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 You are in: Under Secretary for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs > Bureau of Public Affairs > Bureau of Public Affairs: Press Relations Office > Press Releases (Other) > 2006 > September
Fact Sheet
Office of the Spokesman
Washington, DC
September 7, 2006


Progress In The War On Terror

In the War on Terror, the State Department is working with our bilateral, regional, and multilateral partners to:

  • Leverage existing capabilities and resources;
  • Build the will of our foreign partners to engage and sustain the struggle against our common enemy; and
  • Help build the capacity of our foreign partners.

The Regional Strategic Initiative (RSI) isbuilding trusted networks that undermine, marginalize, and isolate terrorists, discredit their ideology of hate and violence, and empower legitimate alternatives to extremism. The State Department works with our Ambassadors and interagency representatives in key terrorist theaters of operation to assess the threat and devise collaborative strategies. The RSI promotes cooperation between our partners in the War on Terror – such as Malaysia, Indonesia and the Philippines, as they deal with terrorist transit across the Sulawesi Sea, or between the countries of the Trans-Sahara to counter terrorists operating across national borders.

The Antiterrorism Assistance Program (ATA): Over the past 20 years, ATA has trained more than 52,300 law enforcement officials from 146 countries, and provided programs tailored to the needs of each partner nation and to local conditions. Courses have included crisis management and response, travel document fraud, cyber terrorism, dignitary protection, bomb detection, airport security, border control, kidnap intervention and hostage negotiation and rescue, response to incidents involving weapons of mass destruction, countering terrorist finance, and interdiction of terrorist organizations. All courses emphasize law enforcement under the rule of law and respect for human rights.

Rewards for Justice: The Secretary of State offers rewards of up to $25 million for information that prevents or resolves acts of international terrorism against U.S. citizens or property worldwide. Rewards of up to $25 million have been authorized for information leading to the capture of Usama bin Ladin and other key al-Qaida leaders. Rewards are also paid for information leading to the arrest or conviction of terrorists attempting, committing, conspiring to commit, or aiding and abetting in the commission of acts of international terrorism. Since the program's inception in 1984, the United States has paid over $62 million to more than 40 people who provided credible information that put terrorists behind bars or prevented acts of international terrorism worldwide.

Terror Finance: Since 9/11, the State Department has led efforts that block funding of terrorists and their supporters. Terrorist designations effectively curtail support for terrorist activities and pressure groups to get out of the terrorism business. U.S. financial institutions are required to freeze the funds of designated Foreign Terrorist Organizations, and it is unlawful for U.S. citizens or any persons subject to U.S. jurisdiction to provide funds or material support to such organizations. In response to the development of new international standards against the growing threat of illicit cash couriers and bulk cash smuggling, the State Department, with its interagency partners, developed operational training for foreign customs officers, investigators, and other officials on the detection, interdiction, analysis, investigation, and seizure of illicit cross-border cash used to facilitate terrorism and criminal activities.

The Proliferation Security Initiative (PSI) was launched in May 2003, to promote international cooperation to interdict Weapons of Mass Destruction-related shipments. More than 60 countries are engaged in PSI activities, including dozens participating in operational exercises that strengthen states’ capacity to work together on interdictions. Since it’s inception in 2002, the Container Security Initiative (CSI) ensures that maritime containers posing a risk for terrorism are identified and examined at foreign ports before shipment to the U.S. Early on, CSI focused on 20 foreign ports that ship approximately two-thirds of the volume of containers to the United States. As CSI has evolved, it has expanded to additional ports based on volume, location, and strategic concerns.

Blocking terrorist travel: The State Departmentcontinues to play a crucial role by screening visa applicants and incorporating biometrics, fingerprint matching, and facial recognition software into passport and visa systems. Since the Biometric Visa Program commenced in 2004, fingerprints of more than 24,000 visa applicants were matched against the Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) fingerprint watch list. Collecting fingerprints at the time of visa issuance and sending the fingerprints to DHS for identity verification when the person presents the visa at the U.S. port of entry has essentially eliminated the problem of imposters entering the United States with visas issued to other persons.

Visa and Passport Security Program: Under the Intelligence Reform and Terrorist Prevention Act of 2005, the Bureau of Diplomatic Security was mandated to establish a program to prevent terrorist travel by identifying, targeting and disrupting travel document vendors and facilitators. In late 2005, a Criminal Intelligence and Research Branch was established that provides fraud trends and analysis, as well as strategic and tactical support to criminal investigations. To date, 473 persons were arrested and 1,684 criminal investigations have begun.

2006/787

Released on September 7, 2006

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