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Release of the 2001 Patterns of Global Terrorism

Release of the 2001 Report "Patterns of Global Terrorism"

Secretary Colin L. Powell
Statement upon the release of "Patterns of Global Terrorism"
Washington, DC
May 21, 2002

Good afternoon, ladies and gentlemen. I'm pleased to be here and to join Ambassador Frank Taylor, our Coordinator for Counterterrorism, to present the 2001 edition of Patterns of Global Terrorism, which is not only a very attractive book, but a very, very attractive CD-Rom as well. And it comes complete with its own Acrobat Reader. For those of you who think it might not load, it will load; we've tested it. And I hope you'll all find it a very useful addition to the manner in which we provide this information to the world.

This Report, mandated by Congress, is the 22nd such annual report to chronicle in grim detail the lethal threat that terrorism casts over the globe. Though the threat from terrorism is not new, the world's resolve to defeat it has never been greater. In 2001, for the first time, terrorists struck with savagery in the United States, killing some 3,000 people from 80 different countries. Nations of every continent, culture and creed, of every region, race and religion answered President Bush's call for a global coalition against terrorism. The United States led the international campaign to destroy al-Qaida's base in Afghanistan, and end the oppressive Taliban regime that gave it sanctuary.

But the continuing campaign against international terrorism isn't only about Afghanistan and bringing the perpetrators, planners and abettors of the September 11th attacks to account. It is also about bringing the international community's combined strength to bear against the scourge of terrorism in its many manifestations throughout the world. The advance of technology and globalization extend terrorism's deadly reach by making it easier for terrorists to move about, to form networks and conspire, with or without state sponsors.

The Report records the death toll in 2001 from terrorist attacks in which conventional weapons were used. It also confirms that terrorists are trying every way they can to get their hands on weapons of mass destruction, whether radiological, chemical, biological or nuclear.

The terrorist threat is global in scope, many-faceted and determined. The campaign against terrorism must be equally comprehensive, multidimensional and steadfast. It must be fought on many fronts, with every tool of statecraft.

This Report marks the significant progress against terrorism that we and our coalition partners are making in a variety of critical areas. Country by country, region by region, coalition members have strengthened law enforcement and intelligence cooperation. We have tightened border controls and made it harder for terrorists to travel, to communicate, and therefore to plot. One by one, we are severing the financial bloodlines of terrorist organizations.

Increasing the capacity of other nations to fight terrorism on their own soil is also critical to breaking the back of terrorism worldwide. That is why the United States has launched a train-and-equip program that will help the Government of Georgia develop its own capability to keep terrorists from crossing its borders and to fight terrorists already within those borders. We have worked with the Government of Yemen to root out al-Qaida cells and ensure that Yemen is not used as a base for terrorist operations. And our military is conducting joint counterterrorism training with the armed forces of the Philippines to help them defeat terrorist groups like Abu Sayyaf.

Terrorists respect no limits, geographic or moral. The front lines are everywhere, and the stakes are high. Terrorism not only kills people; it also threatens democratic institutions, undermines economies and destabilizes regions. In this global campaign against terrorism, no country, no nation has the luxury of remaining on the sidelines, because there are no sidelines. Every country is vulnerable and every country has the ability and the responsibility to contribute to the anti-terror campaign.

I want to thank Ambassador Frank Taylor and his team for their hard work, and our people at embassies all around the world who contributed to the preparation of this Report, and for the extraordinary dedication that all of these individuals have shown, especially in the demanding months since September 11th.

We hope that this Report will help inform the American and world publics about the nature of the terrorist threat and how the international community can work together to eradicate this threat once and for all.

I am now pleased to introduce Ambassador Taylor, who will take your questions and continue the briefing. Thank you very much.


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