The Global War on Terrorism: The First 100 Days
"We are supported by the collective will of the world."
--President George W. Bush
The Coalition Information Centers
"The attack took place on American soil, but it was an attack on the heart and soul of the civilized world. And the world has come together to fight a new and different war, the first, and we hope the only one, of the 21st century. A war against all those who seek to export terror, and a war against those governments that support or shelter them."
-President George W. Bush, 10/11/01
On September 11, terrorists attacked freedom.
The world has responded with an unprecedented coalition against international terrorism. In the first 100 days of the war, President George W. Bush increased America’s homeland security and built a worldwide coalition that:
- Began to destroy al-Qaeda’s grip on Afghanistan by driving the Taliban from power.
- Disrupted al-Qaeda’s global operations and terrorist financing networks.
- Destroyed al-Qaeda terrorist training camps.
- Helped the innocent people of Afghanistan recover from the Taliban’s reign of terror.
- Helped Afghans put aside long-standing differences to form a new interim government that represents all Afghans – including women.
President Bush is implementing a comprehensive and visionary foreign policy against international terrorism. The President’s policy puts the world on notice that any nation that harbors or supports terrorism will be regarded as a hostile regime.
Diplomacy. President Bush has built a worldwide coalition against terrorism. More than 80 countries suffered losses on September 11; 136 countries have offered a diverse range of military assistance; 46 multilateral organizations have declared their support; and with U.S. leadership and international support, Afghans are putting aside long-standing ethnic and political differences to form a new and representative government.
Terrorist Finances. The President fired the first shot in the war on terrorism with the stroke of his pen to seize terrorist financial assets and disrupt their fundraising pipelines. The world financial community is moving to starve the terrorists of their financial support. 196 countries support the financial war on terror; 142 countries have acted to freeze terrorist assets; in the U.S. alone, the assets of 153 known terrorists, terrorist organizations, and terrorist financial centers have been frozen; and major terrorist financial networks have been closed down.
The Military Campaign. Operation Enduring Freedom began on October 7, 2001, and enjoys the support of countries from the United Kingdom to Australia to Japan. The Taliban have been forced to surrender major cities. The military has destroyed 11 terrorist training camps and 39 Taliban command and control sites. And al-Qaeda terrorists have been captured, killed or are on the run.
Law Enforcement. The U.S. has led a global dragnet to help bring terrorists to justice and help prevent future terrorist acts, creating the Foreign Terrorist Tracking Task Force to prevent terrorists from entering the U.S.; arresting and indicting known terrorists; increasing the global sharing of law enforcement information; and implementing tough new anti-terrorism laws.
Humanitarian. As Afghanistan’s largest humanitarian donor, the U.S. has increased its aid to the Afghan people by providing $187 million in aid since October alone, including food, shelter, blankets, and medical supplies. The President also launched the America’s Fund for Afghan Children that has already raised more than $1.5 million for the children of Afghanistan. As the harsh Afghan winter approaches, the U.S. commitment to the Afghan people is saving lives.
Homeland Security. President Bush has taken steps to help protect America against further terrorist attacks, providing $20 billion for homeland security; strengthening intelligence efforts; creating the Office of Homeland Security and the Homeland Security Council; implementing tough new airline security measures; and taking steps to protect America’s mail.
Helping the Survivors of September 11. The American people have responded with overwhelming compassion for the families of the victims of September 11, donating at least $1.3 billion to charities.
Respecting Islam. Almost immediately after the attacks the President took steps to protect Muslim-Americans from hate crimes. The President also held a series of events, including hosting the first-ever White House Iftar and an Eid event at the end of Ramadan; the President visited the Islamic Center; and the President created the "Friendship Through Education" initiative to bring American and Muslim children closer together.
The Tragedy of September 11
"Every one of the victims who died on September 11th was the most important person on earth to somebody."
--President George W. Bush, 12/11/01
On September 11 the terrorists committed an act of war against the innocent. The terrorists killed not only to end lives -- they killed to end our way of life. Recently the terrorists said that we should forget the attacks of September 11. The terrorists would like nothing more than to silence the world’s vocal opposition to their frightening vision they hope to export to every corner of the world.
