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Excerpt from "Patterns of Global Terrorism—2002"

Reprinted from Terrorism: Documents of International and Local Control, Volume 39, U.S. Perspectives, edited by James Walsh

Published in 2003


Although post-9/11 many important reports on terrorism have been issued, the U.S. State Department's annual assessment has long been considered the government's most important public report on terrorism. U.S. law requires the Department of State to provide Congress with an annual report on global terrorism. The report must give a complete assessment of foreign countries where significant terrorist actions occurred, must report on countries known to support terrorism, and must assess worldwide terrorist organizations. U.S. law also requires the report to describe how countries cooperate with the United States to apprehend, convict, and punish terrorists who attack U.S. citizens or interests, as well as how countries attempt to prevent future terrorist acts.

"The world is fighting terrorism on five fronts: diplomatic, intelligence, law enforcement, financial, and military."

The following excerpt from "Patterns of Global Terrorism—2002" is part of the introduction written by Cofer Black, State Department coordinator for counterterrorism. The impact of 9/11 on this report is obvious. His introduction, which precedes the lengthy country-by-country reports and assessment of each terrorist organization, is a summary of the actions taken by the U.S. government against terrorism since 9/11. It also includes U.S. terrorism policy and strategy, and the four powerful guiding principles President Bush laid out for U.S. counterterrorism.

Ambassador Francis X. Taylor discusses the 2001 "Patterns of Global Terrorism" report, which documented 2001 as the deadliest year for terrorist attacks because of 9/11. (© Reuters/Corbis)

Diplomatic

The progress that has been achieved in the global war on terrorism would not have been possible without intense diplomatic engagement throughout the world. Diplomacy is the backbone of the campaign, building the political will, support, and mechanisms that enable our law enforcement, intelligence, and military communities to act effectively.

The web of relationships we have cultivated has borne fruit in countless ways, from increasing security at home and abroad to bringing wanted terrorists to justice in the United States and elsewhere.

All our friends have stood with us multilaterally—at the United Nations, in NATO, ANZUS, EU, G-7, G-8, OAS, ASEAN, APEC, OIC, OECD, OSCE—and bilaterally in virtually every corner of the world.

New counterterrorism relationships with Russia, China, India, Pakistan, Central Asian republics, and others have shown results and hold promise for continued engagement in the future. Collaboration in combating terrorism has deepened with partners such as Algeria, Bahrain, Egypt, Morocco, Tunisia, and the United Arab Emirates.

The Coalition's objectives are clear: to eliminate the threat posed by international terrorism and to deter states from supporting or harboring international terrorist groups.

Intelligence

The gathering of intelligence about al-Qaida's infrastructure in Afghanistan helped enable us to dismantle or scatter much of its membership and organization.

Information gained from captured enemy combatants and imprisoned terrorists is being exploited effectively around the world.

The expansion of intelligence sharing and cooperation among nations since September 11 is preventing attacks, saving lives, and exposing the hiding places of terrorists.

Law Enforcement

An impressive global dragnet has tightened around al-Qaida. Since September 11 more than 3,000 al-Qaida operatives or associates have been detained in more than 100 countries, largely as a result of cooperation among law enforcement agencies.

Entire cells have been wrapped up in nations such as Singapore, Italy, and elsewhere. In all these cells, deadly attacks on U.S. interests or our allies were being planned.

In the United States, the rule of law is being applied relentlessly against terrorists. For example, U.S. Attorney General John Ashcroft called October 4 "a defining day in America's War on Terrorism." On that day, the United States convicted would-be shoe bomber Richard Reid; sentenced American Taliban John Walker Lindh; and neutralized a suspected al-Qaida terrorist cell in Portland, Oregon. Another alleged al-Qaida cell was uncovered and its members arrested in Lackawanna, New York, during the summer.

