Country Report on Terrorism 2012 - Chapter 2 - Serbia

Overview: The Government of Serbia sustained its efforts to counter international terrorism in 2012. Serbian and U.S. law enforcement and intelligence agencies collaborated against potential terrorist threats. Serbia's two main specialized police organizations, the Special Anti-Terrorist Unit and the Counter-Terrorist Unit, both operated as counterterrorism tactical response units. Serbia accepted and welcomed U.S.-funded counterterrorism training. Harmonization of law enforcement protocols with EU standards remained a priority for the Serbian government.

Legislation, Law Enforcement, and Border Security: Transnational terrorism concerns within Serbia were similar to those in other Balkan states, all of which are collectively located on the historic transit route between the Middle East and Western Europe. Serbian authorities are sensitive to and vigilant against any efforts by violent extremists to establish a presence in or transit the country. The Serbian government continued to participate in the UN Office on Drugs and Crime regional program to promote the rule of law and human security in Southeast Europe, which primarily focuses on increasing member states' counterterrorism capacities.

In line with proposed amendments to the Criminal Code (which were approved by the Government of Serbia in early December and submitted to the National Assembly, and are expected to be passed by the National Assembly by the end of the calendar year), criminal legislation would be harmonized with the 2005 Council of Europe (COE) Convention on the Prevention of Terrorism (ratified in 2009) and the EU Council Framework Decision on Combating Terrorism (2002/475/JHA) of June 13, 2002 (amended in 2008). The existing criminal offense of terrorism would also be expanded to include five new offenses: public instigation of terrorist acts, recruitment and training for terrorist acts, use of deadly devices, damage and destruction of a nuclear facility, and terrorist conspiracy.

The United States provided counterterrorism training and assistance to Serbia through a number of agencies and programs.

Countering Terrorist Finance: Serbia is a member of Moneyval, the COE Committee of Experts on the Evaluation of Anti-Money Laundering Measures and the Financing of Terrorism, a Financial Task Force regional-style body. Although the National Assembly did not adopt any new terrorism-related legislation, Serbia's Administration for the Prevention of Money Laundering (APML) developed a draft law on restrictions on property disposal, with the aim of preventing terrorist financing. The draft law is intended to rectify existing shortcomings in implementing UNSC resolutions. The law had not been approved by year’s end.

In December, Moneyval adopted a Progress Report on improvements in Serbia's anti-money laundering/combating the financing of terrorism system.

As part of Serbia's efforts to meet EU standards and advance its EU accession effort, several conferences and workshops connected to the Project against Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing in Serbia (MOLI-Serbia Project) took place in Serbia. MOLI-Serbia, which is co-sponsored and funded by the EU and the COE, principally benefits APML, and once it is fully implemented, Serbia will have a more robust legislative and operational capacity to counter money laundering and terrorist finance systems in accordance with EU and international standards.

According to the Prosecutor's Office for Organized Crime, Serbian police did not arrest anyone involved in terrorist finance activities, nor were any cases related to the financing of terrorism prosecuted in 2012. For further information on money laundering and financial crimes, we refer you to the 2013 International Narcotics Control Strategy Report (INCSR), Volume 2, Money Laundering and Financial Crimes:

Regional and International Cooperation: Serbia supports the UN Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy. In October, members of special police units from 14 Southeast European countries completed a counterterrorism exercise at the Special Anti-Terrorism base near Belgrade. The exercise was carried out as part of an international counterterrorism seminar, which featured lectures by two U.S. instructors from the Federal Bureau of Investigation Hostage Rescue Team.

The Office of Defense Cooperation provided approximately US $128,000 worth of counterterrorism-related training for 17 representatives of the Ministry of Defense (MOD), Ministry of Interior, the Security Information Agency, and the National Assembly at the George C. Marshall Center and at the National Defense University (NDU). Two MOD graduates of the NDU's International Counterterrorism Fellows (ICTF) Program attended an NDU Alumni Seminar in April. This close and continuing collaboration supports individual ICTF graduates as they move up to more senior levels of responsibility with the goal of increasing their effectiveness in joint counterterrorism efforts. Two MOD lieutenant colonels completed the International Intelligence Fellows Program (IIFP) at the National Defense Intelligence College (Defense Intelligence Agency) in late April. The theme of the IIFP this year was "Intelligence Support to Combating Terrorism.”