Viewing cable 05MUSCAT241
Title: COUNTER-TERRORISM ACTION GROUP (CTAG) MEETING

IdentifierCreatedReleasedClassificationOrigin
05MUSCAT2412005-02-13 12:30:00 2011-08-30 01:44:00 UNCLASSIFIED//FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY Embassy Muscat
This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.
UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 MUSCAT 000241 
 
SIPDIS 
 
SENSITIVE 
 
STATE FOR S/CT; NP/MNA (MGOODMAN, SHART); NP/PPC (JSMITH) 
STATE ALSO FOR NEA/RA, NEA/ARPI, DS/IP/NEA, DS/T/ATA, 
DS/IP/ITA 
 
E.O. 12958: N/A 
TAGS: PTER ASEC PREL MU
SUBJECT: COUNTER-TERRORISM ACTION GROUP (CTAG) MEETING 
 
REF: STATE 269653 
 
¶1. (U) SUMMARY:  The Muscat Counter-Terrorism Action Group 
(CTAG) met on February 2 to outline, in preparation for the 
April 29 CTAG meeting in London, key Omani 
counter-terrorism(CT) needs, and to share details of 
completed and planned CT assistance from G8 states.  The CTAG 
agreed on a list of gaps between needs and assistance and 
recommendations on how these gaps might be filled.  As in the 
past, the U.S. and UK remain the most actively engaged G8 
members in CT programs with the Sultanate of Oman.  END 
SUMMARY. 
 
¶2.  (U) On February 2, UK Ambassador Stuart Laing hosted a 
meeting of the Muscat G8 Counter-Terrorism Action Group 
(CTAG).  In addition to the U.S. Ambassador, CTAG 
participants included Marc Barety, French Ambassador; Hartmut 
Blankenstein, German Ambassador; Vladimir Nosenko, Russian 
Ambassador; Nobu Ebina, Japanese DCM; Tarek Chazli, Italian 
DCM; Alicia Rico, Spanish DCM (at the UK's invitation); and 
Charles Hill, UK DCM. 
 
---------------------- 
CURRENT OMANI CT NEEDS 
---------------------- 
 
¶3.  (SBU) In preparation for the April 29 CTAG meeting in 
London, participants identified the following as current 
Omani CT needs: 
 
-- Additional maritime interdiction and VIP protection 
training for the Royal Omani Police (ROP); 
-- Equipment such as night vision goggles and training 
facilities for the ROP; 
-- Upgrades to coastal surveillance and enforcement 
capabilities, including sensors, vessels, and communication 
equipment; 
-- Enhanced interoperability between the Navy, ROP Coast 
Guard (ROP-CG) and Air Force for coastal defense; 
-- Closer government scrutiny of alternative remittance 
systems such as hawalas and the Bangladeshi hundi system; 
-- Potential technical assistance to the Central Bank in the 
areas of banking supervision, reporting suspicious 
transactions, coordinating with police agencies and improving 
GCC-wide information sharing; 
-- Regulation of informal lending societies, potential 
vulnerabilities for terror networks; 
-- Better public information policy; 
-- Strengthening of the civil airport protection at Seeb 
airport (Muscat); and 
-- Increased ability to manage general disasters, including 
the hospital access for mass causalities (there are 2080 
hospital beds available in Muscat and 60 beds in the Military 
Hospital in Salalah). 
 
--------------------------------------------- ---- 
COMPLETED AND PLANNED ASSISTANCE PROVIDED TO OMAN 
--------------------------------------------- ---- 
 
¶4.  (SBU) Ambassador Laing described the UK impression that 
while Oman was happy to accept assistance on a bilateral 
basis, there was a reluctance to accept assistance provided 
by multilateral organizations.  The UK Ministry of Defense 
continued to work with the Omanis on border management 
issues, both maritime and terrestrial.  RAF Nimrods continued 
to fly over the Omani EEZ working with the Omani Navy and 
ROP-CG to help interdict small boats from the Makran coast of 
Pakistan.  Those operations aimed to address interoperability 
issues between those two services.  The UK was also providing 
training to the Omani Armed Forces on border management, VIP 
protection, disaster management, young officer training, and 
English Language Training through the work of the UK's loan 
service personnel.  The UK was hoping to do more work in the 
future with the ROP.  On transportation security, a UK 
company had provided advice to the Omanis on compliance with 
the International Maritime Organization's requirements for 
enhanced port security (ISPS). 
 
