before their planned attack, killing two bombers and wounding three others. The Surabaya bombings marked the first time entire families, including children, committed suicide bombings in Indonesia.
Legislation, Law Enforcement, and Border Security: In May, lawmakers passed an amendment to the Law on Combating Criminal Acts of Terrorism, which strengthened and expanded existing counterterrorism provisions. The amendment criminalizes extraterritorial fighting, preparatory acts, and material support for terrorism, and extends the detention period to gather evidence and build a case. The amendment also states that the Indonesian military will have a role in counterterrorism operations that should be clarified in a presidential regulation by May It mandated the Indonesian National Counterterrorism Agency BNPT to formulate national counterterrorism policy, coordinate counterterrorism-related law enforcement, and implement national awareness of counterterrorism strategies and de-radicalization campaigns.
Indonesian law enforcement agencies were increasingly able to detect, deter, and prevent terrorist attacks. Terrorism prosecutions usually resulted in convictions. On June 22, an Indonesian court sentenced JAD figure Aman Abdurrahman to death for inciting others to commit at least five terrorist attacks in Indonesia, including the Thamrin attacks and the Kampung Melayu bombing. Prison sentences tended to be short, with some exceptions. Corrections officials took steps to improve terrorist prisoner management.
A drastic increase in the numbers of arrests and convictions has created additional pressure on overcrowded prisons. From May to December, police arrested more than terrorist suspects and convicted Trials for all terrorist suspects take place in Jakarta district courts, regardless of where in Indonesia the act of terrorism occurred. Border security remained a challenge. The Customs and Excise Directorate General, which collects API and PNR data to screen travelers, continued to struggle with passenger targeting, analysis, management systems, and high-level management turnover.
Police maintained a watchlist of suspected terrorists, but lines of communication and coordination among stakeholder agencies were not always clear. Indonesia has prosecuted and convicted individuals for financing terrorism. BNPT also managed de-radicalization programs for terrorist convicts. Indonesians deported from third countries for attempted travel to Iraq and Syria were enrolled in a one-month de-radicalization program at a rehabilitation shelter operated by the Ministry of Social Affairs in Bambu Apus, East Jakarta.
BNPT used former terrorists for CVE outreach campaigns and helped establish religious boarding schools for children of former terrorists, to prevent their radicalization. In February, the GCTF CVE Working Group co-chairs organized a workshop on theoretical frameworks, dimensions, and considerations in designing and implementing national monitoring, measuring, and evaluation frameworks and practices.
They also convened their annual plenary meeting as well as a workshop in December exploring gender and CVE issues that included government and civil society actors from across Southeast Asia. Indonesia continued to use the Jakarta Centre for Law Enforcement Cooperation as a regional training center. Malaysia monitored, arrested, deported, and tried suspected supporters of terrorist groups.
Malaysia also cooperated with the United States and others to increase border security capacity at airports and in the Sulu Sea, to counter terrorist messaging on social media, and to improve terrorist prosecutions. The national elections in May resulted in the first transition of power since independence, and the new government pledged to review and potentially amend or repeal several pieces of legislation that govern how terrorist suspects are arrested, investigated, and detained.
On September 20, two members of a kidnapping-for-ransom group, believed to be spotters for kidnapping activities, were killed in a shootout with Malaysian security forces on an island near the town of Kunak in Sabah state. On December 5, three Malaysian crewmembers were kidnapped from a tugboat in Malaysian waters near Pegasus Reef, off the coast of Kinabatangan in Sabah state, and taken to the Philippines.
During the kidnapping, the captain of the vessel was shot in the leg. Legislation, Law Enforcement, and Border Security: On November 30, the government lifted a moratorium it had recently imposed on several security laws, including those governing how terror suspects are arrested, investigated, and detained.
During the year, police arrested approximately 20 individuals in Sabah state who were allegedly involved in various terrorism-related activities, including smuggling militants into the southern Philippines, enabling kidnapping-for-ransom operations, recruiting children as militants and human shields, and participation in ASG-led beheadings.
The directive aims to ensure that effective measures are in place against money laundering and terrorism financing risks associated with the use of digital currencies and to increase the transparency of digital currency activities in Malaysia. It requires all entities and persons who are involved in the exchange of digital currencies into money and vice versa, as well as the exchange of one digital currency for another, to register with BNM.
Lastly, the new law establishes requirements for suspicious transaction reporting and record keeping. Countering Violent Extremism: In August , the new government announced that the King Salman Center for International Peace, a former partnership with the Government of Saudi Arabia, would immediately cease operations and its functions would be absorbed by the Malaysian Institute for Defense and Security.
The Global Movement of Moderates, an initiative started under the previous prime minister, announced it would cease operations as of July Overview: Since defeating groups affiliated with ISIS at the siege of Marawi in , the Philippine government has closely tracked terrorist groups that continue to operate in some areas, particularly in the southern Philippines. In , the government further deepened close counterterrorism cooperation with the United States, enhancing military and law enforcement efforts to address the full spectrum of terrorist threats.
