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Cable sobre la lucha antiterrorista en Brasil

En enero de 2008 la Embajada en Brasilia informa de que la presencia de redes islamistas es la principal preocupación para las fuerzas de seguridad brasileñas y estadounidenses

ID: 136564
Date: 2008-01-08 10:47:00
Origin: 08BRASILIA43
Source: Embassy Brasilia
Classification: SECRET//NOFORN
Dunno: 08BRASILIA1664
Destination: VZCZCXRO6761
RR RUEHRG
DE RUEHBR #0043/01 0081047
ZNY SSSSS ZZH
R 081047Z JAN 08
FM AMEMBASSY BRASILIA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 0804
INFO RUEHAC/AMEMBASSY ASUNCION 6502
RUEHBU/AMEMBASSY BUENOS AIRES 5225
RUEHLP/AMEMBASSY LA PAZ 5863
RUEHMN/AMEMBASSY MONTEVIDEO 7167
RUEHSG/AMEMBASSY SANTIAGO 0089
RUEHRG/AMCONSUL RECIFE 7580
RUEHRI/AMCONSUL RIO DE JANEIRO 5662
RUEHSO/AMCONSUL SAO PAULO 1436
RUEAWJA/DEPT OF JUSTICE WASHDC
RHEHNSC/NSC WASHDC
RUEATRS/DEPT OF TREASURY WASHINGTON DC
RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHDC
RHMCSUU/FBI WASHINGTON DC
RHEFHLC/HOMELAND SECURITY CENTER WASHINGTON DC
RUEAIIA/CIA WASHDC

S E C R E T SECTION 01 OF 04 BRASILIA 000043

SIPDIS

NOFORN
SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: DECL: 01/07/2028
TAGS: PTER, PGOV, PREL, KCRM, AR, PA, BR
SUBJECT: COUNTERTERRORISM IN BRAZIL: LOOKING BEYOND THE
TRI-BORDER AREA

REF: BRASILIA 1664

Classified By: DEPUTY CHIEF OF MISSION PHIL CHICOLA FOR REASONS 1.4 B A
ND D

1. (S/NF) Summary: The Government of Brazil remains highly
sensitive to public claims suggesting that terrorist or
extremist organizations have a presence or are undertaking
activities in Brazil--a sensitivity that appears to be the
rise and is resulting in more than symbolic reactions. At an
operational level and away from the public spotlight,
however, the GOB is a cooperative partner in countering
terrorism and terrorist-related activities. Even though the
Argentina-Brazil-Paraguay tri-border area (TBA) exclusively
dominates headlines, the primary counterterrorism concern for
both Brazilian officials and the U.S. Mission in Brazil is
the presence and activities of individuals with links to
terrorism--particularly several suspected Sunni extremists
and some individuals linked to Hizballah--in Sao Paulo and
other areas of southern Brazil. To a lesser extent, the TBA
remains a concern, primarily for the potential that
terrorists may exploit conditions there--including lax border
controls, smuggling, drug trafficking, easy access to false
documents and weapons, movement of pirated goods,
uncontrolled cash flows--to raise funds or arrange logistics
for operations. Post will focus over the coming year on
keeping the higher levels of the Brazilian government engaged
politically and diplomatically on CT objectives, and on
seeking to ensure that they do not undermine the productive
partnerships at the operational level. End Summary.

----------------------------
Policy-Level Sensitivities
-------------------------

2. (S/NF) The Brazilian government is a cooperative partner
in countering terrorism and terrorist-related activity in
Brazil--to include investigating potential terrorism
financing, document forgery networks, and other illicit
activity--that could contribute to the facilitation of
attacks in the region or elsewhere. Nonetheless, the highest
levels of the Brazilian government, particularly the Ministry
of Foreign Relations, are extremely sensitive to any public
claims that terrorists have a presence in Brazil--whether to
raise funds, arrange logistics, or even transit through the
country--and will vigorously reject any statements implying
otherwise. This sensitivity results, in part, from their
fear of stigmatizing the large Muslim community of Brazil
(estimated, but unconfirmed, by some sources at over 1
million) or prejudicing the area's image as a tourist
destination. It is also a public posture designed to avoid
being too closely linked to what is seen as the US's overly
aggressive War on Terrorism. This sensitivity manifests
itself in various symbolic and concrete ways.

