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Since September 11, 2001, the United States, with the help of its allies and partners, has dismantled the repressive Taliban, denied al-Qaida a safe haven in Afghanistan, and defeated Saddam Hussein’s regime. Actions at home and abroad have produced the following results:


The creation of the Department of Homeland Security and its work with other departments and agencies have expanded our intelligence and law enforcement capabilities, improved information sharing, and facilitated the quick dissemination of threat-related information to the front lines. The homeland is markedly more secure than two years ago due to these and other initiatives:


Over 170 nations continue to participate in the war on terrorism by taking terrorists into custody, freezing terrorist assets and providing military forces and other support. International organizations are also adapting to meet the threat. Additionally, there have been numerous steps taken to eliminate underlying circumstances that foster terrorism:

The United States and its allies have made great progress in the global war on terrorism, but victory will only occur through the sustained efforts of a global coalition. We must remain on the offensive, preemptively stopping terrorists seeking to do harm against the United States, its citizens and partners, and creating an international environment inhospitable to terrorism.


“The terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, were acts of war against the United States of America, its allies, friends, and against the very idea of civilized society. No cause justifies terrorism. The world must respond and fight this evil that is intent on threatening and destroying our basic freedoms and our way of life. Freedom and fear are at war. The enemy is not one person. It is not a single political regime. Certainly it is not a religion. The enemy is terrorism.”

The National Strategy for Combating Terrorism, February 2003

The United States is engaged in a comprehensive effort to protect and defend the homeland and defeat terrorism. Using all instruments of national power, the United States and its partners are attacking terrorists both at home and abroad, denying terrorists sanctuary and sponsorship, disrupting the financing of terror, and building and maintaining a united global front against terrorism.

With the help of our friends and allies, we have eliminated Afghanistan as a safe haven for al- Qaida and disrupted terrorist cells around the world. Iraq is now the central front for the war on terror. While the United States and its partners have defeated Saddam Hussein’s regime of terror, enemies of freedom -- both members of the old regime and foreign terrorists who have come to Iraq -- are making a desperate stance to reclaim this liberated nation for tyranny. They will be defeated. In the past, terrorists have cited Beirut and Somalia as examples of America fleeing from challenge when harmed. In this, the President has affirmed, they are mistaken. We are resolved to win the global war on terrorism.

America and all free nations are fighting an enemy that wishes to strike with indiscriminate terror to weaken our resolve, and exploit the way of life that makes our nation both strong and inherently vulnerable. Our best defense against terrorists is to root them out wherever they hide - - in the Iraq and Afghanistan theaters and throughout the world -- and preempt acts of terror by using all the tools of statecraft. We will continue to invigorate traditional alliances and build new partnerships to carry this effort forward.

The U.S. government has no more important mission than protecting the homeland from future terrorist attacks. We are reforming and improving our threat warning and intelligence, expanding our law enforcement capability, increasing security in key sectors such as transportation, borders and ports, and other critical infrastructure, developing new vaccines and technologies to counter potential threats, and ensuring our Federal, state, and local responders are prepared to manage crises effectively. The United States has undertaken sweeping organizational changes, the magnitude of which has not been seen in 50 years.

This report highlights the Administration’s efforts to defeat terrorism and secure the homeland. It also underscores the nature of the continuing threat and the Administration’s dedication to bringing to justice those who plot against America. Despite accumulating successes in the war on terrorism -- some seen, some unseen -- terrorists continue to wage war on the civilized world. Murderous attacks in Bali, Jakarta, Mombasa, Riyadh, Casablanca, Jerusalem, Baghdad, and Najaf underscore terrorists’ continued contempt for the innocent, their fear of progress, and their hatred of peace. The civilized world must remain vigilant and committed to a long and critical struggle -- until Americans and people around the world can lead their lives free from fear of terrorism.


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 even greater.

International Operations, Arrests, and Investigations

Domestic Operations, Arrests, and Investigations

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 operations.

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.


While the United States and our allies continue direct actions against terrorists and their infrastructures abroad, we are simultaneously strengthening the security of the homeland. The President signed significant new legislation that has advanced the war on terror, expanded our intelligence and law enforcement capabilities, bolstered transportation security, stockpiled vaccines, provided equipment and training for first responders, and reorganized the Federal government to address today’s security challenges.

