President's Address to a Joint Session of Congress and the American People, United States Capitol Washington, D.C.20 September 2001 (9:00 p.m. EDT)
THE PRESIDENT: Mr. Speaker, Mr. President Pro Tempore, members of Congress, and fellow Americans:
In the normal course of events, Presidents come to this chamber to report on the state of the Union. Tonight, no such report is needed. It has already been delivered by the American people.
We have seen it in the courage of passengers, who rushed terrorists to save others on the ground—passengers like an exceptional man named Todd Beamer. And would you please help me to welcome his wife, Lisa Beamer, here tonight. (Applause.)
We have seen the state of our Union in the endurance of rescuers, working past exhaustion. We have seen the unfurling of flags, the lighting of candles, the giving of blood, the saying of prayers—in English, Hebrew, and Arabic. We have seen the decency of a loving and giving people who have made the grief of strangers their own.
My fellow citizens, for the last nine days, the entire world has seen for itself the state of our Union—and it is strong. (Applause.)
Tonight we are a country awakened to danger and called to defend freedom. Our grief has turned to anger, and anger to resolution. Whether we bring our enemies to justice, or bring justice to our enemies, justice will be done. (Applause.)
I thank the Congress for its leadership at such an important time. All of America was touched on the evening of the tragedy to see Republicans and Democrats joined together on the steps of this Capitol, singing "God Bless America." And you did more than sing; you acted, by delivering $40 billion to rebuild our communities and meet the needs of our military.
Speaker Hastert, Minority Leader Gephardt, Majority Leader Daschle and Senator Lott, I thank you for your friendship, for your leadership and for your service to our country. (Applause.)
And on behalf of the American people, I thank the world for its outpouring of support. America will never forget the sounds of our National Anthem playing at Buckingham Palace, on the streets of Paris, and at Berlin's Brandenburg Gate.
We will not forget South Korean children gathering to pray outside our embassy in Seoul, or the prayers of sympathy offered at a mosque in Cairo. We will not forget moments of silence and days of mourning in Australia and Africa and Latin America.
Nor will we forget the citizens of 80 other nations who died with our own: dozens of Pakistanis; more than 130 Israelis; more than 250 citizens of India; men and women from El Salvador, Iran, Mexico and Japan; and hundreds of British citizens. America has no truer friend than Great Britain. (Applause.) Once again, we are joined together in a great cause—so honored the British Prime Minister has crossed an ocean to show his unity of purpose with America. Thank you for coming, friend. (Applause.)
On September the 11th, enemies of freedom committed an act of war against our country. Americans have known wars—but for the past 136 years, they have been wars on foreign soil, except for one Sunday in 1941. Americans have known the casualties of war—but not at the center of a great city on a peaceful morning. Americans have known surprise attacks—but never before on thousands of civilians. All of this was brought upon us in a single day—and night fell on a different world, a world where freedom itself is under attack.
Americans have many questions tonight. Americans are asking: Who attacked our country? The evidence we have gathered all points to a collection of loosely affiliated terrorist organizations known as al Qaeda. They are the same murderers indicted for bombing American embassies in Tanzania and Kenya, and responsible for bombing the USS Cole.
Al Qaeda is to terror what the mafia is to crime. But its goal is not making money; its goal is remaking the world—and imposing its radical beliefs on people everywhere.
The terrorists practice a fringe form of Islamic extremism that has been rejected by Muslim scholars and the vast majority of Muslim clerics a fringe movement that perverts the peaceful teachings of Islam. The terrorists' directive commands them to kill Christians and Jews, to kill all Americans, and make no distinction among military and civilians, including women and children.
This group and its leader—a person named Osama bin Laden are linked to many other organizations in different countries, including the Egyptian Islamic Jihad and the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan. There are thousands of these terrorists in more than 60 countries. They are recruited from their own nations and neighborhoods and brought to camps in places like Afghanistan, where they are trained in the tactics of terror. They are sent back to their homes or sent to hide in countries around the world to plot evil and destruction.
The leadership of al Qaeda has great influence in Afghanistan and supports the Taliban regime in controlling most of that country. In Afghanistan, we see al Qaeda's vision for the world.
Afghanistan's people have been brutalized—many are starving and many have fled. Women are not allowed to attend school. You can be jailed for owning a television. Religion can be practiced only as their leaders dictate. A man can be jailed in Afghanistan if his beard is not long enough.
