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 You are in: Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice > Former Secretaries of State > Former Secretary of State Colin L. Powell > Speeches and Remarks > 2003 > April

Release of the 2002 "Patterns of Global Terrorism" Annual Report

Secretary Colin L. Powell
Washington, DC
April 30, 2003

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(10:45 a.m. EDT)

SECRETARY POWELL: Well, good morning, ladies and gentlemen. I am pleased to join Coordinator for Counterterrorism Ambassador Cofer Black in presenting Patterns of Global Terrorism 2002, our annual publication.

The international campaign against terrorism that President Bush launched and leads continues to be waged on every continent. With every passing month, that campaign has intensified.

As the President has pledged, "With the help of a broad coalition, we will make certain that terrorists and their supporters are not safe in any corner or cave of the world."

I am pleased to report that unprecedented progress has been made across the international community. Nations everywhere now recognize that we are all in this together; none of us can combat terrorism alone. This global threat demands a global response. Concerted action is essential, and together we are taking that concerted action.

Countries across the globe have taken concrete antiterrorism steps, the kinds of steps called for in the pathbreaking United Nations Security Council Resolution 1373. The world's regional organizations have followed suit with reinforcing measures. United Nations sanctions have been imposed on many terrorist groups and on individuals, officially making these groups and individuals international pariahs.

And here in the United States, we have designated additional groups and Foreign Terrorist Organizations. We and other members of the international community are sharing intelligence and law enforcement information and cooperating more closely than ever before, and we are working with our partners around the world to help them build their domestic capacities to combat the terrorist threat within and across their national boundaries.

Our own capacity to combat terrorism has been strengthened by the establishment of the Department of Homeland Security under the very, very able leadership and direction of Governor Tom Ridge.

As a result of all of these efforts, thousands of terrorists have been captured and detained. For those still at large, life has definitely become more difficult. It is harder for terrorists to hide and find safe haven. It is harder for them to organize and sustain operations. Terrorist cells have been broken up, networks disrupted, and plots foiled.

The financial bloodlines of terrorist organizations have been severed. Since 9/11, more than $134 million of terrorist assets have been frozen. All around the world, countries have been tightening their border security and better safeguarding their critical infrastructures, both physical infrastructures and virtual infrastructures.

States that sponsor terrorism are under international pressure and increasingly isolated. Much of this life-saving work has gone on behind the scenes. Meanwhile, U.S.-led coalition forces destroyed a major terrorist stronghold in Afghanistan. In the process, they liberated the Afghan people from the dual tyranny of the Taliban and al-Qaida.

So too, the liberation of Iraq is a great victory for freedom. It has freed the international community from the threat posed by the potentially catastrophic combination of a rogue regime, weapons of mass destruction and terrorists. And it has freed the Iraqi people from a vicious oppressor.

Now, we and our coalition partners are committed to helping the liberated Iraqi people. They deserve and will get a stable and united country under a representative government. Now, Iraq's great natural talent and wealth will be used to benefit all of its citizens.

To the region and the world, Iraq can become an example of a state transformed. Instead of a threat to international peace and security, it can now become a contributor to regional and international peace and security.

These are all remarkable achievements, but terrorism still casts its grim shadow across the globe. The international campaign against terrorism must press forward on every front: diplomatic, intelligence, law enforcement, financial and military. As our report indicates, 2002 saw an increase in global resolve and effectiveness against terrorism and a significant decrease in the number of terrorist attacks, from 355 in 2001, down to 199 in 2002.

That said, last year, terrorist attacks occurred in every region of the world. The terrorist bombings in Bali last October killed some 200 people from two dozen different countries. That same month, terrorists took 800 people hostage in a Moscow theater, the largest terrorist kidnapping ever. Terrorists also struck in Mombassa, killing 15 people in a hotel, while attempting to murder many more by firing a missile at a commercial airliner. Of the 725 people who perished as a result of terrorism in 2002, 30 were United States citizens, several of them members of our State Department family.

Even as I speak, terrorists are planning appalling crimes and trying to get their hands on weapons of mass destruction. We cannot and will not relax our resolve, our efforts and our vigilance. We hope that this report will increase public awareness of the historic efforts that we and our partners are making to combat terrorism and to safeguard our citizens against terrorism.

And now it is my pleasure to turn over the proceedings to our Coordinator for Counterterrorism, Ambassador Cofer Black.

Cofer.

Thank you.


Released on April 30, 2003

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