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Viewing cable 09REYKJAVIK222, ICELAND: 2009 COUNTY REPORTS ON TERRORISM

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Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
09REYKJAVIK222 2009-12-21 12:12 2011-01-13 05:05 UNCLASSIFIED//FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY Embassy Reykjavik
VZCZCXRO1771
PP RUEHIK
DE RUEHRK #0222 3551225
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 211225Z DEC 09
FM AMEMBASSY REYKJAVIK
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 4241
INFO RUEHZL/EUROPEAN POLITICAL COLLECTIVE PRIORITY
REUILB/NCTC WASHINGTON DC PRIORITY
UNCLAS REYKJAVIK 000222 
 
SIPDIS 
 
SENSITIVE 
 
STATE FOR S/CT RHONDA SHORE and NCTC 
 
E.O. 12958: N/A 
TAGS: PREL PGOV PTER ASEC IC
SUBJECT:  ICELAND: 2009 COUNTY REPORTS ON TERRORISM 
 
ΒΆ1. (SBU) Included is Embassy Reykjavik's submission for the 2009 
Country Report on Terrorism.  Embassy POC for this report is 
Political Officer Joshua Rubin, office phone: 354 562-9100; 
email:rubinjn@state.gov. 
 
The Government of Iceland stated in its most recent terrorist threat 
assessment, conducted by the National Police Commissioner in 2008, 
that the likelihood of terrorist activities occurring in Iceland is 
low.  In the same assessment, however, the government concluded that 
the potential consequences of such activities were severe enough to 
merit a high level of vigilance.  The government, therefore, 
continued its efforts to strengthen domestic border security and 
counterterrorism capabilities during the year. 
 
The National Police Commissioner has primary responsibility for 
counterterrorism efforts in the country.  An elite counterterrorism 
unit, called the Viking Squad, is considered the first line of 
defense in Iceland's efforts against terrorism.  The unit is 
comprised of approximately 45 members and specializes in various 
types of paramilitary techniques.  The National Security Unit, which 
also falls under the jurisdiction of the National Police 
Commissioner, gathers intelligence, drafts threat assessments and 
exchanges information with foreign counterparts with the aim to 
prevent or reduce the likelihood of terrorism. 
 
The Icelandic Coast Guard (ICG) is responsible for Iceland's coastal 
defense and monitors the ocean around Iceland, both within and 
outside of territorial waters.  The ICG served as the Chair of the 
North Atlantic Coast Guard Forum in 2009 and hosted the 
organization's annual conference in September.  Also in September, 
the ICG hosted Northern Challenge 2009, a NATO-supported exercise 
focusing on explosive ordnance disposal and counterterrorism 
scenarios.  The ICG cooperates closely with its counterparts in the 
U.S. Coast Guard and signed a cooperative agreement in 2008 that 
increased bilateral security cooperation. 
 
The Icelandic Defense Agency (IDA) has responsibility for 
operational ties with NATO and other allied states.  The IDA, which 
currently falls under the jurisdiction of the Ministry for Foreign 
Affairs, is also responsible for monitoring Icelandic airspace via 
the Icelandic Air Defense System (IADS).  In May, the IDA 
coordinated the third annual round of high level security dialogue 
talks between the United States and Iceland since the closure of the 
Naval Air Station in Keflavik (NASKEF) in 2006.  The government 
announced in December that the IDA would be dissolved in 2010 and 
that its functions, along with those of several other agencies, will 
be merged into a prospective Ministry of Interior Affairs. 
 
The Icelandic government supported multilateral counterterrorism 
efforts.  Iceland continued its deployment of personnel at Kabul 
International Airport and International Security Assistance Force 
(ISAF) Headquarters in Afghanistan in support of NATO operations. 
 
As a country participating in the Visa Waiver Program (VWP), Iceland 
continued to comply with requirements in the VWP law related to 
information sharing and other law enforcement and counterterrorism 
cooperation. This cooperation was further enhanced by the 
Implementing Recommendations of the 9/11 Commission Act of 2007. 
WATSON