Viewing cable 04VILNIUS1566

04VILNIUS15662004-12-27 14:19:00 2011-08-30 01:44:00 UNCLASSIFIED Embassy Vilnius
This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.
E.O. 12958: N/A 
REF: STATE 245841 
Parts of the following cable are sensitive but unclassified. 
Please handle accordingly. 
¶1. (U) Post submits the annual terrorism report for 
Lithuania.  Embassy's update on Lithuania for the 
Department's 2004 Patterns of Global Terrorism report 
(reftel) is in paras 2-4. 
¶2. (SBU) Lithuania has been fully supportive of the war 
against terrorism.  Lithuania is implementing the National 
Security Strategy of October 2004 and has nearly completed 
its National Counter-terrorism Program of January 2002.  The 
counter-terrorism plans include: participation in the 
international fight against terrorism; expanding and sharing 
resources; defending possible targets and infrastructure; 
identifying terrorists, their groups, and supporters; 
identifying and cutting off sources of terrorist finances; 
clarifying the procedures for investigating terrorist cases; 
strengthening rapid reaction and crisis management 
capabilities; strengthening of counter-terrorist 
intelligence; and strengthening of internal economic and 
social security in general. 
¶3. (SBU) Lithuania has also sent troops and other military 
personnel to Afghanistan and Iraq.  Since November 2002, 
Lithuanian Special Operation Forces have participated in 
Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan.  About 120 
Lithuanian troops and logistics specialists operate in Iraq. 
In September, Parliament voted to extend the missions to 
Afghanistan and Iraq (and also the Balkans) until the end of 
¶2005. The Government also pledged modest financial 
assistance to Iraqi reconstruction and training of Iraqi 
¶4. (SBU) Lithuania is a party to all 12 international 
conventions and protocols relating to terrorism, including 
the International Convention for the Suppression of the 
Financing of Terrorism and the International Convention for 
the Suppression of Terrorist Bombings.  The Government has 
been very cooperative in investigating and detecting 
potential terrorist finances. 
¶5. (SBU) Lithuania has cooperated with international counter- 
terrorist initiatives, and has supported USG efforts to 
prevent international terrorist organizations from taking 
root in Lithuania.  The GOL has increased funding of its 
security, expanded and strengthened intelligence collection, 
stepped up border controls, and is working to adopt a new 
National Counter Terrorism Program.  The information that 
follows is keyed to reftel addendum questions.  End Addendum 
¶6. (SBU) The GOL has fully supported the global coalition 
against terrorism through contributing to operations in 
Afghanistan and Iraq, the ratification of international 
counter-terrorism-related conventions, efforts to block 
terrorist assets, and the development of new counter- 
terrorism legal mechanisms.  Since November 2002, a group of 
up to 50 Lithuanian Special Operation Forces and logistics 
specialists has served in Operation Enduring Freedom in 
Afghanistan (officially in "Central and Southern Asia"). 
About 120 Lithuanian troops and logistics specialists have 
operated in Iraq since summer 2003.  In September, their 
term of duty was extended until the end of 2005. 
¶7. (SBU) In March, Lithuania acceded to the EU Code of 
Conduct in Arms Export.  In October, Lithuania updated its 
2002 National Security Strategy to reflect its membership in 
NATO and the EU.  It has also implemented more than 90 
percent of its January 2002 National Counter-Terrorism 
Program, which focused on: participation in international 
fight against terrorism; expanding and sharing CT resources; 
defending possible targets and infrastructure; identifying 
terrorists, their groups, and supporters; identifying and 
cutting off sources of terrorist finances; clarifying the 
procedures for investigating terrorist cases; strengthening 
rapid reaction and crisis management capabilities; 
strengthening of counter-terrorist intelligence; and 
strengthening of internal economic and social security in 
general.  In September, the State Defense Council charged 
the State Security Department to strengthen terrorism 
prevention and draft a new CT Program focusing on blocking 
terrorists' assets and income by tackling drug trafficking, 
smuggling, illegal migration and human trafficking. 
¶8. (SBU) Lithuania's State Security Department (SSD) is 
tasked to prevent terrorism in the country in cooperation 
with other state institutions (the MoD, Customs, Border 
Protection Service, the Police) and foreign secret services. 
In April, the SSD joined the Club of Berne, which includes 
intelligence services of EU countries, Norway, and 
Switzerland, and is working to implement the European 
Council Declaration on combating terrorism.  In February 
2002, the GOL established the Interagency Coordination 
Commission Against Terrorism headed by the head of the SSD. 
In September, the Chief Police Commissioner was invited to 
join the Commission.  Lithuania is also working to improve 
information-sharing among major agencies involved in 
flagging and tracking suspicious transactions -- the 
Prosecutor General's Office, the Financial Crime 
Investigation Service under the Ministry of Interior, the 
State Insurance Supervising Service, the State Securities 
Commission, and the Bank of Lithuania (BL). 