Since the previous Patterns of Global Terrorism report was issued, the United States designated several additional groups as Foreign Terrorist Organizations (FTOs), including the Communist Party of the Philippines/New People's Army, Jemaah Islamiya, and Lashkar I Jhangvi. The Lashkar I Jhangvi was responsible for the kidnapping and murder of American journalist Daniel Pearl in 2002. The FTO designation carries several legal consequences: it is unlawful for U.S. persons to knowingly provide funds and other material support to designated groups; members of these groups are ineligible for U.S. visas; and U.S. financial institutions must block the funds of the groups.

Financial

More than 166 countries have issued orders freezing more than $121 million in terrorist-related financial assets.

Nearly all countries around the world have submitted reports to the United Nations [UN] on actions they have taken to comply with the requirements of UN Security Council Resolution (UNSCR) 1373, which includes obligations to freeze the assets of terrorists and to prohibit anyone in the country from providing financial or other material assistance to terrorists or their supporters.

The Financial Action Task Force—a 29-nation experts' group dedicated to the establishment of legal and regulatory standards and policies to combat money laundering—is working to deny terrorists access to the world financial system.

The European Union (EU) and the United States have worked closely together to ensure that nearly every terrorist individual or group designated by one . . . is also designated by the other. The Netherlands took effective action to freeze the financial assets of José Maria Sison, leader of the Communist Party of the Philippines/New People's Army terrorist group, and then asked the EU to freeze the assets of Sison and his group; the EU did so. In August, Italy joined the United States in submitting the names of 25 individuals and companies linked to al-Qaida to the UN, so their assets could be frozen worldwide.

The G-8 nations have committed themselves to a range of measures aimed at seizing terrorist assets. The Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation group, APEC, has adopted an ambitious antiterrorist finance action plan. The United States joined with Kyrgyzstan, Afghanistan, and China in including the Eastern Turkestan Islamic Movement on the UN's list of organizations affiliated with al-Qaida.

In the United States, the Foreign Terrorist Asset Tracking Center, Operation Green Quest, and the Terrorist Financing Task Force are facilitating information sharing between intelligence and law enforcement agencies and helping other countries to improve their legal and regulatory systems so they can more effectively identify, disrupt, and defeat terrorist financing networks.

More than 250 terrorist groups and entities have been designated under Executive Order 13224, which freezes their U.S.-based assets.

In November, the United States blocked the assets of the Benevolence International Foundation, which for years misused its status as a charity by funneling money to al-Qaida. Its CEO is closely associated with Usama Bin Ladin and has helped his cause financially.

Also in November, the State and Treasury Departments announced a $5-million reward program that will pay for information leading to the disruption of any terrorism financing operation.

As a result of all these efforts, it is much harder today for terrorists to raise and move money. Many who formerly provided financial support for terrorism seem to have backed away. Some facilitators have been captured and arrested. The international banking system is no longer safe for terrorists to use.

Future progress will not be measured in millions of dollars worth of frozen assets, as the amount of such funding is finite, but rather in terms of nations' efforts to prevent terrorist financing. Fundamentally, terrorists must now look over their shoulders, wondering whether it is safe to move, raise funds, plan, and conduct operations.

Military

Operation Enduring Freedom was launched on 7 October 2001. It comprises some 90 nations, nearly half of the world's countries. It is the largest military coalition ever assembled in all of human history. Its successes have also been historic. The bulk of Afghan territory was liberated from Taliban control within a matter of weeks. With our Coalition partners, the United States is helping to train the Afghan National Army so that Afghans can once again provide for their own security and the stability of the country. Schools have been rebuilt, teachers trained, and textbooks supplied. Land mines are being cleared. Hundreds of thousands of refugees have returned.

In Afghanistan and elsewhere, military action continues to be waged against terrorists with global reach. More than 500 suspected terrorists are being detained at the U.S. facility at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba.

Conclusion

Despite solid progress, the danger persists.

Al-Qaida is still planning attacks. Every al-Qaida operations officer captured so far was involved in some stage of preparation for a terrorist attack at the time of capture. Recent audiotapes by al-Qaida leaders contain exhortations to further violence and threaten the United States and our Coalition allies.

These threats must be regarded with utmost seriousness. Additional attacks are likely.

