Rewards for Justice ProgramAmbassador Francis X. Taylor, Coordinator for Counterterrorism
Remarks at the Rewards for Justice Rollout, U.S. Department of the Treasury
November 13, 2002
Thank you, Under Secretary Gurule, for inviting me to be here today. As we are all painfully aware, the tragic events of September 11 clearly displayed the global reach of terrorism in the world today. Since that dark day in American history, the United States has worked feverishly to combat this evil scourge, both within our borders and with our coalition allies around the world.
Under the leadership of President Bush, cooperation between U.S. Government agencies and our international partners has been unprecedented. We have built a strong global coalition that has achieved great success in identifying terrorists, capturing them, and preventing more attacks against innocent people around the world.
While we have made great strides, we are only at the beginning of a long and arduous campaign. We must have patience, but we must be persistent at the same time. I can assure the American people that the United States is strong and unwavering in its commitment to continue our global efforts to eliminate the threat posed by international terrorism to the civilized world.
One of the most effective weapons in our arsenal is the Rewards for Justice Program. Through this program, the United States offers rewards for information that prevents terrorist attacks or brings terrorists to justice. Through our global advertising campaigns, our message has reached millions of people and put potential sources of information in every place a terrorist might try to hide or operate.
The Rewards for Justice Program saves lives. Since its inception, we have paid more than $9.5 million to people who provided information in more than 20 cases. Perhaps our greatest success story was the arrest of Ramzi Yousef, the convicted mastermind in the 1993 World Trade Center bombing. In February 1995, Yousef was in Pakistan developing a plan to simultaneously blow up 12 U.S. airliners over the Pacific Ocean. Thanks to information provided by a brave informant, Yousef was arrested and convicted of his terrorist crimes. This is a scenario we want to see repeated over and over again. And I can assure you that it has, and it will again.
The Rewards for Justice Program has a proven track record of success. Today, we join forces with the newest member of the Rewards for Justice partnership, the Department of the Treasury, to embark on a new campaign to further step up the fight against international terrorism. Through this rewards announcement and the ensuing advertising campaign, we seek the assistance of more brave people to generate critical leads that will stop the flow of money to terrorists, disrupt their operations of evil, and ultimately and most importantly, save innocent lives.
The eradication of the terrorist threat is our top priority, and the State and Treasury Departments will clearly play a critical role in this effort. The American public can rest assured that we are using every avenue at our disposal -- diplomatic, financial, law enforcement, military, and political -- to track terrorists in every corner of the Earth and bring them to justice. The war on terrorism will not be won tomorrow, next month, or next year. But it is a war that we will win. Thank you.
Released on November 13, 2002