The world will never forget the innocent victims and the brave heroes who died attempting to save them. The world will never forget the survivors, the devastated families and the grieving friends they left behind:
- More than 3,000 people died or remain missing following the attacks. They came from more than 80 different nations, from many different races and religions.
- 343 firefighters and paramedics perished at the World Trade Center.
- 23 police officers and 37 Port Authority police officers died at the World Trade Center.
- Approximately 2,000 children lost a parent on September 11, including 146 children who lost a parent in the Pentagon attacks.
- One business alone lost more than 700 employees, leaving at least 50 pregnant widows.
On December 11, more than 120 countries stood together to remember the three-month anniversary of the terrorist attacks.
These Nations & Areas Suffered Losses From the September 11 Attacks
Antigua & Barbuda
St. Kitts & Nevis
St. Vincent & the
Trinidad & Tobago
United States of
The al-Qaeda Vision for the World
"…we calculated in advance the number of casualties from the enemy, who would be killed based on the position of the tower. We calculated that the floors that would be hit would be three or four floors. I was the most optimistic of them all...due to my experience in this field, I was thinking that the fire from the gas in the plane would melt the iron structure of the building and collapse the area where the plane hit and all the floors above it only. This is all that we had hoped for."
"This new enemy seeks to destroy our freedom and impose its views. We value life; the terrorists ruthlessly destroy it. We value education; the terrorists do not believe women should be educated or should have health care, or should leave their homes. We value the right to speak our minds; for the terrorists, free expression can be grounds for execution. We respect people of all faiths and welcome the free practice of religion; our enemy wants to dictate how to think and how to worship even to their fellow Muslims."
--President George W. Bush, 11/8/01
Al-Qaeda is a movement defined by hatred. They hate progress, and freedom, and choice, and culture, and music, and laughter, and women, and Christians, and Jews, and all Muslims who reject their distorted doctrines. They love and worship only one thing, and that is power -- power they use without mercy to kill the innocent.
In Afghanistan, we have seen al-Qaeda's vision for the world. The leadership of al-Qaeda had great influence in Afghanistan and was supported by the Taliban regime. Afghanistan's people have been brutalized -- many are starving and many have fled. Women were not allowed to attend school. A person could be jailed for owning a television. Religion could be practiced only as their leaders dictated. A man could be jailed in Afghanistan if his beard was not long enough.
The al-Qaeda terrorists believe it is acceptable to steal food meant for starving, innocent families. The al-Qaeda philosophy says it is acceptable to use innocent people as human shields for their military operations. The al-Qaeda philosophy says it is acceptable to oppress women and doom them to a lifetime of poverty.
- Treatment of Women & Children. First Lady Laura Bush led a worldwide initiative to highlight the Taliban’s oppression of women. Before the Taliban, women played a key role in society. Then came al-Qaeda and their destruction of the Afghan family. The al-Qaeda-controlled Taliban regime especially targeted Afghan women and children, taking away their basic freedoms, splintering their families, putting their lives at risk, and relegating them to poverty. For example, the Taliban forbade the schooling for girls over the age of eight; shut down the women’s university; banned women from working (stripping a society in desperate need of trained professionals of half its assets); restricted access to medical care for women; brutally enforced a restrictive dress code; forbade women from moving about their communities freely; and beat women for laughing out loud. The First Lady led a worldwide initiative to highlight the Taliban’s oppression of women which helped lead to representation of women in the new interim government.
- Targeting Civilians. Al Qaeda and the Taliban regime have targeted civilians by literally using them as human shields for their military activities. For example, the November 6 Washington Post reports that the Taliban actually placed military assets in mosques and across the street from hospitals and innocent people’s homes. Taliban commanders have also hijacked humanitarian aid facilities for military purposes. A senior officer told the Washington Post, "Whole villages are being used as human shields by the Taliban to protect their large stockpiles of ammunition and weapons hidden in nearby caves."