¶5.  (SBU) The German Ambassador said that German training of 
the police forces in Iraq and Afghanistan had taken priority, 
with the result that so far no direct training had been 
performed with the Omanis. 
¶6.  (SBU) The French Ambassador said that in 2004 they had 
provided training for the ROP both in France and in Oman. 
Three training sessions were completed: CT training for 20 
policemen; crime scene training; and a VIP protection course 
in St Malo for 2 ROP officers.  Courses planned thus far for 
2005 were on organization and management of a police 
investigation in April; and advanced counter narcotics 
training in October. 
 
¶7.  (SBU) The Spanish DCM said no direct equipment had been 
provided in 2004, but in 2005 Spain was hoping to furnish 
boats to the ROP-CG. 
 
¶8.  (SBU) The Italian DCM said that a bilateral MOU on 
defense matters was signed in 2004 and that this covered some 
CT elements.  A joint naval exercise was aimed, in part, at 
addressing the need for enhanced interoperability. 
 
¶9.  (SBU) The Japanese DCM said that in 2004 two ROP officers 
had attended a policing seminar in Japan and two others took 
part in a crime prevention seminar organized by the Japanese 
International Cooperation Agency.  There was a planned 
seminar on international terrorism investigation in 2005. 
 
¶10.  (SBU) The Russian Ambassador said that no direct 
assistance was provided in 2004, but that there were plans to 
invite the ROP and Internal Security Service (ISS) to visit 
Russia in 2005 to see the type of armaments and hi-tech 
weapons that Russia could provide, and to start a wider 
dialogue on the problems of international terrorism. 
 
¶11.  (SBU) The U.S. provided a non-paper listing assistance 
that has been provided.  Under anti-terrorism assistance the 
US has completed activities with the ROP on mass casualty 
emergency medical intervention; forensic science service unit 
consultation (DNA); interdicting terrorist organizations; and 
an explosive detector K-9/handlers precourse.  In 2005 the US 
has planned a senior crisis management seminar.  Under 
'export control activities' Omani officials have participated 
in a senior policy exchange in the US that helped identify 
challenges in Oman's export control system; and Omanis 
participated in the Transportation Security Forum in Cairo 
and the Global Transshipment Control Enforcement Seminar.  In 
2005 Omanis are scheduled to participate in WMD basic 
training and a Legal Technical Forum on US and Omani legal 
foundations for an export control system.  Under 
counter-terrorism/counter-narcotics programs, the US has 
replaced the antenna for a maritime surveillance radar in the 
Musandam peninsula and trained ROP-CG personnel in a fast 
boat interdiction/interception capability. 
 
------------------------------------------- 
GAPS IN OMAN'S CT NEEDS AND RECOMMENDATIONS 
------------------------------------------- 
 
¶12.  (SBU) It was agreed that the CTAG group would continue 
to coordinate to avoid duplication in the provision of 
equipment and training.  It was also agreed that as Chair, 
the UK Ambassador would call on the MFA to discuss the GCC CT 
Agreement; and on the Chairman of the Central Bank to 
follow-up the Group's 2004 meeting with him on Oman's efforts 
to counter terrorist financing and money laundering.  As 
Chair, the UK would circulate a draft report of the meeting 
before sending it to London and would consult partners again 
before the April and November meeting in case there was 
further information that they wished to pass to those CTAG 
meetings. 
BALTIMORE