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 Home > News & Policies > September 2008

For Immediate Release
Office of the Press Secretary
September 10, 2008

Fact Sheet: The Seventh Anniversary of 9/11

     Fact sheet In Focus: Remembering 9/11

President Bush Has Kept Our Nation Safe In The Seven Years Following 9/11

Tomorrow, in remembrance of the 9/11 terrorist attacks, President and Mrs. Bush will participate in a moment of silence at the White House and deliver remarks at the dedication of the Pentagon memorial. Following the attacks of September 11, 2001, President Bush recognized the threat posed by terrorists and took action to protect Americans and defeat violent extremism. Because of the actions taken by President Bush, America is safer, more secure, and winning the War on Terror. Seven years later:

  • 50 million people have been liberated, and two totalitarian regimes have been removed;

  • The al Qaeda network has been weakened;

  • We have not experienced another attack on American soil;

  • Our military has been transformed to meet the challenges of the 21st century;

  • We have expanded our intelligence capabilities to confront today's enemy; and

  • We have created new and essential institutions needed to wage the War on Terror, including the Department of Homeland Security and Office of the Director of National Intelligence.

We Have Been On The Offense Against Our Enemies Since The 9/11 Attacks

President Bush has kept us safe by weakening al Qaeda and its affiliates. Hundreds of al Qaeda leaders and operatives have been captured or killed, including 9/11 mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammad, who is currently awaiting trial by a Military Commission. The United States also apprehended several leading figures in the al Qaeda East Africa network through intelligence sharing and military action.

Since 9/11, more than two dozen terrorists and supporters have been convicted in the United States of terrorism-related crimes. Several key financiers and facilitators of terrorism have been isolated and captured, while more than 400 individuals and entities have had their assets frozen and isolated from the U.S. financial system.

President Bush took the fight to violent extremists in Iraq and Afghanistan and across the world so that we do not have to fight them on American soil. The United States and its coalition partners removed al Qaeda's safe haven in Afghanistan and al Qaeda is on the run in Iraq, including in its former stronghold of Anbar Province. The United States also acted to prevent al Qaeda safe havens from emerging in the Horn of Africa and Southeast Asia.

There have been no attacks on American soil since 9/11, and the United States and our allies have disrupted key terrorist plots around the world. The President has built a 90-nation coalition to fight terrorism. The United States has partnered with nations in Europe, the Middle East, Asia, Africa, and Latin America on intelligence sharing and law enforcement coordination to break up terrorist networks and bring terrorists to justice. Some of our counterterrorism victories include the following:

  • September 2007: German authorities disrupted a terrorist cell that was planning attacks on military installations and facilities used by Americans in Germany. The Germans arrested three suspected members of the Islamic Jihad Union, a group that has links to al Qaeda and supports al Qaeda's global jihadist agenda.
  • September 2007: Danish authorities disrupted a cell, which included an al Qaeda-trained individual, planning terrorist attacks using explosives.

  • June 2007: Four individuals were charged with plotting to blow up major fuel tanks at JFK Airport. Three of the individuals have been arrested, and the United States is pursuing extradition of the fourth.

  • May 2007: The FBI arrested six al Qaeda-inspired individuals plotting to kill soldiers at Fort Dix Army Base in New Jersey. The plotters purchased weapons for the attack, which they had been planning since January 2006.

  • August 2006: British authorities disrupted a plot to blow up passenger airplanes flying from the UK to the United States.
  • The United States supported the creation of a democratic Afghan government and fostered broad international support for Afghanistan through NATO and the U.N. Afghanistan has ratified a new democratic Constitution with strong protections for women's rights and civil liberties; held the country's first Presidential election; and held the first free and fair legislative elections since 1969. Today, six million Afghans are attending school, and 85 percent of Afghans have access to basic health care. The United States has committed over $10 billion in 2008 and 2009 for political and economic development. The Afghan government is preparing for the next round of elections in 2009 with U.S. and international assistance.
  • Iraq is now a young democracy and an ally in fighting terrorists. The President's decision to send an additional 30,000 soldiers and Marines into Iraq as part of the "surge" has resulted in improved security conditions that have opened up space for political and economic advances. Iraq has seen meaningful progress, but this progress is fragile and there will be challenging times ahead. This success has fostered the appropriate conditions for Iraqi authorities to take the lead in all security operations for Anbar province.
  • President Bush persuaded Libya to dismantle its Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD) programs and renounce terrorism, leading to a normalization of our relationship with Libya. Just last week, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice made a historic visit to Libya, making her the highest ranking U.S. official to visit the country since 1957.
  • The President worked with the international community to isolate the regime in Tehran, and won support for three U.N. Security Council resolutions imposing sanctions on Iran because of its failure to suspend its uranium enrichment and other proliferation sensitive activities.

