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U.S. Department of State

Release of the 2003 "Patterns of Global Terrorism" Annual Report

Richard Armitage , Deputy Secretary of State
Washington, DC
April 29, 2004

(As Delivered) 

DEPUTY SECRETARY ARMITAGE: Well, good afternoon, ladies and gentlemen.

One week ago, I was in Riyadh in a private meeting with Prince Saud, the Foreign Minister of Saudi Arabia, when we heard a loud explosion. The windows rattled as the shockwave passed through the room.

That bomb claimed the lives of five people, including an 11-year-old girl. More than 100 others were injured, most of whom just had the bad luck to be walking past that particular place at that particular time.

On the same day, four other men used their bodies as bombs at various sites around Iraq. One of them incinerated a bus full of children on their way to school.

This is the true face of global terrorism -- not that of Usama bin Laden or his kind, but of the victims: those Saudi and Iraqi children last week; but also the revelers who died in the car bombing of a Bogotá nightclub last February; the passengers who were slaughtered in a Filipino airport last March; the Russian teenagers who were killed at a rock concert, and the Turkish bystanders who perished outside a synagogue; or the American father and daughter who were slain as they sat in a Jerusalem cafe.

Terrorism continues to destroy the lives of people all over the world; and this report we are releasing today, "Patterns of Global Terrorism: 2003," documents the sad toll that such attacks took last year. This report also details the steps the United States and some 92 other nations took in 19 -- or 2003 to fight back and to protect our peoples. Indeed, you will find in these pages clear evidence that we are prevailing in the fight.

The Department of State, at the request of the U.S. Congress, prepares this report so that all Americans will know just what we are doing to keep them safe. The United States is using every tool at our disposal, including diplomacy, finance, intelligence, law enforcement and military power; and we're using it to defeat terror networks and deny their followers any support or any sanctuary; to diminish the underlying conditions that can nurture or harbor such violence; and to defend U.S. citizens, both at home and abroad.

Diplomacy is an especially important tool. After all, this is a war that is being fought on a variety of battlefields all over the world; and that requires that the United States work with partners and allies all over the world. And that's precisely what we're doing in Afghanistan and in Iraq, but also in scores of other countries on nearly every continent. These nations are acting in their own interests, sometimes with our support, and they are successfully waging this campaign.

Indeed, I'll finish my remarks where I started. As you can see in this report, last week's bombing in Riyadh was not the first of its kind in Saudi Arabia. These two attacks last year did not have the effect the perpetrators surely intended; and that was that brutality would serve to weaken Saudi resolve.

That brutality only served to strengthen Saudi resolve; inject more urgency into ongoing counterterrorism efforts and open entirely new avenues of cooperation. Saudi Arabia has launched a sweeping campaign against terrorism -- one that includes military and law enforcement measures, but also soul-searching and internal reforms. That's the kind of commitment that will allow us all to prevail.

Now at this point, ladies and gentlemen, I'd like to turn you over to our very able Coordinator for Counterterrorism, the inimitable and irrepressible Ambassador Cofer Black, who will tell you a lot more about this report.



Released on April 29, 2004