The Philippine government acknowledged threats from terrorist groups affiliated with ISIS and welcomed assistance from the United States and other international partners. Groups affiliated with ISIS-Philippines attempted to recover from losses sustained in the Marawi siege, recruiting and training new members and staging attacks with IEDs and small arms, and targeting security forces and civilians.
Government counterterrorism operations thwarted these attempts to occupy territory in the Philippines. Overall, terrorist incidents declined compared with The government linked the attack, which killed 10 people, to the ASG. The ASG continued terrorist activities in the Sulu Archipelago, though defections from the group increased and Philippine media observed that the tempo of kidnapping-for-ransom operations declined.
In , the Government of the Philippines proposed amendments that would strengthen the HSA by covering preparatory acts and reducing administrative hurdles to terrorism prosecutions. These amendments were pending in Congress at the end of The government stepped up law enforcement and judicial responses to terrorism, detaining terrorism suspects, disrupting plots, continuing terrorism-related investigations and prosecutions, and securing the first trial conviction for terrorism charges under the HSA.
A Philippine court granted a U. Embassy in Manila in November The Bureau of Immigration BI used deportation and exclusion against foreign nationals suspected of terrorist links. Interagency information sharing further improved among Philippine law enforcement units and with international partners.
The Philippines continues its efforts to increase aviation security capacity by procuring of advance screening technologies, additional training, strengthening oversight programs, information sharing, and closer collaboration with foreign partners. However, despite ongoing efforts by the United States and other international partners to meet international standards for security requirements at airports, the Manila International Airport continued to fail assessments. Transportation Security Administration issued a public notice in December alerting travelers of the deficiencies.
The Philippines continued efforts to bring its banking controls up to international standards following a National Risk Assessment that identified key terrorism finance vulnerabilities. The Joint Terrorist Financing Investigation Group continued to work with the United States to investigate suspected terrorist finance cases.
Various government agencies developed and implemented CVE training for security forces and civil servants. Local governments, civil society, and the private sector partnered to mitigate conflicts, build social cohesion, expand opportunities for youth, and address other drivers of terrorist radicalization. The government also supported strategic communications efforts to counter terrorist messaging, using AFP-supported media to highlight a May declaration against terrorism by a group of Philippine imams.
International and Regional Cooperation: The Philippine navy continued joint patrols with its Indonesian and Malaysian counterparts under a June trilateral arrangement to combat piracy, terrorism, and the illegal drug trade. This strategy includes vigilant security measures, regional and international law enforcement cooperation, counter-radicalization efforts, and a campaign to prepare the populace for possible attacks.
Singapore was a committed, active, and effective counterterrorism partner in Counterterrorism remained a pillar of the non-defense security relationship between Singaporean and U. The levels of cooperation in recent years on counterterrorism efforts and expanded information sharing continued in Singapore has been a member of the Global Coalition to Defeat ISIS since , expanding its support in to also include medical teams and a counterterrorism-training unit in ISA cases are subject to review by the courts to ensure strict compliance with procedural requirements under the act.
The SGSecure smartphone app broadcasts official alerts during major emergencies and enables users to report incidents and request help from authorities. The ICPVTR conducts research, training, and outreach programs aimed at understanding the causes of radicalization and formulating practical rehabilitation programs. The government believes in building regional CVE capacity and highlighted opportunities for constructive engagement for those concerned with the conflict in Syria and Iraq, such as promoting legitimate charities that work to ease suffering in conflict zones.
The Islamic Religious Council of Singapore MUIS , the Islamic authority in charge of Muslim affairs, maintains a Facebook presence and holds outreach and educational events to counter terrorist propaganda and recruitment efforts. In , the RRG launched a smart phone app designed to counter extremist narratives by providing users with opportunities to ask questions and have conversations with RRG imams and counselors.
The number of terrorist incidents in the Deep South the southernmost provinces of Narathiwat, Pattani, parts of Songkhla, and Yala in was the lowest since the conflict reignited in Although Thai security officials remain concerned about the potential for ISIS to infiltrate domestic insurgent groups, Thai security officials have maintained that there is no evidence to date of any operational linkages between these domestic groups and international terrorism networks.
Thailand remained a productive counterterrorism partner, though the Thai government continues to focus on domestic political challenges as its primary security priority. Legislation, Law Enforcement, and Border Security: Thailand is drafting a new Counterterrorism Act, which aims to integrate existing terrorism-related laws into one document. The National Legislative Assembly had not yet passed the bill at the end of Thailand continues to apply the National Counterterrorism Strategy to prevent and respond to terrorist attacks, but details of the strategy are not public.
Multiple entities — including the Royal Thai Police, the Department of Special Investigation and components of the Thai military — have law enforcement responsibilities on counterterrorism cases. Interagency cooperation and coordination was sporadic, information sharing was limited, and the delineation of duties between law enforcement and military units with counterterrorism responsibilities was unclear.
Annual routine reassignments of senior government and military officials hampered continuity in leadership. The Thai government engaged in programs with establishments such as hotels, schools, and shopping centers to raise awareness on soft target protection and conducted activities to enhance the capacity of security officials to prevent and respond to terrorist attacks.