¶9. (SBU) Lithuania has ratified all 12 major international 
conventions regarding counter-terrorism and has implemented 
the relevant UNSCRs.  In December 2003, the Parliament 
ratified the 2001 International Convention on the 
Suppression of Terrorist Bombings, which Lithuania signed in 
June 1998.  In November, Lithuania signed a protocol 
partially revising the 1977 European Convention on counter- 
terrorism measures.  In September, Lithuania hosted a 
meeting of the European Organization of Supreme Audit 
Institutions (EUROSAI, established in 1990), which set up a 
permanent body to fight money laundering for terrorism. 
¶10. (SBU) To the Embassy's knowledge, there has been no 
prosecution relating to terrorism in Lithuania in 2004, 
although some GOL investigations pointed to or may 
eventually reveal terrorist connections  (see para 13). 
¶11. (SBU) During the year, the Government has continued 
efforts to fight widespread corruption in the State Border 
Protection Service and Customs, stepped up the screening of 
money transfers and protection of classified information. 
¶12. (SBU) In fall of 2002, the GOL corrected laws that had 
previously allowed the Kaunas-based company Aviabaltika to 
supply spare parts of military and dual-use helicopters to 
Sudan.  The Lithuanian security services have monitored 
Aviabaltika's commercial activities since the end of 1999. 
In January 2003, the Civil Aviation Department allowed the 
Kaunas-based company Helisota to fly a repaired Mi-17 
helicopter to the United Arab Emirates.  Earlier, the 
Customs Department had stopped the planned transportation of 
the helicopter to Sudan.  In January in the Lithuanian 
seaport of Klaipeda, the GOL seized three Russian-made Mi-8 
helicopters en route from Bangladesh to Aviabaltika's Kaunas 
headquarters and later to Russia.  Following an official 
investigation, the helicopters were released months later. 
¶13. (SBU) In 2003, a two-year long investigation by the SSD 
revealed an IRA terrorist finance-related smuggling ring 
which involved four judges (who were fired in July 2003, and 
which could have involved politicians.  In October 2004, the 
SSD detected a major group of document forgers supplying 
identity documents to criminal groups that were sold 
primarily to illegal immigrants for use in Lithuania and the 
EU.  In November 2004, the SSD arrested a well-organized 
group minting high quality fake 100-euro banknotes.  At the 
time of the arrest, the Police seized counterfeit notes 
valued at nine million euro.  In May, Lithuania amended its 
Money Laundering Law.  The amendments shortened the time 
needed to investigate money laundering cases; enabled the 
Division of Prevention of Money Laundering (FIU) to block 
assets in two days, without a court order; and enabled 
Lithuanian banks and credit institutions to stop suspicious 
banking operations without a court order, inform the FIU 
within 3 hours, and freeze accounts within 24.  Bank of 
Lithuania officials say that, to date, no terrorist accounts 
have been identified in Lithuania. 
¶14. (SBU) In September, the SSD closed the pro-Chechen 
website Kavkaz-Center for the second time (it was first 
closed in June 2003), following expert analysis that it 
contained information related to terrorism and religious and 
national enmity.  In November, a Lithuanian provider opened 
a "mirror" of the main server of Kavkaz, which had moved to 
Sweden. The SSD is attempting to close the website through 
the court system. 
¶15. (SBU) In August 2003, the Lithuanian MFA banned Chechen 
fighter Basayev from entering Lithuania and purchasing 
weapons here due to his ties with the al-Qaeda terrorist 
¶16. (SBU) Numerous GOL agencies are working closely with the 
Embassy to counter the threat that terrorism posed to 
Lithuanian and U.S. interests.  The State Security 
Department, the "Aras" Counter Terrorism response team 
(under the Ministry of Interior), and the Police Department 
have offered excellent support to strengthen the Embassy's 
security posture at times of heightened terrorist threat. 
These organizations have worked effectively to uncover the 
existence of (a small number of) individuals affiliated with 
international terrorist organizations (Hamas, Hezbollah, and 
Russian criminal groups). 
¶17. (SBU) Since September 11, 2001, the GOL has stepped up 
security at the U.S. Embassy, GOL facilities, and  strategic 
locations such as the Ignalina Nuclear Power Plant.  GOL 
leaders, often acting with other countries, NATO, and the 
EU, have condemned terrorist attacks across the world.  The 
GOL has fully backed the fight against terrorism, including 
by sending Lithuanian soldiers to participate in the GWOT. 
¶18. (SBU) In June 2003, the GOL supported the EU position 
not to sign an agreement on immunity from the International 
Criminal Court for U.S. troops.  (Note: Lithuania has signed 
but not yet ratified the Rome Treaty.)  The GOL expressed 
hope that the USG decision to cancel its military support 
over the article 98 of the ICC is not final, and that the 
USG-EU dialogue will achieve "acceptable decisions." 
