For Immediate Release
Office of the Press Secretary
September 10, 2008
Fact Sheet: The Seventh Anniversary of 9/11
In Focus: Remembering 9/11
President Bush Has Kept Our Nation Safe In The Seven Years Following
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
- 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
- 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
- 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
- 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
- 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
- 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
- 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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