- Humanitarian Crimes. The al-Qaeda and Taliban contribution to the starving Afghan people has been a deliberate and systematic campaign to disrupt the efforts of international relief agencies to deliver desperately needed food and medical supplies to the Afghan people. For example, the Taliban seized control of two U.N. World Food Program (WFP) warehouses, one in Kabul, and one in Kandahar, containing more than half the World Food Program's wheat supply for Afghanistan. The WFP in Kandahar had been feeding 150,000 Afghans a month before the Taliban seizure. The Taliban are also actually hijacking humanitarian convoys for military purposes. The November 6 Washington Post reports, "A truck in a convoy purportedly on a humanitarian mission to deliver food tipped over, and crates of tank and mortar shells could be seen spilling to the ground underneath a thin layer of flour."
- Al Qaeda & the Drug Trade. Osama bin Laden and his organization finance many of their terrorist activities through the drug trade. In fact, on October 25, 2001, The Herald (Glasgow) reported, "Osama bin Laden financed the development of a highly-addictive liquid heroin which he named ‘The tears of Allah’ as part of his multi-pronged terrorist campaign to destabilise western society. . . One source said yesterday: ‘It should be called the Devil's Brew rather than Allah's tears. It is a one-way ticket to addiction and death.’" The United Nations has also weighed in on the Taliban and al Qaeda connection to the drug trade. According to a U.N. Committee of Experts report on Resolution 1333 (May 2001), "Funds raised from the production and trading of opium and heroin are used by the Taliban to buy arms and other war materiel, and to finance the training of terrorists and support the operations of extremists in neighbouring countries and beyond."
"The message to every country is, there will be a campaign against terrorist activity, a worldwide campaign. And there is an outpouring of support for such a campaign. Freedom-loving people understand that terrorism knows no borders, that terrorists will strike in order to bring fear, to try to change the behavior of countries that love liberty. And we will not let them do that."
--President George W. Bush, 9/19/01
Since September 11, President Bush and Secretary of State Colin Powell have built a worldwide coalition for the war against terrorism. The coalition is stronger than ever and continues to grow.
- Since September 11, President Bush has met with leaders from at least 51 different countries to help build support for the war against terrorism.
- 136 countries have offered a range of military assistance.
- The U.S. has received 46 multilateral declarations of support from organizations.
- The U.N. General Assembly and Security Council condemned the attacks on September 12.
- NATO, OAS and ANZUS (Australia, New Zealand and the U.S.) quickly invoked their treaty obligations to support the United States. Our NATO allies are assisting directly in the defense of American territory.
- 142 countries have issued orders freezing the assets of suspected terrorists and organizations.
- 89 countries have granted over-flight authority for U.S. military aircraft.
- 76 countries have granted landing rights for U.S. military aircraft.
- 23 countries have agreed to host U.S. forces involved in offensive operations.
- Through intelligence cooperation with many nations, we are acquiring evidence against those responsible for the attacks of September 11 and we are better able to prevent future attacks.
- With U.S. leadership and with international support, Afghans have put aside long-standing ethnic and political differences to form a new interim government, naming a president and 29 ministers with portfolio. The new government will also include women, who have been oppressed by the Taliban regime.
- On December 11, more than 120 nations around the world answered President Bush’s call to reject terrorism and commemorate the victims of the September 11 attacks by holding remembrance ceremonies.
- The United States and several other allies have reopened embassies in Kabul.
- The President was joined by U.N. Secretary General Kofi Annan on November 11 for a memorial service honoring the citizens of all the countries killed in the World Trade Center.
"We put the world's financial institutions on notice: if you do business with terrorists, if you support them or sponsor them, you will not do business with the United States of America."
--President George W. Bush, 11/7/01
Terrorists need money to carry out their evil deeds. The President’s first strike in the war against terror was not with a gun or a missile – the President’s first strike was with his pen as he took action to freeze terrorist finances and disrupt their pipelines for raising and moving money in the future.
The world's financial institutions have been put on notice -- if you support, sponsor, or do business with terrorists, you will not do business with the United States. Denying terrorists access to funds is a very real success in the war on terrorism. Since September 11, the United States and its allies in the war on terrorism have been winning the war on the financial front:
- President Bush launched the first offensive in the war on terrorism on September 23 by signing an Executive Order freezing the U.S.-based assets of those individuals and organizations involved with terrorism.
