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09 October 2003

Southeast Asia Counterterrorism Center Now Fully Operational

Question taken at October 8 State Department briefing

The following information about the Southeast Asia Regional Center for Counterterrorism (SEARCCT) based in Malaysia was prepared and posted in response to a question taken earlier on October 8 at the daily State Department briefing:

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Office of the Spokesman
For Immediate Release
October 8, 2003


Malaysia: Counterterrorism Center

Question: What is the status of the counterterrorism center in Malaysia?

A: -- The Southeast Asia Regional Center for Counterterrorism, or SEARCCT, is up and running. Malaysian Foreign Minister Syed Hamid Albar opened a financial counterterrorism training workshop on August 25, stressing the need for international cooperation to cut off sources of terrorist financing. The audience for the opening numbered approximately 300 Malaysian officials, foreign diplomats, journalists, and course participants. The first group of 80 participants included representatives from all 10 ASEAN countries and four other nations. They will draw upon the SEARCCT training to enhance the skills of their financial counterterrorism officials.

-- The United States consults with the Government of Malaysia and SEARCCT managers about what type of training and resources to contribute to the center and provides experts in certain areas, such as counterterrorism financing or police methods. The United States also facilitates the participation of counterterrorism experts in SEARCCT activities.

-- The United States is pleased that this important effort is now underway, and will continue to provide support to the Center, including police training. Malaysia is a key partner in the war on terrorism, and its role in creating a regional center for building CT capacity and sharing information about terrorism in Asia is welcome.

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