The United States respects the people of Afghanistan—after all, we are currently its largest source of humanitarian aid—but we condemn the Taliban regime. (Applause.) It is not only repressing its own people, it is threatening people everywhere by sponsoring and sheltering and supplying terrorists. By aiding and abetting murder, the Taliban regime is committing murder.
And tonight, the United States of America makes the following demands on the Taliban: Deliver to United States authorities all the leaders of al Qaeda who hide in your land. (Applause.) Release all foreign nationals, including American citizens, you have unjustly imprisoned. Protect foreign journalists, diplomats and aid workers in your country. Close immediately and permanently every terrorist training camp in Afghanistan, and hand over every terrorist, and every person in their support structure, to appropriate authorities. (Applause.) Give the United States full access to terrorist training camps, so we can make sure they are no longer operating.
These demands are not open to negotiation or discussion. (Applause.) The Taliban must act, and act immediately. They will hand over the terrorists, or they will share in their fate.
I also want to speak tonight directly to Muslims throughout the world. We respect your faith. It's practiced freely by many millions of Americans, and by millions more in countries that America counts as friends. Its teachings are good and peaceful, and those who commit evil in the name of Allah blaspheme the name of Allah. (Applause.) The terrorists are traitors to their own faith, trying, in effect, to hijack Islam itself. The enemy of America is not our many Muslim friends; it is not our many Arab friends. Our enemy is a radical network of terrorists, and every government that supports them. (Applause.)
Our war on terror begins with al Qaeda, but it does not end there. It will not end until every terrorist group of global reach has been found, stopped and defeated. (Applause.)
Americans are asking, why do they hate us? They hate what we see right here in this chamber a democratically elected government. Their leaders are self-appointed. They hate our freedoms our freedom of religion, our freedom of speech, our freedom to vote and assemble and disagree with each other. They want to overthrow existing governments in many Muslim countries, such as Egypt, Saudi Arabia, and Jordan. They want to drive Israel out of the Middle East. They want to drive Christians and Jews out of vast regions of Asia and Africa.
These terrorists kill not merely to end lives, but to disrupt and end a way of life. With every atrocity, they hope that America grows fearful, retreating from the world and forsaking our friends. They stand against us, because we stand in their way.
We are not deceived by their pretenses to piety. We have seen their kind before. They are the heirs of all the murderous ideologies of the 20th century. By sacrificing human life to serve their radical visions by abandoning every value except the will to power they follow in the path of fascism, and Nazism, and totalitarianism. And they will follow that path all the way, to where it ends: in history's unmarked grave of discarded lies. (Applause.)
Americans are asking: How will we fight and win this war? We will direct every resource at our command—every means of diplomacy, every tool of intelligence, every instrument of law enforcement, every financial influence, and every necessary weapon of war—to the disruption and to the defeat of the global terror network.
This war will not be like the war against Iraq a decade ago, with a decisive liberation of territory and a swift conclusion. It will not look like the air war above Kosovo two years ago, where no ground troops were used and not a single American was lost in combat.
Our response involves far more than instant retaliation and isolated strikes. Americans should not expect one battle, but a lengthy campaign, unlike any other we have ever seen. It may include dramatic strikes, visible on TV, and covert operations, secret even in success. We will starve terrorists of funding, turn them one against another, drive them from place to place, until there is no refuge or no rest. And we will pursue nations that provide aid or safe haven to terrorism. Every nation, in every region, now has a decision to make. Either you are with us, or you are with the terrorists. (Applause.) From this day forward, any nation that continues to harbor or support terrorism will be regarded by the United States as a hostile regime.
Our nation has been put on notice: We are not immune from attack. We will take defensive measures against terrorism to protect Americans. Today, dozens of federal departments and agencies, as well as state and local governments, have responsibilities affecting homeland security. These efforts must be coordinated at the highest level. So tonight I announce the creation of a Cabinet-level position reporting directly to me the Office of Homeland Security.
And tonight I also announce a distinguished American to lead this effort, to strengthen American security: a military veteran, an effective governor, a true patriot, a trusted friend Pennsylvania's Tom Ridge. (Applause.) He will lead, oversee and coordinate a comprehensive national strategy to safeguard our country against terrorism, and respond to any attacks that may come.