Since September 11, 2001, the President has signed numerous critical pieces of legislation into law, including:

These laws, combined with the redirection of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) into an agency focused on preventing terrorism and the redoubling of efforts at the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to improve the nation's preparedness for identifying and responding to bioterrorism, have reorganized the institutions of the Federal government and provided significant resources in our arsenal to fight terrorism. To continue meeting the new threats of the 21st Century, the 2004 budget includes $41 billion to continue homeland efforts -- more than doubling 2002 funding.

Reorganizing the Federal Government

The Department of Homeland Security

Intelligence and Information Sharing

Law Enforcement

Analysis and Warning


Reducing America’s Vulnerability to Terrorism. DHS is maintaining America’s open land, sea and air borders, facilitating the legitimate flow of commerce and people, while at the same time detecting and interdicting terrorists and their weapons before they enter the United States. The Administration is also strengthening our critical infrastructure protection efforts by coordinating the activities of Federal agencies responsible for infrastructure protection and combining information from the Intelligence Community, Federal, state, and local law enforcement, and the private sector to map threats to critical infrastructure against known vulnerabilities.

Operation Liberty Shield

Border Security

Document Security

Tracking, Monitoring, and Interdiction

Port Security

Aviation Security

Critical Infrastructure Protection

Cyberspace Security

Enhancing Detection, Response, and Recovery from Biological and Chemical Terrorism

Agriculture and Food Security

Enhancing Emergency Preparedness and Response Capabilities. Despite our best efforts at preventing future attacks, terrorism will continue to be a threat, and we must always be prepared to respond to an attack. We are better prepared to minimize the damage and recover from any future terrorist attacks by equipping and training our first responders and public health personnel.

First Responders

National Response Plan


Success in the global war against terrorism depends on the actions of a powerful coalition of nations maintaining a united front against terror. Over 170 nations continue to participate in the war on terrorism by taking terrorists into custody, freezing terrorist assets and providing military forces and other support. International organizations are becoming more agile, adapting their structures to meet changing threats. We support the actions of our partners as they facilitate international, regional, and local solutions to the challenge of terrorism.

Global Efforts to Fight Terrorism

Regional Efforts to Fight Terrorism

Diminishing the Underlying Conditions Terrorists Exploit

Many terrorist organizations exploit to their advantage conditions of poverty, social disenfranchisement, unresolved political and regional disputes, and weak state structures. The United States has embarked on a number of initiatives designed to foster broad-based economic growth and development, open societies to global trade and investment, and promote the health and education of people worldwide. As more countries become active participants in the global economy and offer their people the benefits of good governance, economic opportunities, and health and education, terrorists will be denied both recruits and safe havens.

Global and Regional



In addition to destroying terrorists, our strategy in Iraq – the central front for the war on terror – includes helping Iraqis assume responsibility for their own defense and future.


The Administration is aggressively implementing the objectives of the President’s National Strategy for Homeland Security and National Strategy for Combating Terrorism, rooting out terrorism abroad, forming international coalitions, equipping first responders with additional tools, enhancing intelligence capabilities, cutting off terrorist financing, securing our borders and transportation systems, enhancing response capabilities, developing medical countermeasures, and adding protective measures for critical infrastructure. All Federal agencies are integrating their efforts better than ever before and coordinating with state, local, and private entities to prevent future terrorist attacks on American soil.

International and domestic efforts have led to the removal of terrorist leaders and personnel and the disruption of numerous plots. Iraq and Afghanistan no longer provide state-sponsored or government-supported sanctuary and training grounds for terrorist groups. Initiatives by the United States have provided good governance, health and education, and given more countries the opportunity to be active participants in the global economy, strengthening states that terrorists might otherwise seek to exploit.

The United States is working aggressively with its regional and international partners to combat terrorism. The threat is global, and the United States is coordinating its response by building alliances, increasing capacity, and reducing vulnerabilities.

The United States and its allies have made great progress in the Global War on Terrorism, but we must maintain our dedication and vigilance. While many terrorists have been brought to justice, others are plotting to attack us. We will remain on the offensive, preemptively stopping terrorists seeking to do harm against the United States, its citizens and partners, and creating an international environment that is inhospitable to terrorists and all those who support them. Victory against terrorism will occur through the sustained efforts of a global coalition dedicated to ridding the world of those who seek to destroy our freedom and way of life.


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