News & Policies
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The United States and its partners are attacking the leadership and infrastructure of terrorist
networks at home and abroad. We are on the offensive, denying access to safe havens, funding,
material support, and freedom of movement. Our efforts, and those of our allies, have disrupted
terrorist plots and incapacitated terrorist leadership.
Defeating Terrorist Leadership and Personnel. Terrorist leaders provide overall
direction for their campaigns of terror. While the loss of leadership forces some groups to
collapse, others promote new leadership, while still others decentralize, making our challenge
- Of the senior al-Qaida leaders, operational managers, and key facilitators the U.S.
government has been tracking, nearly two-thirds have been taken into custody or killed.
Counterterrorist activities against al-Qaida leaders have weakened that leadership and
diminished the groups ability to plan and carry out attacks.
- These efforts against senior al-Qaida leaders, including Khalid Shaykh Muhammad, the 9/11
mastermind, and Muhammad Atef, Usama Bin Ladins second in command until his death
in late 2001, have left gaping holes that the organization has yet to fill. Just as significant,
with the help of allied nations, we have been able to disrupt terrorism facilitators - movers of
money, people, messages, and supplies - who have acted as the glue binding the global al-
Qaida network together.
International Operations, Arrests, and Investigations
- Pakistan has taken into custody more than 500 extremists, including al-Qaida and Taliban
members. These include senior al-Qaida operational leader Khalid Shaykh Muhammad,
September 11 conspirator Ramzi bin al Shibh, and USS Cole plotter Khallad BaAttash.
- Our counterterrorism cooperation with Saudi Arabia has significantly increased. Joint
counterterrorist components have been established, information is being shared more
broadly than before, and Saudi security forces have put several al-Qaida ring leaders and
facilitators out of action, many of whom were involved in the May attacks in Riyadh, and
arrested scores of other terrorists. Two of the most prominent terrorists include Yusif Saleh
Fahd Allyari, who was killed on June 1, and Abu Bakr al-Azdi who was taken into custody
on June 26.
- In Asia, the August 2003 capture of terrorist chief Hambali (aka Riduan bin Isomuddin) a
known killer who was a close associate of Khalid Shaykh Muhammad has further
disrupted terrorist leadership. Hambali is a lethal terrorist who is suspected of backing
major operations, including the attack in Bali, Indonesia, and other recent attacks.
- Jordan continues its strong counterterrorism efforts, arresting two individuals with links to
al-Qaida who admitted responsibility for the October 2002 murder of USAID Foreign
Service Officer Lawrence Foley in Amman. They are very active against our terrorist foes.
- In June 2002, Morocco took into custody al-Qaida operatives plotting to attack U.S. and
NATO ships in the Strait of Gibraltar. They, too, are making great efforts against this
- The United States and Southeast Asian allies have made significant advances against the
regional terrorist organization Jemaah Islamiyah (JI), which was responsible for the Bali
attack last October that killed more than 200 people. In early August 2003, an Indonesian
court convicted and sentenced to death a key JI figure in that bombing. Cambodian
authorities shut down an organization whose employees were providing support to JI. Early
this year Singapore passed a general law outlawing support to terrorists; this law was
partially aimed at JI, but applies to any organization wishing to use Singapore as a base to
plot acts of terror.
- Singapore, Indonesia, the Philippines, Thailand, and others in Southeast Asia took into
custody terrorist leaders and operatives from local al-Qaida-affiliated terrorist groups or al-
Qaida members traveling through their countries.
- France, Germany, the United Kingdom, Italy, Spain, and other European nations disrupted
al-Qaida cells and are vigorously pursuing other terrorist leads.
Domestic Operations, Arrests, and Investigations
- Using authorities provided by the USA PATRIOT Act, the Department of Justice, working
with other departments and agencies, has conducted its largest investigation in history,
thwarting potential terrorist activity throughout the United States.
- Since September 11, 2001, the Department of Justice has charged over 260 individuals
uncovered in the course of terrorist investigations, and convicted or secured guilty pleas
from over 140 individuals, including shoe bomber Richard Reid, who was sentenced to
life imprisonment for attempting to destroy American Airlines Flight 63.
- The U.S. government has disrupted terrorist cells in Buffalo, Seattle, Detroit, and North
Carolina, and alleged terrorist cells in Portland and Tampa.
- In Buffalo, six U.S. citizens recently pled guilty to providing material support to al-
Qaida and admitted to training in al-Qaida-run camps in Afghanistan.
- In Seattle, Earnest James Ujaama pleaded guilty to providing material support to the Taliban.
- In Portland, seven individuals were charged with engaging in a conspiracy to join al-
Qaida and Taliban forces fighting against the coalition in Afghanistan.
- Two individuals in Detroit were convicted of conspiring to support Islamic extremists
plotting attacks in the United States, Jordan, and Turkey.