These measures are essential. But the only way to defeat terrorism as a threat to our way of life is to stop it, eliminate it, and destroy it where it grows. (Applause.)
Many will be involved in this effort, from FBI agents to intelligence operatives to the reservists we have called to active duty. All deserve our thanks, and all have our prayers. And tonight, a few miles from the damaged Pentagon, I have a message for our military: Be ready. I've called the Armed Forces to alert, and there is a reason. The hour is coming when America will act, and you will make us proud. (Applause.)
This is not, however, just America's fight. And what is at stake is not just America's freedom. This is the world's fight. This is civilization's fight. This is the fight of all who believe in progress and pluralism, tolerance and freedom.
We ask every nation to join us. We will ask, and we will need, the help of police forces, intelligence services, and banking systems around the world. The United States is grateful that many nations and many international organizations have already responded with sympathy and with support. Nations from Latin America, to Asia, to Africa, to Europe, to the Islamic world. Perhaps the NATO Charter reflects best the attitude of the world: An attack on one is an attack on all. The civilized world is rallying to America's side. They understand that if this terror goes unpunished, their own cities, their own citizens may be next. Terror, unanswered, can not only bring down buildings, it can threaten the stability of legitimate governments. And you know what we're not going to allow it. (Applause.)
Americans are asking: What is expected of us? I ask you to live your lives, and hug your children. I know many citizens have fears tonight, and I ask you to be calm and resolute, even in the face of a continuing threat. I ask you to uphold the values of America, and remember why so many have come here. We are in a fight for our principles, and our first responsibility is to live by them. No one should be singled out for unfair treatment or unkind words because of their ethnic background or religious faith. (Applause.)
I ask you to continue to support the victims of this tragedy with your contributions. Those who want to give can go to a central source of information, libertyunites.org, to find the names of groups providing direct help in New York, Pennsylvania, and Virginia.
The thousands of FBI agents who are now at work in this investigation may need your cooperation, and I ask you to give it.
I ask for your patience, with the delays and inconveniences that may accompany tighter security; and for your patience in what will be a long struggle.
I ask your continued participation and confidence in the American economy. Terrorists attacked a symbol of American prosperity. They did not touch its source. America is successful because of the hard work, and creativity, and enterprise of our people. These were the true strengths of our economy before September 11th, and they are our strengths today. (Applause.)
And, finally, please continue praying for the victims of terror and their families, for those in uniform, and for our great country. Prayer has comforted us in sorrow, and will help strengthen us for the journey ahead.
Tonight I thank my fellow Americans for what you have already done and for what you will do. And ladies and gentlemen of the Congress, I thank you, their representatives, for what you have already done and for what we will do together.
Tonight, we face new and sudden national challenges. We will come together to improve air safety, to dramatically expand the number of air marshals on domestic flights, and take new measures to prevent hijacking. We will come together to promote stability and keep our airlines flying, with direct assistance during this emergency. (Applause.)
We will come together to give law enforcement the additional tools it needs to track down terror here at home. (Applause.) We will come together to strengthen our intelligence capabilities to know the plans of terrorists before they act, and find them before they strike. (Applause.)
We will come together to take active steps that strengthen America's economy, and put our people back to work.
Tonight we welcome two leaders who embody the extraordinary spirit of all New Yorkers: Governor George Pataki, and Mayor Rudolph Giuliani. (Applause.) As a symbol of America's resolve, my administration will work with Congress, and these two leaders, to show the world that we will rebuild New York City. (Applause.)
After all that has just passed all the lives taken, and all the possibilities and hopes that died with them it is natural to wonder if America's future is one of fear. Some speak of an age of terror. I know there are struggles ahead, and dangers to face. But this country will define our times, not be defined by them. As long as the United States of America is determined and strong, this will not be an age of terror; this will be an age of liberty, here and across the world. (Applause.)
Great harm has been done to us. We have suffered great loss. And in our grief and anger we have found our mission and our moment. Freedom and fear are at war. The advance of human freedom—the great achievement of our time, and the great hope of every time now depends on us. Our nation this generation will lift a dark threat of violence from our people and our future. We will rally the world to this cause by our efforts, by our courage. We will not tire, we will not falter, and we will not fail. (Applause.)