- 196 countries and jurisdictions have expressed their support for the financial war on terror.
- 142 countries have issued orders freezing terrorist assets, and others have requested U.S. help in improving their legal and regulatory systems so they can more effectively block terrorist funds.
- The assets of at least 153 known terrorists, terrorist organizations, and terrorist financial centers have now been frozen in the U.S. financial system.
- Since September 11, the U.S. has blocked more than $33 million in assets of terrorist organizations. Other nations have also blocked another $33 million.
- On November 7, the U.S. and its allies closed down operations of two major financial networks – al-Barakaat and al-Taqwa – both of which were used by al-Qaeda and Osama Bin Laden as sources of income and mechanisms to transfer funds.
- On December 4, President Bush froze the assets of a U.S.-based foundation – The Holy Land Foundation for Relief and Development -- that has been funneling money to the terrorist organization Hamas.
- The U.S. government created three new organizations -- the Foreign Terrorist Asset Tracking Center (FTAT), Operation Green Quest and the Terrorist Financing Task Force. These new organizations will help facilitate information sharing between intelligence and law enforcement agencies and encourage other countries to identify, disrupt, and defeat terrorist financing networks.
- International organizations are key partners in the war on financial terrorism. On September 28, the United Nations Security Council passed resolution 1373 that requires all nations to keep their financial systems free of terrorist funds.
- The Financial Action Task Force -- a 29-nation group promoting policies to combat money laundering -- adopted strict new standards to deny terrorist access to the world financial system.
- The G-20 and IMF member countries have agreed to make public the list of terrorists whose assets are subject to freezing, and the amount of assets frozen.
The Military Campaign
"I said to the Taliban, turn them over, destroy the camps, free people you're unjustly holding. I said, you've got time to do it. But they didn't listen. They didn't respond, and now they're paying a price. They are learning that anyone who strikes America will hear from our military, and they're not going to like what they hear. In choosing their enemy, the evildoers and those who harbor them have chosen their fate."
--President George W. Bush, 10/17/01
Operation Enduring Freedom, the military phase, began October 7, 2001. Since then, coalition forces have liberated the Afghan people from the repressive and violent Taliban regime. As President Bush and Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld have said, this is a different kind of war against a different kind of enemy. The enemy is not a nation -- the enemy is terrorist networks that threaten the way of life of all peaceful people.
The war against terrorism is the first war of the 21st Century -- and it requires a 21st Century military strategy. Secretary Rumsfeld has worked with our coalition allies and the courageous men and women of the U.S. military to craft a cutting-edge military strategy that minimizes civilian casualties, partners with local forces, and brings destruction to the oppressive Taliban who supported the al-Qaeda terrorist network.
The coalition has achieved broad military success while putting fewer than 3,000 U.S. ground troops on the ground in Afghanistan. And Secretary Rumsfeld and the U.S. military have also shown a lightning quick ability to adapt to a distant, harsh and ever-changing battlefield. In some cases, U.S. troops are conquering terrorists by welding together 21st Century technology with 19th Century tactics. Troops have chased terrorists on horseback while using mobile phones and global positioning systems to pinpoint targets for the Air Force. Bombers today use 21st Century targeting technology, and laser-guided and GPS guided smart bombs to destroy specific targets, including centuries-old caves used as terrorist headquarters.
While we’ve achieved a great deal of military success, much dangerous and difficult work remains to be done before the war on terrorism is won. A few key military successes thus far in the war on terrorism include:
- In just weeks the military essentially destroyed al-Qaeda’s grip on Afghanistan by driving the Taliban from power.
- Taliban leaders have surrendered major cities to opposition forces, including Kandahar, Kabul, Kunduz, and Mazar-e-Sharif.
- The military has destroyed at least 11 terrorist training camps and 39 Taliban command and control sites. The Wall Street Journal reported on December 13 that as many as 50,000 terrorists from more than 50 countries may have received training in al-Qaeda camps in Afghanistan in recent years.