-- (C) The GOB participates reluctantly in the "3 1 Mechanism
on Security in the Triborder Area," which annually gathers
diplomatic, law enforcement, and intelligence representatives
of the three Triborder (TBA) countries together with the U.S.
to deliberate strategies to deter a host of transnational
criminal activities that could be exploited by potential
terrorists to facilitate attacks. At the conferences, the
Brazilian delegations often decry statements made by U.S.
officials claiming that the TBA is a hotbed of terrorist
activity and challenge U.S. participants to present the
evidence on which U.S. officials base those statements.
Itamaraty officials repeatedly question the value of this
four-way cooperation, insisting that "bilateral concerns
should be addressed bilaterally" (reftel).

-- (U) The GOB refuses to legally or even rhetorically label
U.S.-designated terrorist groups such as HAMAS, Hizballah or
the FARC as terrorist groups--the former two being considered
by Brazil as legitimate political parties. As a result,
their threshold for accepting evidence of terrorism financing

BRASILIA 00000043 002 OF 004


activity in the region, at least publicly, is very high and
any information indicating that individuals in the TBA send
funds to the groups in Lebanon, in their view, does not
necessarily constitute an activity supporting terrorism.

-- (U) At the diplomatic level, the GOB has twice refused to
officially endorse Argentina's claims that the
perpetrators of the 1994 terrorism attack in Buenos Aires may
have received support from individuals in the TBA by
abstaining from voting in favor of issuing Interpol capture
notices for the 5 Iranian and 1 Lebanese national suspected
of involvement in the attack.

-- (U) Two key CT-related legislative initiatives continue to
languish. Neither the anti-terrorism nor the anti-money
laundering legislation has been introduced to Congress,
despite both being ready for more than a year. If passed,
the bills would establish the crime of terrorism and
associated activities and would facilitate greater law
enforcement access to financial and banking records during
investigations, criminalize illicit enrichment, allow
administrative freezing of assets, and facilitate
prosecutions of money laundering cases by amending the legal
definition of money laundering and making it an autonomous
offense.

---------------------------------------
Combined with Operational Cooperation
---------------------------------------

3. (S/NF) Despite negative rhetoric in Itamaraty and at
higher levels of the GOB, Brazilian law enforcement and
intelligence agencies--principally the Federal Police,
Customs, the Brazilian Intelligence Agency (ABIN), and
others--are aware of the potential threat from terrorists
exploiting the favorable conditions existing in Brazil to
operate and actively track and monitor suspected terrorist
activity and follow all leads passed to them. The Federal
Police will often arrest individuals with links to terrorism,
but will charge them on a variety of non-terrorism related
crimes to avoid calling attention of the media and the higher
levels of the government. Over the past year the Federal
Police has arrested various individuals engaged in suspected
terrorism financing activity but have based their arrests on
narcotics and customs charges.

4. (U) Brazil is capable of monitoring domestic financial
operations and effectively utilizes its financial
intelligence unit, the Financial Activities Oversight Council
(COAF), to identify possible funding sources for terrorist
groups. The GoB has carried out name checks for persons and
entities on the UNSCR 1267 and 1373 terror finance lists, but
has so far not found any assets, accounts or property in the
names of persons or entities on the UN terror-finance lists.
Brazil also established National Strategy to Combat Money
Laundering (ENCLA) and is creating a data base called the
Electronic Declaration of Cash Carriage (EDPV), which will
assist in monitoring individuals who transfer funds abroad.
Although the system is a prototype and is still being tested,
Brazilian law enforcement officials are encouraged by initial
results.

--------------------------------------------- ---------------
Primary Concern: Individuals Linked to Terrorism in Southern
Brazil
--------------------------------------------- ---------------

5. (S/NF) The primary counterterrorism concern for both
Brazilian officials and the U.S. Mission in Brazil is the
presence and activities of individuals with links to
terrorism--particularly several suspected Sunni extremists
and some individuals linked to Hizballah--in Sao Paulo and
other areas of southern Brazil. The Federal Police, and to a
lesser extent ABIN, monitor the activities of these suspected
extremists who may be tied to terrorist groups abroad and

BRASILIA 00000043 003 OF 004


share this information with their U.S. counterparts.