It is my hope that in the months and years ahead, life will return almost to normal. We'll go back to our lives and routines, and that is good. Even grief recedes with time and grace. But our resolve must not pass. Each of us will remember what happened that day, and to whom it happened. We'll remember the moment the news came where we were and what we were doing. Some will remember an image of a fire, or a story of rescue. Some will carry memories of a face and a voice gone forever.
And I will carry this: It is the police shield of a man named George Howard, who died at the World Trade Center trying to save others. It was given to me by his mom, Arlene, as a proud memorial to her son. This is my reminder of lives that ended, and a task that does not end. (Applause.)
I will not forget this wound to our country or those who inflicted it. I will not yield; I will not rest; I will not relent in waging this struggle for freedom and security for the American people.
The course of this conflict is not known, yet its outcome is certain. Freedom and fear, justice and cruelty, have always been at war, and we know that God is not neutral between them. (Applause.)
Fellow citizens, we'll meet violence with patient justice -- assured of the rightness of our cause, and confident of the victories to come. In all that lies before us, may God grant us wisdom, and may He watch over the United States of America.
Thank you. (Applause.)
Teamwork in Action: The Interagency Process
As President Bush told the American people in an address to Congress, the successful prosecution of the war against terrorism will require the judicious use of "every resource at our command—every means of diplomacy, every tool of intelligence, every instrument of law enforcement, every financial influence, and every necessary weapon of war...." To bring all of the US Government's resources to bear in the most effective manner possible, the US Government maintains a strong mechanism for coordinating the activities of all US Government agencies that have a critical international counterterrorism role.
The US Government's international counterterrorism community has long been well integrated by the National Security Council (NSC)-chaired Counterterrorism and Security Group (CSG), an interagency body with representatives from all major US Government national security agencies—State, Defense, Justice, FBI, CIA, and the JCS—as well as key players from Treasury, Transportation, Energy, INS, Customs, and other agencies and services. The CSG's membership meets on a near daily basis to accomplish the US Government's counterterrorism objectives:
The President in October 2001 further bolstered the strength of the CSG coordinating mechanism by according the Chairman, NSC National Director of Combating Terrorism Wayne Downing, the rank of Deputy National Security Advisor.
Countering Terrorism on the Economic Front
Since September 11 the US Government has taken several steps to block terrorist funding. On 23 September, the President signed Executive Order 13224, augmenting the Treasury Department's authority to block assets and US transactions of persons or institutions associated with terrorists or terrorist organizations. The Order also legalizes our ability to block US assets of and denies access to US markets to those foreign banks that refuse to cooperate in freezing assets. On 2 November, HAMAS and 21 other terrorist organizations not linked to al-Qaida were added to the Executive Order. On 7 November, the United States moved to block the assets of 62 organizations and individuals associated with Al Barakaat and Al Taqwa, money transferring networks that have supported terrorist organizations. On 4 December, the United States announced it was moving to block assets of three financial supporters of HAMAS—the Holy Land Foundation for Relief and Development; Beit el-Mal Holdings; and Al-Aqsa Bank. In December 2001 and January 2002, fifteen other groups and individuals were added to the list, including entities based in Pakistan, Afghanistan, Spain, and Northern Ireland.
These steps have already achieved results. At year's end, the USGovernment had blocked over $33 million in assets of the Taliban and al-Qaida. Other nations have blocked over $33 million in assets. Additionally, the US Department of the Treasury has established an interagency Foreign Terrorist Asset Tracking Center and has mobilized financial investigators to develop leads for further enforcement action.
UN Security Council Resolution 1373, passed on 28 September, requires all nations to prevent and suppress the financing of terrorist acts and to deny safehaven to terrorists. The 29-nation Financial Action Task Force has articulated the concrete steps necessary for nations to combat terrorism and has invited action plans from all countries to achieve full implementation by 2002. The G-8 has also agreed to work with the coordinating committee of the UN to provide technical assistance to countries seeking to implement UNSCR 1373.
