|The White House
President George W. Bush
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For Immediate Release
Office of the Press Secretary
September 11, 2007
Fact Sheet: The Sixth Anniversary of 9/11: Remembering Lives Lost and Heroic Sacrifices Made
What The United States And Its Partners Are Doing To Defeat Al Qaeda And Protect America Against Attack
Today, America Remembers The Innocent Who Lost Their Lives In The Most Barbaric Attack In Our Nation's History. We remember the heroic men and women who risked and sacrificed their lives so others might survive; we extend our thoughts and prayers to the families and friends of those who were lost; and we honor the selfless men and women of our Armed Forces, the dedicated members of our law enforcement and intelligence communities, and the thousands of others at the local, State, and Federal levels who protect our country, secure our liberty, and work to prevent future attacks.
We Have Been On The Offense Against Our Enemies Since The 9/11 Attacks
Since 9/11, The United States And Our Allies Have Been Fighting A Global Struggle Against A Terrorist Enemy Seeking To Impose Its Violent, Evil Vision On Free And Peaceful People Throughout The World. Together, we have committed to defeating the threat by working to attack the terrorists and deny them safe haven wherever they try to hide.
We Are Fighting Violent Extremists In Iraq And Afghanistan And Across The World So That We Do Not Have To Fight Them On American Soil. These extremists want to overthrow rising democracies, claim a strategic country as a haven for terror, destabilize the Middle East, and strike America and other free nations. This is why success in Afghanistan and Iraq is vital – and will be a terrible blow to the extremists' ambitions.
The United States And Our Allies Have Captured Or Killed Dozens Of Senior Al Qaeda Leaders Since 9/11. Senior leaders include al Qaeda in Iraq leader Abu Mus'ab al Zarqawi, 9/11 mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, 9/11 attack facilitator Ramzi bin al Shibh, and al Qaeda military chief Muhammad Atif.
The U.S. And Our Allies Have Disrupted Key Terrorist Plots Since 9/11. Recent examples include:
We Have Created New Institutions And Enacted Laws To Help Us Win The Long War Against Terrorism
We Have Worked With Congress To Enhance Information Sharing Between All Levels Of Government So We Can Stop Terrorists Before They Strike. We have:
We Are Increasing Our Cooperation With Key Allies To Defeat The Global Terror Network Of Al Qaeda And Other Extremists
Iraq: Helping the Iraqis as they build their democracy is critical to keeping the American people safe from the terrorists who want to attack us. A free Iraq will be a massive defeat for al Qaeda, a source of hope for the rest of the Middle East, and an ally in the War on Terror.
Afghanistan: The United States and the international community are helping the Afghan people build a free nation that will stop the Taliban and al Qaeda from returning to power and deny al Qaeda a base of operations. Afghanistan, with the help of the international community, has held two free and fair elections, almost doubled the size of its economy, and expanded availability of essential services such as health and education.
Pakistan: The Pakistanis understand the threat that al Qaeda and violent extremism pose to their country and the world, and we will continue to work with them to deny terrorists safe haven in Pakistan.
North Africa: We are working with our partners to counter al Qaeda's further expansion in the Maghreb – evident in the emergence of "al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb" (AQIM). This group claimed responsibility for recent terrorist bombings in Algeria, including the September 6 and September 8 attacks, which resulted in the death of a number of civilians.
Persian Gulf: We are working with allies in the region to strengthen efforts to dismantle terrorist cells, stem terrorist financing, and undercut the ideology used by al Qaeda and its supporters to justify the murder of innocents.
Europe: We continue to build strong relationships with allied governments to increase information sharing and counterterrorism cooperation.
Southeast Asia: We are assisting host-nation counterterrorism efforts, which has resulted in the disruption of local plots and terrorist networks known to target Western interests. We also continue to cooperate with the Philippine and Indonesian governments on their counterterrorism efforts, which has led to the arrests and killings of key Abu Sayyaf and Jemaah Islamiyah figures.
We Are Implementing Programs To Increase Border And Transportation Security
Doubling The Size Of The Border Patrol: Since the President took office, border security and immigration enforcement funding has increased more than 126 percent, and by the end of 2008, the President will have doubled the size of the Border Patrol since he took office to over 18,000 agents. The Administration has also launched the Secure Border Initiative, which will provide the appropriate mix of personnel, infrastructure, and technology to help secure our Nation's borders.
Screening Visa Applicants: All applicants for U.S. visas are checked against extensive databases with terrorism-related information, and all international air and sea passengers on international voyages originating or concluding in the U.S. are vetted against a consolidated terrorist watchlist. Since 9/11, we have instituted mandatory interview requirements for virtually all applicants for visas to United States. We have also launched US VISIT, a program that collects biometrics of virtually all visitors to the United States. We are able to run these prints against United States government databases to help identify travelers and keep out those who intend to do us harm.
Instituting The Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative: This program will require all travelers from the Western Hemisphere to show a passport or other secure document for travel to the United States by air, sea, or land.
Screening Containers: DHS established the Container Security Initiative, under which 78 percent of the containers that enter U.S. seaports are screened before they leave for our country. In addition, virtually all containers (98 percent) entering U.S. seaports will be scanned by high-tech radiation detectors by the end of this year. DHS also launched the Secure Freight Initiative to help identify radiological or nuclear threats well in advance of a container's arrival to our country.
Improving Aviation Security: Since 9/11, we have taken substantial steps to improve aviation security, while maintaining the efficiency of air transportation for the traveling public. Highly trained Transportation Security Officers screen passengers and baggage at airports across the country. Federal Air Marshals protect hundreds of domestic and international flights every day. We have hardened cockpit doors, armed pilots to defend the flight deck, and strengthened air cargo security.
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