In September, a Thai court sentenced nine men from the Deep South to four to six years in jail for conspiring to launch car-bomb attacks in the Bangkok region in The market in fraudulent documents remained active despite government efforts to crack down on criminal counterfeit networks.
Although neither incident was terrorism-related, these incidents revealed security deficiencies at Suvarnabhumi International Airport. Throughout , Thai law enforcement units benefitted from U. Bilaterally, Thai law enforcement received U. Thailand hosted and participated in courses offered at the International Law Enforcement Academy in Bangkok, which included relevant training on financial investigations, cyber investigations, tactical safety, personnel and physical security, radiological material detection, post-blast investigations, and border interdictions.
The Thai government generally does not regard counterterrorism or CVE efforts as high priorities in comparison with competing domestic concerns. Thailand does not have a significant unregulated informal banking and money transfer system that could aid terrorism financing activities. In cases where the central bank Bank of Thailand has discovered unauthorized remittances, it has coordinated with police to arrest the offenders.
Through AMLO, Thailand has promptly issued designation orders each time the UN changed the list of designated persons or entities pursuant to UNSCRs , , and , passed the updates to all relevant agencies through the electronic gateway through secure email, and published an updated consolidation of all designations on the AMLO website. Thailand displays a generally high level of political commitment to combating terrorist financing and demonstrates generally good compliance.
In , 12 terrorism financing cases were under investigation, and one case was prosecuted. Thailand is currently drafting a CVE national action plan. Europe continued to face a number of ongoing terrorist threats and concerns in , including from foreign terrorist organizations, FTFs returning from Iraq and Syria, homegrown terrorists, and Iran-backed terrorists. Despite the loss of its geographic territory, ISIS continued to project its influence by fomenting attacks against European symbolic targets and public spaces.
The majority of these incidents occurred in Western Europe and Russia and involved simple plots with easily executable tactics, such as the use of common tools and vehicles to injure or kill pedestrians. The United States urged European countries to bring back their citizens and prosecute them for their crimes. However, European leaders generally refused to repatriate and prosecute their citizens.
Many European countries also saw a rise in racially, ethnically, ideologically, or politically motivated terrorist activity and plotting, including against religious and other minorities. Several European countries took concrete steps to combat Iranian regime-backed terrorism in Albania, Denmark, and France all reduced diplomatic relations in response to Iran-backed plots to conduct assassinations or bombings in each country.
Numerous European nations continued to participate in the U. The LECG met twice in European countries were integral to worldwide counterterrorism efforts in Overview: Albania continued its strong support of international counterterrorism efforts in and its participation in the Global Coalition to Defeat ISIS.
In December, Albania expelled two Iranian officials, including the Iranian Ambassador to Albania, in response to an Iran-sponsored plot to carry out a terrorist attack in Albania. Legislation, Law Enforcement, and Border Security: Albania criminalizes terrorist acts, financing of terrorism, conducting transactions with persons on UN sanctions lists, recruiting and training people to commit terrorist acts, incitement of terrorist acts, and establishing, leading, and participating in terrorist organizations.
Albanian law enforcement increased efforts to counter potential terrorist threats. Despite a scarcity of resources, the CTU also participated in several successful interdictions of known or suspected terrorists. The Albanian government has developed, in conjunction with international partners, contingency plans and capabilities to prevent and respond to terrorist attacks against soft targets.
As of December , the vetting commission and the international monitoring operation had dismissed 30 judges, confirmed 31 new judges, and noted 16 judicial resignations that preempted the vetting process. Countering Violent Extremism: The Government of Albania established its National CVE Center in January , which is active in coordinating CVE programming among international donors and seeks to ensure all ministries cooperate effectively and avoid duplication of effort.
Albanian criminal justice actors participated regularly in various regional associations, conferences, and other counterterrorism information-sharing exchanges. Overview: U. The BVT estimated the number of Austrian FTFs fighting in Syria and Iraq, or wanting to travel to the conflict zone for terrorist purposes, at between and During this period, authorities prevented 59 persons, including 22 women, from leaving the country to travel to conflict zones.
Fifty men who had traveled from Austria to Syria and Iraq are presumed dead. The BVT monitors an estimated 94 persons who returned to Austria, and officials estimate an additional could still return. Overall, the BVT noted that terrorist mobilization substantially declined after Throughout , the Ministries of Interior, Justice, and Foreign Affairs increased efforts to counter radicalization to violence and to address the problem of FTFs.
Law enforcement agencies focused on intelligence gathering and investigations, as well as sharing information with international partners. Legislation, Law Enforcement, and Border Security: Austria has an extensive legal structure to counter terrorism. Relevant statutes criminalize training in terrorist camps abroad and allow wiretapping of individual suspects or small groups with the permission of an independent judge or ombudsman.
Austrian law enforcement and BVT officials routinely cooperated with U. Border security forces made effective use of security measures, including biographic and biometric screening capabilities at ports of entry and information sharing internally and with other EU countries. Border security officials at ports of entry have discretion when determining which documents and passengers will be subject to screening on arrival.
Austria extended the implementation of its temporary border checks with its Schengen neighbor countries and continued to deploy more than soldiers at its eastern borders.
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