Antiterrorism Assistance Program
Congress authorized the Antiterrorism Assistance (ATA) Program in 1983 as part of a major initiative against international terrorism. Since that time ATA has provided training for over 35,000 students from 152 countries. The ATA Program provides training and related assistance to law enforcement and security services of selected friendly foreign governments. Assistance to the qualified countries focuses on the following objectives:
ATA courses are developed and customized in response to terrorism trends and patterns. The training can be categorized into four functional areas: Crisis Prevention, Crisis Management, Crisis Resolution and Investigation. Countries in need of assistance are targeted regionally and individually based on terrorism activity or potential. Assistance most often takes the form of US based training that begins with a comprehensive in-country need assessment. Airport security training, terrorist crime scene investigations courses, and weapons of mass destruction (chemical and biological) awareness and first responder training are conducted overseas to maximize the impact of the training. ATA assistance may also take the form of advisory assistance such as: police administration, management and organizational training; police instructor training and police academy development; judicial security, and modern interview and investigative techniques. Training-related equipment or bomb dogs may also be included in the assistance package.
The post September 11 era has shifted the focus of ATA outreach to the newly identified frontline nations. These include Algeria, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Bangladesh, Djibouti, Egypt, Ethiopia, Georgia, India, Indonesia, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Kenya, Kyrgyz Republic, Malaysia, Morocco, Oman, Pakistan, Philippines, Saudi Arabia, Tajikistan, Tunisia, Turkey, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, and Yemen. At this writing, at least 78 courses are planned or projected for delivery to these frontline nations by June 2002. ATA has identified specific areas in which courses will be added or expanded to address the challenge of developing enhanced antiterrorism capabilities in frontline and other countries. The areas of focus include aviation security, airport security, advanced police tactical intervention, physical security, border controls, weapons of mass destruction (WMD) including mail security, customs/immigration inspection, disaster response and urban search and rescue. Our ability to assist friendly governments with mastering the detection and prevention of terrorist activities will clearly impact our own national security as well as that of the receiving nation. Detecting and stemming terrorist cells at the root before the violence is actualized, crossing borders and oceans, will assure a safer world for all nations.
In the wake of the September 11 terrorist attacks, government officials of these frontline countries are expressing greater interest in receiving antiterrorism assistance. ATA has increased efforts to familiarize ambassadors, regional security officers, and other US officials with the program offerings. The success of our enhanced marketing efforts is evidenced by the fact that every frontline nation has requested antiterrorist assistance in some form. US diplomats report that the ability of the United States to offer immediate, specific, and intensive training assistance along with technical tools and equipment has succeeded in breaking down barriers and building trust.
ATA is responding to the growing demand for training and services, not only by expanding courses and course selection, but also by offering more sessions of the existing courses, increasing ATA program administrative staff and pursuing the development of the Center for Antiterrorism and Security training (CAST) to be located at Aberdeen Proving Ground in Maryland. ATA is already offering training at the Louisiana State Police Academy (Baton Rouge, Louisiana), the Federal Law Enforcement Academy (Glynco, Georgia), the FBI Academy (Quantico, Virginia), the New Mexico Technical University (Socorro, New Mexico), and in the Greater Washington DC area, and San Antonio, Texas.
Rewards for Justice Program
The Rewards for Justice Program is one of the most valuable US Government assets in the fight against international terrorism. Established by the 1984 Act to Combat International Terrorism, Public Law 98-533, the Program is administered by the US Department of State's Bureau of Diplomatic
Under the Program, the Secretary of State may offer rewards of up to $5 million for information that prevents or favorably resolves acts of international terrorism against US persons or property worldwide. Rewards also may be paid for information leading to the arrest or conviction of terrorists attempting, committing, and conspiring to commit, or aiding and abetting in the commission of such acts.
The USA Patriot Act of 2001, which became law on 26 October, authorizes the Secretary to offer or pay rewards of greater than $5 million if he determines that a greater amount is necessary to combat terrorism or to defend the United States against terrorist acts. Secretary Powell has authorized a reward of up to $25 million for information leading to the capture of Usama Bin Ladin and other key al-Qaida leaders.
Diplomatic Security took the early initiative in fully cooperating and supporting the efforts of the private business sector/citizens to establish a Rewards for Justice Fund, a nongovernmental, non-profit 501 C (3) charitable organization administered by a group of private US citizens. One hundred percent of all donated funds will be used to supplement reward payments only. Diplomatic Security has forged a strong relationship with the private business and US citizen representatives of the Rewards for Justice Fund. Diplomatic Security has embarked on a much closer relationship with the US public and private business in the US Government's continuing efforts to bring those individuals responsible for the planning of the September 11 attacks to justice and preventing future international terrorist attacks against the United States at home or abroad.
