Zimbabwe was not a safe haven for terrorists though it maintained relations with countries identified as being state sponsors of terrorism, such as Cuba, Iran, Libya and Sudan, which all had embassies in Harare.
The United States embassy said the country was well positioned to be aware of any terrorist activities in its territory because of its oppressive and omnipresent security and intelligence agencies.
The embassy said despite the strained bilateral relationship between the two countries local intelligence and criminal investigative agencies were responsive to United States government needs and concerns regarding terrorist issues.
These agencies routinely provided assistance by conducting investigative inquiries, traces, and border checks of individuals thought to be threats to the United States when requested to do so.
Viewing cable 06HARARE1499, ZIMBABWE: 2006 COUNTRY REPORTS ON TERRORISM
DE RUEHSB #1499 3620611
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 280611Z DEC 06
FM AMEMBASSY HARARE
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 0964
INFO RUEILB/NCTC WASHINGTON DC
UNCLAS HARARE 001499
AF/S FOR S. HILL
NSC FOR SENIOR AFRICA DIRECTOR B. PITTMAN
S/CT FOR R. SHORE AND NCTC
E.O. 12958: N/A
SUBJECT: ZIMBABWE: 2006 COUNTRY REPORTS ON TERRORISM
REF: STATE 175925
¶1. (U) This cable responds to reftel request to update
information for the 2006 Country Reports on Terrorism.
¶2. (SBU) Zimbabwe does not fit the criteria stipulated in
paragraph 10 (a) and (b) of reftel instructions. Despite our
strained bilateral relationship and the GOZ’s self-imposed
isolation on most diplomatic issues, local intelligence and
criminal investigative agencies to date have been responsive
to USG needs and concerns regarding terrorist issues. At
Embassy request, these agencies have routinely provided
assistance by conducting investigative inquiries, traces, and
border checks of individuals thought to be threats to USG
facilities or personnel. The government in 2004 passed the
Bank Use Promotion and Suppression of Money Laundering Act,
which addresses terrorist financing and authorizes the
tracking and seizing of assets, and has since implemented it.
In May 2006, the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) released new
guidelines on anti-money laundering and combating the
financing of terrorism for financial institutions and
non-financial businesses and professionals. In August 2006,
Zimbabwe assumed the Presidency for the Eastern and Southern
Africa Anti-Money Laundering Group (ESAAMLG) for the
2006/2007 administrative year. Zimbabwe, however, has yet to
become a party to the UN International Convention for the
Suppression of the Financing of Terrorism.
SAFE HAVEN ASSESSMENT
¶3. (SBU) Given the country’s oppressive and omnipresent
security and intelligence agencies, the GOZ is
well-positioned to be aware of any terrorist activities on
its territory. There is no credible evidence that Zimbabwe
is being used as a safe haven or that the GOZ provides
sanctuary to any international or indigenous terrorist group.
The GOZ does, however, maintain diplomatic relations with
countries identified as being state sponsors of terrorism.
Cuba, Iran, Libya, and Sudan have embassies in Harare and
there is an emerging North Korean diplomatic presence.
Additionally, President Robert Mugabe visited both Cuba and
Iran in 2006.
INFORMATION ON TERRORIST GROUPS
¶4. (SBU) No terrorist cells were identified in Zimbabwe by
the GOZ in 2006 and Post has no reason to believe that any
are active in the country. To date, Zimbabwe has not been a
good operating environment for terrorist groups due to the
country’s aggressive security and intelligence apparatus.
This operating environment may, however, become more
appealing to terrorists if the capabilities of these agencies
continue to be eroded by the country’s deteriorating economic
INFORMATION ON FOREIGN GOVERNMENT COOPERATION
¶5. (SBU) Although the GOZ has not been requested to cooperate
in the investigation or prosecution of any terrorist act
within the past five years, there exist no known impediments
to host government prosecution and/or extradition of
suspected terrorists. Additionally, as noted in paragraph 2,
Zimbabwe currently holds the Presidency for ESAAMLG and
hosted the group’s Council of Ministers of Finance meeting in
August. Also in August, Zimbabwe and Republic of South
Africa signed a memorandum of understanding for the exchange
of information in combating money laundering and financing of
¶6. (U) Post’s terrorism reporting officer is Political
Officer Scott C. Higgins. His telephone number is (263) (4)
250-593 ext 321 and email addresses are [email protected]
(unclassified) and [email protected] (classified).