Viewing cable 09REYKJAVIK41, REYKJAVIK SEPQ RESPONSE - SPRING 2009
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|09REYKJAVIK41||2009-02-26 15:03||2011-01-13 05:05||SECRET//NOFORN||Embassy Reykjavik|
R 261501Z FEB 09 ZDK FM AMEMBASSY REYKJAVIK TO SECSTATE WASHDC 3993 INFO CIA WASHDC DIA WASHDC FBI WASHINGTON DC
S E C R E T REYKJAVIK 000041 NOFORN DEPT FOR DS/TIA/ITA AND DS/IP/EUR AND EUR/NB E.O. 12958: DECL: 02/17/2019 TAGS: ASEC PTER SUBJECT: REYKJAVIK SEPQ RESPONSE - SPRING 2009 REF: STATE 13023 Classified By: RSO JON MOODY FOR REASONS 1.4 (C) AND (D) ------------------ POLITICAL VIOLENCE ------------------ ¶I. (C) Demonstrations ¶A. (C) There is a religious community of Muslims, some of whom might harbor anti-American sentiments. The community numbers approximately 800 individuals and is comprised mostly of European Muslims. In the past 12 months there have been no known anti-American demonstrations led by the Muslim community. i. (SBU) Yes, there have been two anti-American demonstrations in the past 12 months. ii. (SBU) Both demonstrations occurred in front of the Chancery and CMR. (NOTE: The Chancery and CMR are co-located at 21 and 23 Laufasvegur. END NOTE) iii. (SBU) One demonstration drew 30-40 protesters. Approximately 400 demonstrators participated in the second demonstration. iv. (SBU) The two anti-American protests in this SEPQ period occurred in December 2008 and January 2009. Both were related to Israeli military action in Gaza. ¶B. (SBU) Demonstrations are generally peaceful. i. (SBU) There have been no violent demonstrations resulting in damage or loss of USG property. ii. (SBU) No demonstrations have penetrated our perimeter security. ¶C. (SBU) There has been a dramatic increase in demonstrations against the Icelandic government since Post's last SEPQ response. The primary cause is the current domestic economic crisis. Demonstrations have also been organized to protest military action, environmental issues, salary/benefit disputes, soaring gas prices, and a NATO conference. i. (SBU) The majority of demonstrations occur in front of the Prime Minister's office (approximately 700 meters from the Embassy) and the Althingi Parliament Building (approximately 550 meters from the Embassy). Since Post,s last SEPQ response there have been approximately 57 demonstrations against the Government of Iceland. Most were peaceful, some were heated, and a small number of protesters were arrested. Several police officers were injured by throwing rocks, none seriously. ii. (SBU) The anti-government protests were huge compared to previously seen protests. Since October Saturday demonstrations have drawn between 3000-4000 participants. The largest gathering was estimated at 10000 demonstrators (approximately 3 percent of Iceland's population). Non-economic protests were usually drew 30-50 persons (one protest had 1 participant - an anti-NATO demonstrator man banging a gong outside the Hilton. He was issued a traffic citation for parking illegally.) iii. (C) All demonstrations have been peaceful, to date. The protests regarding the economic crisis have occasionally become heated resulting in minor injuries and arrests. None got out of hand and most of the damage and injuries were caused by a small group of miscreants well-known to the police and rumored to be in a turf war, with the police. iv. (SBU) No demonstrations have resulted in damage to USG property. II (SBU) Macro Conflict Conditions ¶A. (SBU) Iceland is not involved in an interstate or intrastate conflict. ¶B. (SBU) Iceland is not involved in an intrastate conflict. ¶C. (SBU) Iceland is not involved in an interstate or intrastate conflict. The only US diplomatic mission is in Reykjavik. ¶D. (SBU) Iceland is not involved in an intrastate conflict. III. (S/NF) Host Country Capabilities ¶A. (C) The police (Logreglan) are well-trained and professional. All police attend the national police academy with a comprehensive curriculum. The current number of police officers in Iceland is 780 (1 police officer for every 409 citizens). A newspaper article on 12 February 2009 claims the Metropolitan Police (Reykjavik) is in dire financial straits. Costs relating to the demonstrations are piling up with no funds to cover them in the budget. The Police Commissioner is fearful that police officer positions will be cut to offset those expenses. Such a cut will be detrimental to a police force that has only 20-25 officers on patrol during any shift. ¶B. (SBU) Icelandic police have been trained by US agencies in various areas including customs/border/port security, cyber security and computer crimes, hostage negotiation, crisis management, and several others. The training has been effective. The RSO notes evidence of the training in his interactions with the police. There has been no training since Post,s last SEPQ response. ¶C. (C) No evidence of corruption has been observed or uncovered. ¶D. (S/NF) Iceland does not have an intelligence service. The National Security