Diplomatic Security is working in close collaborative efforts with the Department's Public Diplomacy Office and the private sector, as sponsored by the US Ad Council, in developing a three-pronged Rewards for Justice Program campaign.
International Terrorism: US Hostages, US Government Policy
The US Government will make no concessions to individuals or groups holding official or private US citizens hostage. The United States will use every appropriate resource to gain the safe return of US citizens who are held hostage. At the same time, it is US Government policy to deny hostage takers the benefits of ransom, prisoner releases, policy changes, or other acts of concession.
It is internationally accepted that governments are responsible for the safety and welfare of persons within the borders of their nations. Aware of both the hostage threat and public security shortcomings in many parts of the world, the United States has developed enhanced physical and personal security programs for US personnel and established cooperative arrangements with the US private sector. It has also established bilateral assistance programs and close intelligence and law enforcement relationships with many nations to prevent hostage-taking incidents or resolve them in a manner that will deny the perpetrators benefits from their actions. The United States also seeks effective judicial prosecution and punishment for hostage takers victimizing the US Government or its citizens and will use all legal methods to these ends, including extradition. US policy and goals are clear, and the US Government actively pursues them alone and in cooperation with other governments.
US Government Responsibilities When Private US Citizens Are Taken Hostage
Based upon past experience, the US Government concluded that making concessions that benefit hostage takers in exchange for the release of hostages increased the danger that others will be taken hostage. US Government policy is, therefore, to deny hostage takers the benefits of ransom, prisoner releases, policy changes, or other acts of concession.
At the same time, the US Government will make every effort, including contact with representatives of the captors, to obtain the release of hostages without making concessions to the hostage takers.
Consequently, the United States strongly urges US companies and private citizens not to accede to hostage-taker demands. It believes that good security practices, relatively modest security expenditures, and continual close cooperation with embassy and local authorities can lower the risk to US
citizens living in high-threat environments.
The US Government is concerned for the welfare of its citizens but cannot support requests that host governments violate their own laws or abdicate their normal enforcement responsibilities.
If the employing organization or company works closely with local authorities and follows US policy, US Foreign Service posts can be involved actively in efforts to bring the incident to a safe conclusion. This includes providing reasonable administrative services and, if desired by local authorities and the US entity, full participation in strategy sessions. Requests for US Government technical assistance or expertise will be considered on a case-by-case basis. The full extent of US Government participation must await an analysis of each specific set of circumstances.
The host government and the US private organizations or citizen must understand that if they wish to follow a hostage-resolution path different from that of US Government policy, they do so without US Government approval. In the event a hostage-taking incident is resolved through concessions, US policy remains steadfastly to pursue investigation leading to the apprehension and prosecution of hostage takers who victimize US citizens.
Under current US law, 18 USC 1203 (Act for the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Hostage-Taking, enacted October 1984 in implementation of the UN convention on hostage taking), seizure of a US citizen as a hostage anywhere in the world is a crime, as is any hostage-taking action in which the US Government is a target or the hostage taker is a US national. Such acts are, therefore, subject to investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and to prosecution by US authorities. Actions by private persons or entities that have the effect of aiding or abetting the hostage taking, concealing knowledge of it from the authorities, or obstructing its investigation may themselves be in violation of US law.
US Terrorism Lists: Prevention, Punishment, Pressure
The US Government (USG) has established four primary counterterrorism "lists" to serve as tools in the fight against terrorism: The State Sponsors of Terrorism, Foreign Terrorist Organizations (FTO), Executive Order 13224, and the Terrorist Exclusion (TEL) list. Each list has its individual mechanisms, but they all serve to prevent terrorism, punish terrorists and their supporters, and pressure changes in the behavior of designated states and groups.
Because these lists are a means to fight terrorism, rather than an end in themselves, they are not designed or intended to be immutable. The USG encourages states and organizations to take the necessary actions to get out of the terrorism business. The bar for a state or group being removed from a USG terrorism list is and must be high—it must end all involvement in any facet of terrorism, including passive support, and satisfy all USG counterterrorism concerns.
