International Information Centre for Balkan Studies

State Department-Serbia cooperating in counterterrorism, but there are problems

March 1, 2023

Serbia continued efforts to counter terrorism and cooperate with the United States and international partners, said the US Department of State annual report on terrorism for 2021.

The report reads that there were no terrorist attacks in Serbia in 2021 but the main terrorism concerns in Serbia remained the movement of money and weapons through the region.

It voices concern over the need to repatriate terrorists and their family members from Syria, and terrorist self-radicalization through racially or ethnically motivated ideologies often related to nationalism.

The report notes that Serbian laws outlaw unauthorized participation in a foreign war or armed conflict, prescribing incarceration from six months to 10 years for such activities.

Serbia has sentenced individuals for participating in terrorist-related activities in Syria and for participating in the Russia-Ukraine conflict in eastern Ukraine, said the US Department of State.

Serbia lacks legislation that more broadly covers conduct related to receiving terrorist training, funding terrorist organizations, and terrorist recruitment activities, reads the report.

It notes that, in the 2020 Washington Commitments, Serbia pledged to designate Hizballah in its entirety as a terrorist organization and implement measures to restrict its operations and financial activities in Serbian jurisdictions, adding that this was not done by the end of 2021.

The State Department added that Serbia is engaged in regional cooperation on counterterrorism issues, and that the Ministry of Interior and the Security Information Agency (BIA) cooperate with INTERPOL and Europol.

It said that Serbia is a participant in NATO’s Partnership for Peace, and routinely participates in international law enforcement training.

The report reads that Serbia has well-developed bilateral border security cooperation programs with Bulgaria, Hungary, and Romania and well as that it has a tri-border partnership with Bosnia and Herzegovina and with Croatia, and that Serbian law enforcement agencies routinely engage with counterparts in Albania, North Macedonia, and Montenegro.

Source:  https://n1info.rs/english/news/state-department-serbia-cooperating-in-counterterrorism-but-there-are-problems/

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