“As the threat from al-Qaida becomes more diffuse, it is in the interest of the United States to forge closer ties with the governments and communities on the front lines and to help them build up their counterterrorism capacity. We need to expand our efforts to build an international counterterrorism network that is as nimble and adaptive as our adversaries’. So we have launched a diplomatic offensive to strengthen bilateral and multilateral cooperation on counterterrorism. We have a broad and ambitious agenda, and to carry out this work, I am upgrading our office devoted to counterterrorism to a full-fledged bureau within the State Department.”
--United States Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, speaking on a “Smart Power Approach to Counterterrorism,” September 9, 2011
The Department of State announces the establishment of the Bureau of Counterterrorism, fulfilling one of the key recommendations of the Quadrennial Diplomacy and Development Review concluded in December 2010. The Bureau of Counterterrorism will lead the Department’s engagement in support of U.S. government efforts to counter terrorism abroad and to secure the United States against foreign terrorist threats. The new Bureau will assume the responsibilities of the Office of the Coordinator for Counterterrorism.
The United States faces a continuing terrorist threat from al-Qaida and other groups and individuals who subscribe to violent extremism. While we have made much progress in combating terrorism since the 9/11 attacks, challenges remain. Together with defense, intelligence, law enforcement, and homeland security, diplomacy and development are critical to keeping America safe. To secure our future, we must continue to strengthen our international coalition against terrorism, build foreign partner capacity to mitigate terrorist threats, reinforce resilience against attacks, and counter the ideologies and ideas that fuel violent extremism around the world.
The Bureau of Counterterrorism, in coordination with Department leadership, the National Security Staff, and other U.S. government agencies, will develop and implement counterterrorism strategies, policies, operations, and programs. It will lead in supporting U.S. counterterrorism diplomacy and seek to strengthen homeland security, counter violent extremism, and build the capacity of partner nations to deal effectively with terrorism.
The Bureau of Counterterrorism will implement its mission by:
Protecting the United States, the American people and our interests abroad will remain a challenge in the 21st Century. New terrorist threats will require innovative strategies, creative diplomacy, and stronger partnerships. By establishing the Bureau of Counterterrorism, the Department of State will strengthen its efforts to meet this challenge.