- About 2.5 million humanitarian rations have been dropped to aid the people of Afghanistan.
- U.S. Marines have established a military base at Kandahar airport.
- Routes are being blocked to try to prevent the escape of al-Qaeda and Taliban members.
- Senior al-Qaeda and Taliban officials have either been captured or killed.
- The U.S. military rescued two American Christian aid workers who were being held as prisoners by the Taliban.
- Friendship Bridge between Afghanistan and Uzbekistan was reopened to transport humanitarian aid by land.
- Minefields and roads are being cleared to ensure delivery of aid and freedom of movement.
- Leaflet drops and radio broadcasts continue daily to convey our determination, provide truthful information, and encourage the capture of Osama bin Laden.
The military action in Afghanistan represents a global coalition effort. In addition to the United States, military assets are being deployed from many other nations, including the United Kingdom, Australia, Canada, Czech Republic, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, New Zealand, Poland, Russia and Turkey.
"Terrorists try to operate in the shadows. They try to hide. But we're going to shine the light of justice on them. We list their names, we publicize their pictures, we rob them of their secrecy. Terrorism has a face, and today we expose it for the world to see."
--President George W. Bush, 10/10/01
The U.S. is leading a global dragnet to help bring terrorists to justice and help prevent future terrorist acts.
Prevention and Investigation:
- As of December 17, 460 individuals were being detained by the INS. 116 individuals, 77 of whom are in custody, are facing federal criminal charges -- including Zacarias Moussaoui who has been charged with conspiring with Osama bin Laden and al-Qaeda to murder thousands of innocent people in New York, Virginia and Pennsylvania.
- The Department of Justice (DOJ) created the new 22 "Most Wanted Terrorists" list.
- The FBI created a national task force to centralize control and information sharing resulting in hundreds of thousands of leads, over 500 searches, thousands of interviews of witnesses, and numerous court-authorized surveillance orders.
- The U.S. government has offered a reward of up to $25 million for information leading directly to the apprehension or conviction of Osama bin Laden.
- The Treasury Department and the Department of Justice collaborated to freeze the assets and accounts of 62 individuals and organizations connected with two terrorist-supporting financial networks, the al-Taqua and the al-Barakaat, and one organization funneling money to Hamas.
- The Department of State strengthened its "Rewards for Justice Program" which authorizes the Secretary of State to offers rewards of more than $5 million for information that prevents acts of international terrorism against the United States. The State Department has also launched a series of Public Service Announcements to educate the American public on the program.
- Improved information sharing between the law-enforcement and intelligence communities, allowing nationwide search warrants for e-mail and subpoenas for payment information, and to place those who access the Internet through cable companies on the same footing as everyone else.
- At the Attorney General’s request, the State Department designated 39 entities as terrorist organizations.
- The U.S. has forged new cooperative agreements with Canada to protect our common borders and the economic prosperity they sustain.
- Created 93 Anti-Terrorism Task Forces -- one in each U.S. Attorney's district -- to integrate the communications and activities of local, state and federal law enforcement.
- Created the Foreign Terrorist Tracking Task Force to focus on preventing terrorists from entering the country, and to locate and remove those who already have.
- The Department of Justice crafted a new reorganization plan -- Reorganization and Mobilization of the Nation's Justice and Law Enforcement Resources -- which is DOJ 's strategy for fiscal years 2001 to 2006 to help meet the new anti-terrorism mission.
- Reorganization of the Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS) to reform the agency's structure by separating its service and enforcement functions. Fulfills President Bush's pledge to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of the nation's immigration system.
- The Department of Justice launched the Responsible Cooperators Program. Justice will provide immigration benefits to non-citizens who furnish information to help apprehend terrorists or to stop terrorist attacks.
- INS arrested Mazen Al Najjar after he was ordered to be deported for violating his visa, had established ties to terrorist organizations and held leadership positions in the Islamic Concern Project and the World and Islam Studies Enterprise.
- Zayd Hassan Abd Al-Latif Masud Al Safarini was arrested for his indictment in 1991 for the September 5, 1986, hijacking of Pan American World Airways Flight 73, demonstrating DOJ’s commitment to track down terrorists no matter how long it takes.