Unit (NSU) within the National Commissioner's Office handles threat information analysis. The NSU is comprised of three individuals. The NSU is too small to undertake any type of intelligence gathering role and responds to threats as they arise, such as threats against Icelandic officials, demonstrations/protests, and "extremist" groups. The NSU is not a tradecraft or covert group. There are no terrorism-related examples, but the NSU's investigative and analytical capabilities have been demonstrated through operations in varying fields of law enforcement such as organized crime (OC), counterintelligence (CI), and counter-narcotics (CN). GRPO maintains liaison with the NSU. ¶E. (SBU) Law enforcement agencies, including the NSU, have been very cooperative with US Embassy requests for information and support. ¶F. (U) N/A ¶G. (SBU) All planned requests for support were fully completed in a timely and thorough manner. All impromptu requests for support were responded to within minutes. ¶H. (C) The overall assessment of security at the major airport in Iceland is excellent. Screening is comparable to US standards and perimeter security is well-organized and implemented. There are direct flights into and out of the US. The Transportation and Security Administration (TSA) is closely involved with the security requirements/standards at Keflavik International Airport (KEF). The Keflavik Airport Authority changed hands on 1 January 2009. Security responsibilities are now handled by a private limited company owned by the government. The current Director of Security was the Acting Airport Managing Director prior to the change. ¶I. (C) The customs and immigration controls at KEF are effective. The Sudurnes Police District, the district responsible for the airport, has a high success rate of intercepting contraband and suspect travel documents. The police monitor passenger manifests prior to aircraft arrival (Advanced Passenger Information - API) and compare the list against several databases, including Interpol and Europol. The police possess a fraudulent document lab at the airport that deals with the fraudulent travel documents. Although the numbers of events and personnel are relatively low, their effectiveness is high. As of 1 January 2009, the customs authority now falls under the Ministry of Finance but is currently still operationally-controlled by the Sudurnes Police Commissioner. This change-over is a work in progress. Eventually the Commissioner will have no responsibility or oversight of Customs at Keflavik. ¶J. (C) Border patrol forces are effective. Police and customs interdict narcotics on a somewhat regular basis. The police do recognize the possibility that their borders could be infiltrated by rogue individuals using small seacraft and thus rely upon the Icelandic Coast Guard (ICG) for patrolling the waters. The ICG has made severe cuts to their personnel and have limited their activities to rescue operations and training necessary to maintain proficiency operating their helicopters, aircraft and vessels. -------------------- INDIGENOUS TERRORISM -------------------- ¶I. (C) Anti-American Terrorist Groups ¶A. (C) There are no known indigenous anti-American terrorist groups. ¶B. (U) N/A ¶C. (U) N/A ¶D. (U) N/A ¶E. (U) N/A ¶F. (U) N/A ¶G. (U) N/A II. (C) Other Indigenous Terrorist Groups ¶A. (C) There are no known other indigenous terrorist groups in Iceland. ¶B. (U) N/A ¶C. (U) N/A ¶D. (U) N/A ----------------------- TRANSNATIONAL TERRORISM ----------------------- ¶I. (S/NF) Transnational Terrorism Indicators ¶A. (C) There are no known foreign terrorist groups in Iceland. ¶B. (U) N/A ¶C. (C) The host government is not sympathetic to foreign terrorism groups in general. ¶D. (C) Within the Muslim community and others outside the Muslim community, there might be a small number that support the actions of terrorism groups against the US. The numbers or make-up of possible supporters are not known. Any support to foreign terrorism groups is not overt. ¶E. (S/NF) The Russians and Chinese have established diplomatic missions in Reykjavik. There are no indications that these two countries are actively pursuing intelligence operations against the USG. It is believed that the Chinese are conducting industrial espionage in the areas of DNA decoding and medical research in Iceland. ¶F. (S/NF) There are no indications of hostile intelligence services in Iceland with the intent or aim to conduct potential anti-American attacks. (NOTE: Iran, Iraq, Syria, Serbia, Sudan, etc. do not have diplomatic missions in Iceland. The 14 declared, diplomatic missions in Iceland are the US, Danish, Swedish, French, German, Indian, British, Chinese, Russian, Polish, Canadian, Finnish, Japanese, and Norwegian. END NOTE) ¶G. (S) There are no indications that weapons or explosives are readily available to potential hostile terrorist elements. There are approximately 52,000 firearms registered with the National Commissioner,s Office. van Voorst