- In North Carolina, members of a cell who provided material support to Hizballah were
convicted, with the lead defendant sentenced to 155 years in prison.
- In Tampa, Florida, eight individuals were indicted for their alleged support of the
Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ).
- In Northern Virginia, 11 men were indicted for conspiring to violate the Neutrality Act
and firearm laws based on their participation in military-style training in the United
States and travel by several of the defendants to Lashkar-e-Taiba (LET) camps in
Pakistan in preparation for conducting violent jihad in Kashmir and elsewhere.
- In two narco-terrorism cases in San Diego and Houston, a number of individuals have
been charged in connection with plots to trade weapons for drugs.
Denying Terrorist Haven and Sponsorship. We are working to deny terrorists the
support and sanctuary that enable them to exist, gain strength, and plan and prepare for
- During Operation ENDURING FREEDOM, the United States built a worldwide coalition of
70 countries that dismantled the repressive Taliban regime and denied al-Qaida a safe haven
- In July 2003, our forces began Operation WARRIOR SWEEP along with elements of
the Afghan National Army. We detained around 100 enemy fighters and captured a
cache of some 25 tons of explosives.
- In August and September 2003, our forces combined with Afghan militia forces to
conduct Operation MOUNTAIN VIPER, which drove Taliban forces out of their
remote mountain hideaways and out of Afghanistan, killing upwards of 200.
- Iraq is now the central front for the war on terror. Through Operation IRAQI FREEDOM,
the United States and its coalition partners defeated Saddam Husseins regime, effectively
eliminating a state sponsor of terrorism and a regime that possessed and had used weapons
of mass destruction (WMD). While members of the old regime and foreign terrorists are
trying to reclaim Iraq for tyranny, we are taking offensive action against enemies of freedom
in the Iraqi theater. Specific counterterrorism successes include:
- Eliminating Iraq as a sanctuary for the Abu Musab al-Zarqawi network, which helped
to establish a poison and explosives training camp in northeastern Iraq. Associates in
the al-Zarqawi network also used Baghdad as a base of operations to coordinate the
movement of people, money and supplies. Al-Zarqawi has a longstanding relationship
with senior al-Qaida leaders and appears to hold a position of trust with al-Qaida.
- Shutting down the Salman Pak training camp where members of many terrorist groups trained.
- Killing or capturing to date 42 of the 55 most wanted criminals of the Saddam regime,
including Saddams sons Uday and Qusay.
Eradicating Sources of Terrorist Financing. The United States continues to work with
friends and allies to disrupt the financing of terrorism by identifying and blocking the sources of
funding, freezing the assets of terrorists and those who support them, denying terrorists access to
the international financial system, protecting legitimate charities from being abused by terrorists,
and preventing the movement of assets through alternative financial networks.
- On September 23, 2001, President Bush signed Executive Order 13224, freezing the U.S.-
based assets of individuals and organizations involved with terrorism, and authorizing the
Secretaries of State and Treasury to identify, designate, and freeze the U.S-based assets of
terrorists and their supporters.
- Since September 11, 2001, 209 of the 212 countries and jurisdictions in the world have
expressed their support for the financial war on terror; 173 countries have issued orders to
freeze the assets of terrorists; terror networks have lost access to nearly $200 million, which
have been frozen or seized in more than 1,400 terrorist-related accounts around the world; of
that total, over $73 million has been seized or frozen due to the efforts of the United States.
Over 100 countries have introduced new terrorist-related legislation, and 84 countries have
established Financial Intelligence Units.
- U.S. authorities have issued blocking orders on the assets of more than 300 terrorist
organizations and terrorist supporters, effectively denying them access to the U.S. financial
system. The arrests of key financial facilitators and fundraisers have resulted in a significant
decline in monetary contributions to terrorist organizations.
- The United States welcomes the September 6, 2003, political decision of European Union
Foreign Ministers to designate the leadership and institutions of HAMAS as a terrorist
organization and to freeze their financial assets.
- Since September 28, 2001, all 191 UN Member States have submitted first-round reports to
the United Nations Security Council Counterterrorism Committee on actions they have
taken to suppress international terrorism, including blocking terrorist finances, as required
under United Nations Security Council Resolution 1373.
- On November 7, 2002, the Treasury Department issued voluntary best practices guidelines
for all U.S.-based charities to address concerns that charitable distribution of funds abroad
might reach terrorist-related entities and thereby trigger a blocking action on the part of the
- The FBI has aggressively pursued groups, individuals, and networks that provide financing
for terrorism worldwide. The FBI uncovered facts showing that the Benevolence
International Foundation (BIF) and Global Relief Foundation (GRF), Islamic charities
holding themselves out to be conduits for directing aid to the poor and needy of the Islamic
world, were actually conduits for funding Islamic fighters engaged in battle throughout the
world, including Chechnya. BIF and GRF have been designated as global terrorist entities,
and their international organizations have been successfully disrupted and dismantled.
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