- The President moved swiftly to protect Muslims from hate crimes and the Department of Justice followed his lead by having their Civil Rights Division sponsor community forums in Chicago, Illinois, and Dearborn, Michigan, on combating ethnically motivated violence as a result of the September 11th terrorist attacks.
- Attorney General John Ashcroft and AAG for Civil Rights Ralph F. Boyd, Jr. have met with 29 prominent leaders from the Arab and Muslim American and Sikh communities and underscored DOJ’s strong commitment to investigate and prosecute violators of federal hate crime laws.
- The Department of Justice, the U.S. Equal Opportunity Commission and the Department of Labor issued a joint statement against employment discrimination in the aftermath of September 11.
- Investigating approximately 300 incidents involving violence, or threats of violence against individuals perceived to be of Middle Eastern origin. Federal charges have been brought in 6 cases, coordinating with local prosecutors in at least ten instances where cases are being prosecuted locally.
- Provided approximately $52 million in assistance to victims and their families and $10 million in emergency assistance to the NYPD.
"Ultimately, one of the best weapons, one of the truest weapons that we have against terrorism is to show the world the true strength of character and kindness of the American people. Americans are united in this fight against terrorism. We're also united in our concern for the innocent people of Afghanistan."
President George W. Bush, 10/11/01
The humanitarian situation in Afghanistan remains dire. Millions face the threat of starvation. 70% of the Afghan people and ½ of all Afghan children are malnourished. Only 13% of the Afghan people have access to clean water.
Years of civil war -- compounded by the rule of the Taliban and the worst drought in 30 years -- have made matters worse. The Taliban were clearly more interested in protecting al-Qaeda than feeding the starving, innocent people of Afghanistan. Al-Qaeda and the Taliban have not only failed to provide security, food, and shelter for the Afghan people, but they have also disrupted the efforts of international relief agencies to deliver desperately needed food and medical supplies to the Afghan people. Among other things, the Taliban have seized and looted humanitarian supplies for themselves, and have harassed and beaten Afghan and international aid workers.
The typically harsh Afghan winter is arriving and the U.S., with its international partners, is doing everything it can to help bring hope to the innocent Afghans who have suffered under the brutal and oppressive al-Qaeda and Taliban regime:
- Even before September 11, the U.S. was the leading humanitarian aid donor for Afghanistan.
- Last fiscal year the U.S. provided $183 million of humanitarian assistance alone to Afghanistan.
- Since the beginning of October alone, the U.S. has provided more than $187 million in humanitarian assistance to Afghanistan.
- On October 10, USAID Administrator Natsios announced a five-point assistance strategy for Afghanistan: reduce death rates; minimize population movements; lower and then stabilize food prices; ensure that aid reaches those it is intended for; and begin developmental relief programs.
- As of mid-December the international community, led by the U.S., has delivered 127,368 metric tons (MT) of food aid to Afghanistan, using, trucks, boats, barges, aircraft, and thousands of people to overcome numerous logistical and security obstacles. (For context, 52,000 MT of food will feed approximately six million people for one month.)
- Between October 7 and December 13, the Department of Defense airdropped 2,423,700 Humanitarian Daily Rations (HDRs) to Afghans who could not be reached by relief workers because of ongoing conflict. The entire operation cost approximately $51 million.
- The President announced the creation of the America’s Fund for Afghan Children. The President asked American children to send $1 dollar -- or whatever they can afford -- to the Fund to help buy important humanitarian supplies. America’s children have donated more than $1.5 million thus far to the Fund. The first shipment of humanitarian goods purchased from this fund left the U.S. for the Afghan children on Sunday, December 9.
- The government has provided more than $62 million in grants to support relief activities in Afghanistan. The programs include supporting agriculture, rehabilitating water resources, funding health services, repairing shelters, and providing critical non-food items such as blankets, tents and kitchen sets. Additional grants have funded UN coordination efforts and a radio program to provide humanitarian and security information to Afghans in their home languages.