State Sponsors of Terrorism
The Secretary of State is authorized to designate a government as a "State Sponsor of Terrorism" if that government "has repeatedly provided support for acts of international terrorism."United States law requires the imposition of various sanctions on a state so designated. A number of US laws and sanctions affect countries whose governments have been designated as state sponsors of terrorism. The four main categories of sanctions include a ban on arms-related exports and sales; restrictions on exports of dual use items; prohibitions on official US Government economic assistance (except humanitarian assistance), including a requirement that the US Government oppose multilateral bank assistance; and imposition of miscellaneous trade and other restrictions, including a prohibition on imports and liability in US courts for officials of that country that engage in terrorist activity. Inclusion on the State Sponsors of Terrorism list also targets a country for other sanctions laws that penalize persons and countries engaging in certain trade with state sponsors. Currently, there are seven countries on the list: Cuba, Iran, Iraq, Libya, North Korea, Sudan, and Syria.
Foreign Terrorist Organizations (FTOs)
The Secretary of State is authorized to designate as FTOs groups that conduct international terrorism and threaten the interests of the United States. Designation allows the USG to block designees' assets in US financial institutions; criminalizes witting provision of material support to designated groups; and to block visas for members of FTOs without having to show that the individual was involved in specific terrorist activities. FTO designation also sends a strong signal that any group that engages in terrorism regardless of its purported goals will be condemned and penalized for its actions.
Executive Order 13224-Terrorist Financing
President Bush signed Executive Order 13224 on 23 September 2001, to give the USG a strong tool for eliminating the financial supporters and networks of terrorism. EO 13224 enables the USG to block designees' assets in any financial institution in the United States or held by any US person. It also expands USG authority to permit the designation of individuals and organizations that provide support or financial or other services to, or associate with, designated terrorists. At the end of 2001, EO 13224 designations allowed the USG, as well as Coalition partners acting in concert, to block tens of millions of dollars intended to bankroll the murderous activities of al-Qaida and other terrorist groups.
Comprehensive List of Terrorists and Groups Identified Under Executive Order 13224
Executive Order 13224, signed by President Bush on September 23, blocks the assets of organizations and individuals linked to terrorism. There are 189 such groups, entities, and individuals covered by the Executive Order. Following is a complete listing.
Original Annex: September 23, 2001
(Note: Groups with asterisks are also designated as Foreign Terrorist Organizations under the Antiterrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act of 1996)
Designated on 12 October 2001
"Most Wanted" Terrorists
Designated on 2 November 2001
(Note: All 22 groups also are designated as Foreign Terrorist Organizations under the Antiterrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act of 1996.)
Designated on 7 November 2001
Designated on 4 December 2001
Designated on 20 December 2001
Designated on 31 December 2001
Designated on 9 January 2002
Designated on 26 February 2002
Patriot USA Act: Terrorist Exclusion List
President Bush on 26 October 2001, signed into law a comprehensive counterterrorism bill (Public Law 107-56, also known as USA PATRIOT). The new law strengthened enforcement tools and made improvements to the last major terrorism bill, the Antiterrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act of 1996. The Patriot USA Act also created a Terrorist Exclusion List (TEL) with immigration consequences for groups named therein. Designation on the TEL allows the USG to exclude or deport aliens who provide material assistance to, or solicit it for, designated organizations, giving the Department of State and US law enforcement agencies a critical tool for bolstering homeland security.
Statement on the Designation of 39 Organizations on the USA PATRIOT Act's "Terrorist Exclusion List"
To further protect the safety of the United States and its citizens, Secretary of State Colin L. Powell, in consultation with the Attorney General, on 5 December designated 39 groups as Terrorist Exclusion List (TEL) organizations under section 212 of the Immigration and Nationality Act, as amended by the new USA PATRIOT Act. By designating these groups, the Secretary has strengthened the United States' ability to exclude supporters of terrorism from the country or to deport them if they are found within our borders.
The campaign against terrorism will be a long one, using all the tools of statecraft. We are taking a methodical approach to all aspects of the campaign to eliminate terrorism as a threat to our way of life. This round of Terrorist Exclusion List designations is by no means the last. We will continue to expand the list as we identify and confirm additional entities that provide support to terrorists.
Press Statement, Philip T. Reeker, Deputy Spokesman Washington, DC, 6 December 2001
Terrorist Exclusion List Designees 5 December 2001