Wednesday, 30 January 2008

FBI director to hold talks in Cambodia: US embassy

The Raw Story
Tuesday January 29, 2008

Robert Mueller, head of the US Federal Bureau of Investigation, will visit Cambodia this week to meet top officials, the US embassy said Tuesday, amid increasing concerns over regional terrorism.

Mueller, who is on a three-nation Asian tour, will arrive in Cambodia Wednesday to preside over the official opening of the bureau's permanent office in the capital Phnom Penh.

During his visit he will meet Prime Minister Hun Sen and other senior government officials, the embassy said, without elaborating on the agenda for the talks.

"The globalization of crime -- whether terrorism, international trafficking of drugs, contraband, and people, or cyber crime -- absolutely requires us to integrate law enforcement efforts around the world," Mueller was quoted saying on the embassy's website.

"The embassy views Director Mueller's visit as another indication of the expanding cooperation between our two countries' law enforcement agencies," the embassy said in a statement.

Washington has begun seeking Cambodia's support in a number of anti-crime efforts, including counter-terrorism and drugs-trafficking.

Law enforcement officials have in the past expressed concern that Cambodia's porous borders and weak policing could make the country an ideal haven for extremists.

Hambali -- real name Riduan Isamuddin -- allegedly a key member of the Al-Qaeda-linked Jemaah Islamiyah (JI) network, reportedly spent several months in Cambodia before he was captured in Thailand in 2003.

Last April, Cambodian National Police Chief Hok Lundy travelled to Washington for anti-terror talks with the FBI, despite criticism from rights groups over alleged abuses by his forces.

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