- USAID has provided funding for wool blankets and quilts, shelter kits, plastic sheeting and winterized tents. Further, USAID is distributing mattresses, clothes, stoves, cooking sets, firewood, coal, lanterns and water containers.
- The government has provided medical kits and funds for health centers and mobile clinics in Afghanistan and is sponsoring public heath education and programs on hygiene, obstetrics, maternal and childcare, and malnutrition. USAID is employing trained personnel to conduct educational outreach on basic health and nutrition, especially to women. USAID is helping expectant mothers, training local birth attendants and funding the distribution of vitamins and the immunization of young children.
- The government has provided funds for rehabilitation and reconstruction in the areas of housing, roads and bridges, wells and irrigation systems, agriculture and food security, and initiating "food for work" and "food for cash" initiatives.
- USAID has funded six airlifts of critical commodities to Afghanistan. The airlifts have provided shelter materials, tents, health supplies and high-energy food items for vulnerable people in Afghanistan.
- The State Department has provided $32,260,000 to relief agencies to assist Afghan refugees in Pakistan, Iran and other neighboring countries. The grants also provide funds to assist refugees attempting to return to their homes in Afghanistan.
- The government has sent Disaster Assistance Response Team (DART) personnel to Pakistan, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan and Tajikistan to ensure that relief efforts are effective and well coordinated.
"The Islam that we know is a faith devoted to the worship of one God, as revealed through The Holy Qu’ran. It teaches the value and importance of charity, mercy, and peace."
--President George W. Bush, 11/15/01
The United States is a nation of religious freedom, and the President has acted to ensure that the world’s Muslims -- from Dearborn, Michigan to Kabul, Afghanistan -- know that America appreciates and celebrates the rich traditions of Islam:
- At the national prayer service following the September 11 attacks, the President included religious leaders from many faiths, including an Imam from the Islamic Society of North America. Subsequently the President hosted an interfaith meeting on September 20 with leaders of different religious denominations to pray jointly for the victims of the September 11 tragedies and called for national reconciliation.
- Soon after the terrorist attacks, the President visited the Islamic Center of Washington to meet with American Muslim leaders and deliver a message of tolerance and solidarity. The President condemned unwarranted attacks on Americans of Muslim faith, and urged Americans to show their support for their Muslim friends.
- President Bush launched the "Friendship Through Education" initiative, encouraging children in America and children in Muslim nations to connect through email, letter writing, and different friendship and understanding projects. The President wants this initiative to help youths from different societies deepen their understanding of each others’ traditions and outlooks.
- For Ramadan, on November 19 President Bush hosted the first-ever Iftar -- or breaking-of-the-fast -- dinner at the White House, which included the ambassadors from nations with Muslim populations. The President also issued a warm greeting to Muslims around America and around the world with a special Ramadan message.
- The State Department asked U.S. embassies in Muslim countries to host Iftar dinners and many members of his administration also held their own celebrations. Secretary of State Colin Powell, Attorney General John Ashcroft, and Deputy Secretary of Defense Paul Wolfowitz all participated in Iftar dinners.
- On December 17, President Bush hosted Muslim children at the White House in honor of Eid al-Fitr, Islam’s most sacred holiday. He read an Eid book to the children and hosted them for cookies and punch as well as delivering a present to each child in the tradition of Eid. The President also issued a taped Eid message and read an Eid greeting.
- Secretary of Energy Spencer Abraham recognized Americans for acts of compassion following the September 11th attacks -- he honored, for example, a church that started an escort service for Muslim women who wear the hijab, and a citizen who created a fund to assist low-income Muslim victims of hate-inspired vandalism. Secretary Abraham will also launch a series of public service announcements further promoting tolerance.
"We face a united, determined enemy. America is going to be prepared."
--President George W. Bush, 10/8/01
President Bush has taken action to help protect America against terrorist attacks. The government is working around the clock to protect Americans. Among many other steps:
- The President worked with Congress to provide $20 billion to promote homeland security, including funds to upgrade intelligence and security, provide recovery assistance to disaster sites, help victims’ families, increase numbers of law enforcement personnel, provide health care for displaced Americans, and purchase irradiation equipment to sanitize the mail.
