The White House
President George W. Bush
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Excerpts from the Press Briefing by Scott McClellan, September 17, 2003 (Full Transcript)

QUESTION: But there doesn't seem to be much action. We're getting an awful lot of Taliban coming across the border from Afghanistan. They're recruiting again --

MR. McCLELLAN: You have some remnants -- you have remnants of a regime that we removed, that was an oppressive regime, that is desperate -- more and more desperate every single day, because of the progress we are making on many fronts in Afghanistan.

QUESTION: You've said several times that the threat of al Qaeda or al Qaeda has been thrown out of Afghanistan in the war on terror. But they just crossed the border into Pakistan. Are we pleased with the lack or what appears to be a lack of effort by Pakistan to take control of those tribal areas?

MR. McCLELLAN: Pakistan is a strong ally in the war on terrorism. They have been working closely with us to go after terrorists that may be crossing the border. But they are a close ally in the war on terrorism, working with us to go after those threats

QUESTION: Two quick ones. One, we are still living under the threat of terrorism and we're getting so many letters now again from Saddam Hussein or Osama bin Laden. One, we just had second anniversary of the 9/11, and most of the world leaders will be gathered next week in the U.N. So where do we stand as far as terrorism threat is concerned, level of threat and colors and all that and how --

MR. McCLELLAN: Well, in terms of the war on terrorism, we have made significant progress. Again, we have removed the Taliban regime in Afghanistan. We have removed the regime of Saddam Hussein in Iraq. We have -- we are dismantling and disrupting terrorist networks globally. Law enforcement is working cooperatively. Many countries are -- many countries' law enforcement agencies are working together to confront it from the law enforcement standpoint; arrests are being made. We're continuing to crackdown on terrorist financing, there's a number of important steps there. Two-thirds of the leadership of al Qaeda has been captured or killed.

So we've made significant progress. But there is more to do. This is a global war on terrorism. Nations have come together to address it. It is a war that will take -- require patience and take time, but we will pursue it to the end.

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