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Powell On FBI Announcement On Terrorists

U.S. DEPARTMENT OF STATE Office of the Spokesman For Immediate Release

October 10, 2001

On-The-Record Briefing


October 10, 2001 Washington, D.C.

SECRETARY POWELL: Thank you very much, ladies and gentlemen. It is a pleasure to be here this morning. President Bush, Attorney General Ashcroft, Director Mueller, and my new colleagues in government, Governor Ridge and my old war buddy Wayne Downing, it is a pleasure also to have you here this morning and to be in the presence of so many of the accomplished professionals of the Justice Department and the FBI.

The State Department is proud, Mr. President, to be part of a team that, under your leadership, his going after those responsible for the September 11th attacks on America and on the world, and also working to eliminate the threat posed by international terrorism to the civilized world.

The events of September 11th brought home to us in tragic fashion the global reach of terrorists in today's world. The lesson is clear: To defeat terrorists, we must identify them, we must find them, and we must seize them wherever they are in the world doing their evil deeds or plotting new evil deeds.

Many of the individuals we are seeking are part of the al-Qaida leadership. They have blood on their hands from September 11th and from other acts against America -- in Kenya, Tanzania and Yemen.

The effort to capture these and other terrorists requires a coordinated campaign, within the United States Government and with government and law enforcement officials in other countries. We have put together such a campaign and our efforts are starting to pay off. We are all working together more closely. Governments are cooperating around the world. Known terrorists are being put behind bars.

But we are only at the beginning of a long campaign. As the President said, much remains to be done. We must be patient, but we must be persistent. And I know the American people understand the need for patience and persistence.

One of the most powerful tools we have for tracking down terrorists abroad is the State Department's Rewards for Justice program. This program offers rewards of up to $5 million for information that thwarts a terrorist attack on American or other interests, or brings a terrorist to justice.

Rewards for Justice is, as we say in the military, a force multiplier. It gives us millions of additional pairs of eyes and ears to be on the lookout. It puts potential informants in every place a terrorist might try to operate or to hide. And it works. Since the program's inception in 1984, we have paid over $8 million in 22 separate cases to people who provided information that put terrorists in prison or prevented attacks.

One example was just touched on by Bob as to how this program works. Ramsey Yousef, the convicted mastermind of the 1993 attack on the World Trade Center, was also engaged in a scheme to blow up 12 commercial airliners over the Pacific. But his plot was foiled when an informant in Pakistan, alerted by State Department fliers describing Yousef and his role in the bombing, turned him in.

We want to see this story repeated everywhere, everywhere that a terrorist is plotting against us or our interests, everywhere a terrorist is hiding.

We are getting the word out about our Rewards for Justice program in fliers and other ways of reaching the public, and we have a website that will give you all the information you need about this program: Let us know about it.

Ladies and gentlemen, the campaign against international terrorism requires us to use every tool we have: political, diplomatic, intelligence, law enforcement, financial and military. Under the President's leadership, we are doing just that. Here today, diplomacy and law enforcement are standing side by side. United as a country, united as a people, we will be successful. As the President has said, we will prevail. And the State Department will play a role in this campaign and in this war, and we truly will win.

Thank you very much.



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