Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
VZCZCXYZ0007PP RUEHWEBDE RUEHAS #0483 1381430ZNY SSSSS ZZHP 181430Z MAY 09FM AMEMBASSY ALGIERSTO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 7476INFO RUEHFR/AMEMBASSY PARIS PRIORITY 3129RUEHRB/AMEMBASSY RABAT PRIORITY 2766RUEHTU/AMEMBASSY TUNIS PRIORITY 7628S E C R E T ALGIERS 000483 SIPDIS DEPT FOR DS/IP/NEA, DS/IP/ITA, DSS/OSAC, NEA/EX, PARIS FOR WJORDAN E.O. 12958: DECL: 05/18/2019 TAGS: ASEC PTER CASC AGSUBJECT: ALGIERS EAC: DETAINEE PHOTOS AND THE SECURITY SITUATION IN CONSTANTINE REF: SECSTATE 50245 Classified By: Acting Deputy Chief of Mission Mark Schapiro; reason 1.4 (g). 1.(S) On May 17, 2009, the acting DCM convened a full EAC to assess the impact on mission and AMCIT security from media attention to unreleased detainee photographs (reftel) as well as to evaluate the security situation in and around the city of Constantine for upcoming Embassy travel and activities. In attendance at the EAC were A/DCM, RSO, MGT, POL/MIL, POL, PAO, GSO, CONS, DAO, LEGATT, MSG and CLO. 2.(C) The EAC was convened as requested to discuss the unreleased detainee photographs as directed by STATE 50245. The EAC concurred that there has been no security impact on the Mission nor on American citizens as there has been little to no media attention paid to any unreleased detainee photographs. None of the EAC members had observed any negative reactions to the news in and around the city of Algiers. 3.(S) The EAC also convened to review and to evaluate whether enhanced security measures or a Warden Message were warranted due to recent threat information in the wilaya of Constantine concurrent with an international jazz festival hosted by the city of Constantine. An American jazz band has been invited and will perform on the final night of the festival, May 21. At least 5 embassypersonnel will be traveling to Constantine to attend the concert. In addition, the Ambassador has a trip planned to Constantine for May 26. RSO stated there was no specific threat information against venues within the city or against Western targets, although the police in Constantine have elevated their security posture to coincide with the jazz festival. RSO described recent security incidents in Constantine including stolen vehicles that may or may not be used by terrorists, recent security threats on the Governor and Mayor of Constantine, unconfirmed threats on the French Cultural Center, and most recently, an attack on the inaugural celebration of a new rail system from Jijel to Constantine. RSO indicated that local police authorities stated that they were actively attempting to locate the stolen vehicles but did not have any direct threat information. However, the police in Constantine have increased security throughout the city and specifically government buildings and the French Cultural Center. PAO reported the first three days of the jazz festival have proceeded smoothly and without incident, with visits from delegations of other countries. 4.(S) RSO stated with the agreement of POL/MIL that there are no direct threats at this time. RSO reminded Embassy personnel of embassy security briefing material advising the avoidance of large gatherings of westerners. PAO advised that the event is attended by Algerians, with few Westerners. RSO and all EAC members agreed thatall Embassy staff intending to travel to Constantine should be made aware of the current state of affairs and press reports so that they can make their own decisions regarding their travels. 5.(C) PAO discussed the venue and the security situation in the city, as he has been to Constantine multiple times and in fact has been to the exact venue where the concert will take place. He stated thatConstantine has the best security of any of the ten Algerian cities that he has visited in the last two years and that the police and military assets in Constantine are very competent and decisive. The PD officer then infact gave specific examples of the behavior of security forces in Constantine on his prior visits. PD stated that theAmerican jazz band was directly invited by the city of Constantine and not via the American Embassy; therefore, the city would do everything necessary as it has in previous years to ensure the safety of not only the American band, but also the other international performers. 6.(S) With RSO reinforcement of existing Mission security guidance, the EAC agreed that it was not necessary to amend the Mission's existing security posture regarding Constantine. In the absence of anyspecific threat information beyond the press reports reviewed at the EAC meeting, it was also determined that there was no immediate need for a Warden Message. PEARCE