I have focused on our many accomplishments—diplomatic, intelligence, law enforcement, financial, and military. As significant as those have been, however, it is important not to think that victory is on the horizon. Far from it. Indeed, the ultimate success of this campaign will hinge in large part on two factors—sustained international political will and effective capacity building.

These posters in downtown Rome, Italy, show the Italian and American flags promoting an upcoming rally against terrorism and in solidarity with the U.S., November 8, 2001. After 9/11 President Bush called upon all nations to come together to fight terrorism. (AP/Wide World Photos)

First, we must sustain and enhance the political will of states to fight terrorism. The secret of maintaining a coalition is demonstrating daily to its members that the fight is not over and that sustained effort is clearly in their long-term interests. My meetings with government officials in every region of the world have convinced me that we have made tremendous progress on that score.

Second, we have to bolster the capacity of all states to fight terrorism. Despite our unmatched power, we recognize that the United States will not be able to win without the help of others. The United States cannot investigate every lead, arrest every suspect, gather and analyze all the intelligence, effectively sanction every sponsor of terrorism, prevent the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, or find and fight every terrorist cell.

Simply put, this is a global fight that requires a global system to defeat it.

President Bush has stressed from the beginning that "the defeat of terror requires an international coalition of unprecedented scope and cooperation." So our effort must also be truly international. . . .

Around the world, we are working to build up the capability of nations' forces so that they can take the fight to the terrorists from the streets of Sanaa in Yemen to Pankisi Gorge in Georgia, from the island of Basilan in the Philippines to the jungles of Colombia.

Our goal is to assist governments to become full and self-sustaining partners in the fight against terrorism.

As President Bush said at the end of 2002: "In the new year, we will prosecute the war on terror with patience and focus and determination. With the help of a broad coalition, we will make certain that terrorists and their supporters are not safe in any cave or corner of the world."

U.S. Policy

President Bush has laid out the scope of the war on terrorism. Four enduring policy principles guide U.S. counterterrorism strategy:

First, make no concessions to terrorists and strike no deals. The U.S. Government will make no concessions to individuals or groups holding official or private U.S. citizens hostage. The United States will use every appropriate resource to gain the safe return of U.S. citizens who are hostage. At the same time, it is U.S. Government policy to deny hostage takers the benefits of ransom, prisoner releases, policy changes, or other acts of concession.

Second, bring terrorists to justice for their crimes. The United States will track down terrorists who attack Americans and their interests, no matter how long it takes.

Third, isolate and apply pressure on states that sponsor terrorism to force them to change their behavior. There are seven countries that have been designated state sponsors of terrorism: Cuba, Iran, Iraq, Libya, North Korea, Sudan, and Syria.

Fourth, bolster the counterterrorist capabilities of those countries that work with the United States and require assistance. Under the Antiterrorism Assistance program, the United States provides training and related assistance to law enforcement and security services of selected friendly foreign governments. Courses cover such areas as airport security, bomb detection, hostage rescue, and crisis management. A recent component of the training targets the financial underpinnings of terrorists and criminal money launderers. Counterterrorist training and technical-assistance teams are working with countries to identify vulnerabilities, enhance capacities, and provide targeted assistance to address the problem of terrorist financing.

For More Information


Books

Walsh, James, ed. Terrorism: Documents of International and Local Control. Vol. 39, U.S. Perspectives. Dobbs Ferry, NY: Oceana Publications, Inc., 2003.


Web Sites

"Patterns of Global Terrorism." U.S. Department of State. http://www. state.gov/s/ct/rls/pgtrpt. (accessed on August 19, 2004).

"Significant Terrorist Incidents, 1961–2003: A Brief Chronology." U.S. Department of State. http://www.state.gov/r/pa/ho/pubs/fs/5902.htm (accessed on August 19, 2004).

"Terrorism." Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI). http://www.fbi.gov/terrorinfo/terrorism.htm (accessed on August 19, 2004).

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Centers for Disease Control. http://www.cdc.gov (accessed on August 19, 2004).

U.S. Department of Homeland Security. http://www.dhs.gov (accessed on August 19, 2004).

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