Original report from Phnom Penh
08 September 2008
Cambodian and Australian security officials and experts began discussing the application of laws in counterterrorism at the beginning of a two-day seminar Monday, as the anniversary of the 2001 terrorist attacks in the US approaches.
There are just three days until the anniversary of the attack on the World Trade towers in New York in 2001, Australian Ambassador Margaret Adamson said in opening remarks Monday. Terrorism cannot be combated unilaterally, she said, and the anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks was a reminder of the need to combat terrorism at national and international fronts.
Regional cooperation was also particularly important, she said, adding that terrorism can also affect maritime security, as well as money laundering.
Cambodia adopted a counterterrorism law in July 2007, and authorities claim they have homegrown terrorists, as well, following the November 2000 attack on government institutions by a small band of “freedom fighters.”
Cambodia has become a willing friend in the US war on terror, following revelations that the leader of Jemaah Islamiyah, Hambali, had stayed in Cambodia for six months prior to his 2003 arrest in Bangkok.
Officials from the ministries of Interior and Justice and the Council of Ministers participated in Monday’s meeting, along with Australian Embassy personnel and counterterrorism experts.
“Indeed, actually the world is facing philosophical radicalism,” Council Minister Sok An said Monday. “This means that we must work sustainably, like raising up the capacity against terrorism and strengthening the application of laws to combat terrorism.”