- The President established the Office of Homeland Security -- under the diligent guidance of Governor Tom Ridge -- and the Homeland Security Council to coordinate, and implement the Executive Branch's efforts to detect, prevent, protect against, respond to, and recover from terrorist attacks within the United States.
- The President moved to implement tough new airline security standards that tighten background checks for airline screeners and workers, dramatically expands the federal air marshal program, creates strict new baggage security requirements, and tightens security in all areas of airports.
- The President established an advisory committee for cyber security to ensure that America’s key infrastructures are protected. The advisory committee is a public/private partnership.
- The Administration has strengthened coordination between law enforcement agencies of the U.S. and neighboring countries to address common threats while ensuring the free flow of goods and people.
- The Food and Drug Administration has enhanced the food screening process of imported foods.
- The Department of Health and Human Services created the Office of Public Health Preparedness, to coordinate the national response to public health emergencies.
- Public health professionals provided antibiotics to more than 30,000 people to protect against their possible exposure to anthrax.
- HHS increased the supply of drug caches around the country, added specific use drugs, and began to increase the supply of small pox vaccine to 300 million.
- The President created a Presidential Task force to help Americans prepare in their homes, neighborhoods, schools, and other public places from the consequences of terrorist attacks.
- The Centers for Disease Control and the U.S. Postal Service provided guidelines on how to handle mail that had potentially come into contact with anthrax.
- EPA has worked with water utilities, chemical, pesticide, petroleum and fertilizer manufacturers to increase their vigilance and secure their resources against an attack.
The Survivors of September 11
"It is said that adversity introduces us to ourselves. This is true of a nation as well. In this trial, we have been reminded, and the world has seen, that our fellow Americans are generous and kind, resourceful and brave. We see our national character in rescuers working past exhaustion; in long lines of blood donors; in thousands of citizens who have asked to work and serve in any way possible."
--President's Remarks at National Day of Prayer and Remembrance, 9/14/01
Every one of the victims who died on September 11th was the most important person on earth to somebody. The American people have responded to the tragedies of September 11 with an unprecedented outpouring of support for their fellow Americans who lost so much on September 11:
- While it is impossible to catalog every penny of contributions, at least $1.3 billion has been collected in aid for families of both civilian and uniformed victims of the September 11th terrorist attacks.
- There are many relief organizations collecting aid to distribute to the families of the thousands of victims from the September 11th terrorist attacks. Examples include the Twin Towers Orphan fund, the Pentagon Assistance Fund, the WTC School Fund, the Washington Redskins Relief Fund, the Dole-Clinton Families of Freedom Scholarship Fund, and funds established by the United Jewish Communities, Catholic Charities, the Burn Center at the Washington Hospital Center, and many, many more.
- The American Red Cross has raised over $647.4 million and has distributed over $217.7 million to the families of the victims of September 11th.
- The September 11th United Way Relief Fund has been working thoughtfully and deliberately to distribute $143 million in cash and services to help rebuild the lives of victims’ families and affected communities.
- On September 1, the entertainment industry came together in historic fashion to raise funds and raise the spirits of all who have been touched by the horrific tragedy that has struck America. Over $150 million was pledged through the United Way September 11th Telethon Fund, "America: Tribute to Heroes." By the end of the year, a total of $100 million in cash assistance will have been delivered to victims families through the Telethon Fund by the entertainment industry.
- New York City’s major human service organizations have joined forces under an umbrella group called the 9/11 United Services Group. At the urging of the New York State Attorney General, the group launched a confidential database, which will serve as a central clearinghouse for information on victims, survivors, financial needs, and the amounts of money and services provided by charities. This database enables the different charities to communicate with each other and track both the needs of the families of victims as well as the amount of assistance they are receiving.
- More than 100 people with ties to the Sept. 11 terror attacks will carry the Olympic torch as it makes its way to Salt Lake City for the Winter Games. The torch will be passed at the Pentagon on Friday, December 21, 2001.
- The President announced www.libertyunites.org in the Rose Garden on September 18, 2001, and praised Americans for their outpouring of charitable relief support in the wake of September 11th.