Country Report on Terrorism 2014 - Chapter 3 - Sudan

Sudan was designated as a State Sponsor of Terrorism in 1993 due to concerns about support to international terrorist groups. Sudan remained a generally cooperative partner of the United States on counterterrorism. During the past year, the Government of Sudan continued to support counterterrorism operations to counter threats to U.S. interests and personnel in Sudan.

Elements of al-Qa’ida-inspired terrorist groups remained in Sudan. The Government of Sudan has taken steps to limit the activities of these elements and has worked to disrupt foreign fighters’ use of Sudan as a logistics base and transit point for terrorists going to Syria and Iraq. However, groups continued to operate in Sudan in 2014 and there continued to be reports of Sudanese nationals participating in terrorist organizations.

In 2014, Sudan continued to allow members of Hamas to travel, fundraise, and live in Sudan.

In June 2010, four Sudanese men sentenced to death for the January 1, 2008 killing of two U.S. Embassy staff members escaped from Khartoum’s maximum security Kober prison. That same month Sudanese authorities confirmed that they recaptured one of the four convicts and a second escapee was reported killed in Somalia in May 2011. The recaptured murderer is being held in Kober Prison, and as of December 2014, appeals of his pending death sentence were still ongoing. The whereabouts of the other two convicts are unknown.

In February 2013, one of five men convicted of aiding the 2010 escape attempt by the four convicted killers received a presidential commutation of his remaining sentence. Sudanese authorities explained his release was part of a broad administrative parole affecting 200 other prisoners who had served some portion of their sentences with good behavior. U.S. government officials protested the commutation and urged Sudanese authorities to imprison the convicted accomplice for the full 12 years of his sentence. The individual remained free on parole at year’s end.

Sudanese authorities this year released most of the 25 individuals detained in a December 2012 raid on what the Government of Sudan described as a terrorist training camp operating in Dinder National Park. Members of the so-called “Dinder cell” were charged with terrorism and murder stemming from the deaths of several police involved in the December 2012 raid. One trial judge from the country’s terrorism court remanded several cases back to the attorney general for additional interrogations and those accused continued to be held in prison. The remaining Dinder detainees have had sessions with Dr. Essam Ahmed al-Basher, who helps lead the Government of Sudan’s “extremist rehabilitation program.”

In general, the Government of Sudan appeared to oppose the financing of extremist elements. Sudanese officials have welcomed Hamas members to Khartoum, however, and its members are permitted to conduct fundraising in Sudan. The Central Bank of Sudan and its financial intelligence unit, renamed the Financial Information Unit in late 2014, circulated to financial institutions a list of individuals and entities that have been included on the UN 1267 sanctions committee’s consolidated list, as well as the U.S. government’s lists of terrorist organizations/financiers. The financing of terrorism per UN Resolution 1373 was criminalized in Sudan pursuant to Sudan’s Money Laundering Act of 2003.

The Government of Sudan continued to cooperate with the Financial Action Task Force and took steps to meet international standards in combating money laundering and terrorist financing. In 2014, Sudan adopted a new Anti-Money Laundering and Combating Terrorism Finance Act and ratified the UN Convention Against Corruption. Sudan’s Central Bank officials did not freeze, seize and/or forfeit assets in 2014. Sudan continued to cooperate with the United States in investigating financial crimes related to terrorism. The Sudanese government’s ability to monitor illicit finance flows is increasingly hampered by the Sudanese banking sector’s difficulty finding correspondent banks to process international transactions, leading most Sudanese to instead move money in cash.

Additionally, Sudan has yet to take concrete steps to resolve the crisis in the Two Areas of Southern Kordofan and Blue Nile, to include ending aerial bombardments, allowing sufficient and sustained humanitarian access, and resuming political dialogue to resolve the conflicts.