President Bush has teamed with international partners to prevent the proliferation of WMDs. We have expanded international efforts to deny terrorists access to advanced conventional weaponry and to WMDs, their delivery systems, and related materials.

President Bush Has Transformed The Institutions And Tools To Fight Terror And Protect America

The President worked with Congress to implement reforms and create the institutions needed to wage the War on Terror. The President also integrated and unified intelligence gathering; disrupted terrorist financing; and created new legal and law enforcement frameworks to combat terrorism and deny safe haven to terrorist groups. The President:

  • Transformed the United States military to meet the challenges of the 21st century. President Bush provided our military with the tools, equipment, and resources to combat terrorism and other new challenges. We started moving American forces from Cold War garrisons in Europe and Asia so they can deploy more quickly to any region of the world to confront emerging threats.
  • Strengthened our ability to protect the American people by directing the most extensive security reorganization of the Federal Government since 1947. President Bush and his Administration have enhanced our homeland security and counterterrorism infrastructure through the creation of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), the Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI), the National Counterterrorism Center (NCTC), the Terrorist Screening Center (TSC), the Homeland Security Council (HSC), and U.S. Northern Command, a Department of Defense combatant command focused on homeland defense and civil support.
  • DHS consolidated 22 Federal entities and 180,000 employees under one roof to foster a comprehensive, coordinated approach to protecting the U.S. homeland. DHS and FBI, in partnership with Federal, State, and local authorities, created a national network of 66 fusion centers in 48 states to facilitate information sharing on terrorist threats and operational planning.
  • The NCTC leads our Nation's effort to combat terrorism at home and abroad by analyzing the threat, sharing that information with our partners, and integrating all instruments of national power to ensure unity of effort.
  • The ODNI coordinates and integrates and leads the work of the Intelligence Community as a unified enterprise, led by the Director of National Intelligence (DNI), to ensure information is shared among intelligence and law enforcement professionals.
  • The TSC maintains the Government's consolidated list of suspected terrorists and individuals with terrorist links and helps get this information into the hands of State and local law enforcement.
  • HSC ensures coordination of all homeland security-related activities among executive departments and agencies and promotes the effective development and implementation of homeland security policies.
  • Modernized the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act to provide the tools needed to win the War on Terror and protect America from another attack. This vital legislation allows our law enforcement and intelligence professionals as well as future administrations with the ability to quickly and effectively monitor the plans of terrorists outside the United States, while respecting the privacy and liberties of the American people.
  • Strengthened our defenses to protect the American people by implementing the recommendations of the 9/11 Commission. Together with Congress, the President restructured and reformed the Federal government to focus resources on counterterrorism and took the necessary steps to improve the Nation's homeland security

The President Has Implemented Programs To Secure Our Homeland And Fight The War On Terror

The President and his Administration have increased border and transportation security. President Bush is implementing an effective system of layered defense by strengthening the screening of people and goods overseas and by tracking and disrupting the international travel of terrorists. The President:

  • Created the Transportation Security Administration (TSA). TSA instituted a process to screen every commercial air passenger in the country, launched credentialing initiatives to strengthen our ability to identify passengers, and expanded the Federal Air Marshal program. We have hardened cockpit doors, armed pilots to defend the flight deck, and strengthened air cargo security.
  • Enhanced U.S. port security and increased scanning for radiological and nuclear threats. The President coordinated Federal, State, local, and industry port partners through the establishment of formalized Area Maritime Security Committees and Plans that clarify roles and responsibilities. Today, more than 98 percent of all containers entering the supply chain via U.S. seaports are scanned for potential radiological and nuclear threats - prior to 9/11, zero percent were scanned.
  • Increased containerized cargo screening overseas. We have worked with our international partners to employ the Container Security Initiative in 58 foreign seaports, screening 86 percent of all U.S.-destined containerized cargo being screened overseas before it enters the U.S. supply chain.
  • Increased border security and interior enforcement funding more than 110 percent and equipped the Border Patrol with better technology and new infrastructure. We have also added more than 8,000 border patrol agents. The Administration has constructed hundreds of miles of fencing and vehicle barriers along America's southern border and is moving toward the goal of 670 miles by the end of the year.

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