6. (S/NF) Brazilian law enforcement officials actively
monitor the presence of several suspected Sunni extremists
with possible ties to terrorist groups abroad who may be
capable of lending logistical support--through financing,
safehaven, false travel documents-- for terrorist attacks in
the region or abroad. In 2007, the Federal Police arrested a
potential Sunni extremist terrorist facilitator operating
primarily in Santa Catarina state for failure to declare
funds entering the country and is in the process of deporting
him. Also in 2007, Brazilian Federal Police took down a Rio
de Janeiro-based false document ring that was supplying
falsified Brazilian documents to non-Brazilians, among them
suspected international drug traffickers.

--------------------------------------------- --------------
Secondary Concern: Argentina-Brazil-Paraguay Tri-Border Area
--------------------------------------------- --------------

7. (S/NF) To a lesser extent, the TBA remains a concern for
the U.S. Mission and Brazilian counterparts, primarily for
the potential that terrorists may exploit the favorable
conditions there--lax border controls, smuggling, drug
trafficking, easy access to false documents and weapons,
movement of pirated goods, uncontrolled cash flows--to raise
funds or arrange logistics for operations. While there are
some individuals suspected of having links to Hizballah and
HAMAS, there is little evidence these groups have an
operational terrorist presence in the region. According to
Brazilian security service sources, the Muslim presence in
Foz do Iguacu represents a very small percentage of the
Muslim population in Brazil, and even those who provide some
financial support to the groups have little or no connection
to them. The GOB pursues CT investigations in the TBA and
shares the results of their investigations, but their
principal concern remains the array of other transnational
criminal activity that takes place in the region. The area
is a major entry point for drug traffickers into Brazil. In
addition, it is a focus of concern for Brazil in other areas
such as arms trafficking, smuggling of pirated and
counterfeit goods, as well as money laundering and terrorist
financing.

8. (S/NF) To cover this range of transnational criminal
activity, the GOB's police and intelligence services have an
extensive presence in the region and liaison relationships
with Argentine, Paraguayan, and other national intelligence
services, including USG agencies. Furthermore, the GOB has
attempted to institutionalize some of this cross-border
cooperation, although with mixed success. For example,
Brazilian Customs completed a new inspection station at the
Friendship Bridge in the TBA. This should enable the GOB to
intensify its crack down on contraband crossing the bridge,
though law enforcement officials expect that traffickers will
respond to the tough controls by trying to move their goods
clandestinely across the border elsewhere via boat. Brazil
also conducts maritime patrols on their side of the Itaipu
Lake to deter smuggling activity, although resource
constraints and lack of equipment hampers their
effectiveness. The long-standing goal of conducting joint
patrols with the Paraguayans remains elusive. Finally, in
order to more effectively combat trans-border criminal
organizations with its neighbors, Brazil established a joint
intelligence center (JIC) in the TBA, but staffing issues
have hampered its operations, and it is not apparent that the
GOB has pushed the other countries too vigorously to send
representatives.

-----------
Comment:
-----------

9. (S/NF) Operational elements of the various Brazilian
security and law enforcement agencies understand that the

BRASILIA 00000043 004 OF 004


full scope of the problem goes beyond the TBA, and is almost
certainly more significant in Sao Paulo and other parts of
Brazil. However, the constant barrage of terrorism-related
media coverage regarding the TBA tends to heighten GOB
sensitivities, and particularly those of Itamaraty,
increasing their reluctance to countenance any claims that
terrorists could possibly have a presence in any part of
Brazil. While this sensitivity generally manifests itself in
nothing more than public rebukes of declarations by U.S.
officials and sniping during meetings by Itamaraty officials,
it does occasionally result in more than symbolic reactions
by the GOB. Brazil's AMIA abstention at Interpol, reversal
on CT legislation, and inflexibility on 3 1 all represent
concrete challenges to local law enforcement officials and
regional partners in advancing CT cooperation. Post will
focus over the coming year on keeping the higher levels of
the Brazilian government engaged politically and
diplomatically on this issue, and on seeking to ensure that
they do not undermine the work being done at the operational
level. End Comment.

SOBEL