¶19. (SBU) Lithuania strengthened counter-terrorism measures 
following the March bombings in Madrid.  In April, Lithuania 
signed the NATO Declaration on Terrorism.  The GOL is 
closely coordinating terrorism-related migration issues with 
the EU.  In October 2001, the GOL and the USG signed an 
extradition treaty.  There have been no reports of terrorism- 
related deportations in 2004.  In 2002, the GOL deported 
(apparently to their home country) six Lebanese nationals 
who were members of Hamas.  The GOL deported at least one 
individual linked to international terrorist organizations 
in 2001, and five individuals (several of them Lebanese 
nationals) in 2000.  To the Embassy's knowledge, the GOL has 
not received extradition requests from other countries, or 
requested extradition of suspected terrorists for 
prosecution during the year.  In October 2001, the State 
Security Department gave MPs a list of terrorist 
organizations that could have members in Lithuania: al Qaeda 
was not on the list, but Hezbollah was.  In previous years, 
the State Security Department tracked Kurdish, Sikh, and Abu 
Jihad al-Islam terrorists who posed as refugees traveling 
via Lithuania to the West. 
¶20. (SBU) The SSD has invested heavily over the past two 
years to procure modern interception equipment.  The 
Criminal Process Code requires a judge's authorization for 
the search of premises of an individual, including 
terrorists; in most cases, such permission is granted.  The 
seizure, monitoring, and recording of information 
transmitted through telecommunications networks or 
surveillance must also be court-ordered.  Intelligence 
(e.g., voice recordings) verified by criminal experts is 
permitted as evidence in a court of law.  Under the law, 
police may detain suspects for up to 48 hours, based upon 
reliable evidence of criminal activity and approval by an 
investigator or prosecutor.  Pretrial detention applies only 
in the case of felonies, to prevent flight, to allow 
unhindered investigation if the suspect might commit new 
crimes, or when there is an extradition request.  Suspected 
detained terrorists, like other criminals, are barred from 
telephone or e-mail access.  However, criminals frequently 
violate this prohibition in practice.  The detaining 
authority routinely collects photographs, fingerprints, and 
DNA samples. 
¶21. (SBU) Since September 2001, the GOL has permitted U.S. 
aircraft to overfly its national airspace.  The GOL, 
together with the other Baltic states, has provided full 
data from the Baltic Air Surveillance Network (BALTNET) to 
the NATO air defense system.  In April, BALTNET joined the 
NATO airspace surveillance system.  Since March, NATO 
fighter planes have been deployed in Lithuania to provide 
air policing over Lithuania, Latvia, and Estonia. 
¶22. (SBU) In October 2002, the Lithuanian MoD and the U.S. 
DoD signed an agreement on cooperation in prevention of 
proliferation of mass destruction weapons.  The USG has 
trained Lithuanian personnel and donated equipment worth 
several hundred thousand dollars to the Lithuanian Customs 
Department and State Border Protection Service.  The 
equipment, which includes mobile and stationery X-ray and 
radioactivity detection tools, has strengthened Lithuania's 
land border, airport, and port security infrastructure.  In 
February, a USG-sponsored WMD and illicit materials 
detection and data transfer system valued at $4.2 million 
dollars was opened at Vilnius International Airport; it is 
linked to a U.S. monitoring station in Washington, D.C. 
Senior GOL officials, however, admitted that control and 
security is still inadequate at some smaller airports.  In 
September, the GOL opened a new, USG-funded security and 
diversion detection system at the nuclear waste repository 
in Maisiagala.  Also in September, the USTDA signed an 
agreement with Lithuania to fund a safety study at the port 
of Klaipeda, and the GOL hosted a FBI Post Blast 
Investigation exercise for Lithuanian, Latvian, and Estonian 
¶23. (SBU) In June, Lithuania ratified an agreement on 
cooperation in fighting terrorism, organized crime, and drug 
trafficking with Turkey.  Lithuania has similar treaties in 
force with Kazakhstan (since August 2001), Germany (since 
June 2002), and Hungary (since October 2002).  In June, 
Lithuania joined a Russian-NATO military exercise that 
simulated a terrorist attack on an oil platform in the 
Baltic Sea near Kaliningrad. 
¶24. (SBU) The GOL continued to reinforce the protection of 
Lithuania's borders with Belarus and Russia.  In May 2003, 
Russia ratified the bilateral border agreement.  Since early 
April 2002, Lithuania has deployed an anti-aircraft missile 
battery near the Ignalina Nuclear Power Plant to protect it 
from possible terrorist attacks.  In November 2004, the GOL 
augmented the air defenses around Ignalina by deploying a 
short-range RBS-70 air defense missile system. 
¶25. (SBU) Lithuania continued to support Georgia in the 
fight against terrorism by contributing to a training and 
supply program for Georgia's military units. 
¶26. (SBU) The Ministry of Interior has reorganized two of 
its regiments into public security units tasked to fight 
¶27. (SBU) The GOL does not support international terrorism, 
terrorists, or terrorist groups.  The GOL acts promptly to 
prevent any ties between terrorists, terrorist groups, or 
terrorist-supporting countries with Lithuania. 
¶28. (SBU) The GOL has made no public statements in support 
of a terrorist-supporting country on a terrorism-related 
¶29.  (SBU) The GOL has consistently supported the global 
coalition against terrorism and has further strengthened 
intelligence gathering and counter-terrorism activities. 
The GOL is also increasing defense funding.  The ongoing 
army reform, among others, will allow for greater 
interoperability with allied troops during international 
counter-terrorist operations.