on International Relations
House of Representatives
Washington, D.C. 20515-0128
TESTIMONY BY COFER BLACK
COORDINATOR FOR COUNTERTERRORISM
DEPARTMENT OF STATE
HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES COMMITTEE ON INTERNATIONAL
SUBCOMMITTEE ON INTERNATIONAL TERRORISM,
NONPROLIFERATION AND HUMAN RIGHTS
MARCH 26, 2003
THE INTERNATIONAL TERRORISM THREAT
Chairman Gallegly, and subcommittee members:
I appreciate the opportunity to testify before you today on
the international terrorism threat. I understand that this is
the first hearing by your new subcommittee. This is also my first
testimony to a House International Relations Subcommittee. I
am honored to be before you this afternoon.
At your request,
I will first provide an overview of the "hotspots" in
the global war against terrorism. Second, I will describe the
groups, threats and trends we consider to be the most significant.
Third, I'll provide a brief regional overview and finally, I
will outline our policies and programs designed to counter the
international terrorism threat.
Mr. Chairman, we always have been concerned about several sources
of attacks: not only those by Al-Qaida and related groups but
also by terrorists operating at the behest of Iraq or in sympathy
to Iraq. These attacks could come against US and Coalition targets
from groups or individuals who have no ties with Iraq or al-Qaida
and are acting without central direction but feel strongly enough
against the U.S., the West in general or the war to strike now.
During the 1991 conflict with Iraq, there were about 200 such
incidents, most of them minor. With several major exceptions,
they were conducted primarily by groups or individuals with no
known connections to Iraq.
Currently, the Iraqi regime itself poses a threat. We have strong
indications that Iraqi intelligence officials are assuming stronger
authority over Iraqi diplomatic missions overseas. This activity
is of particular concern, especially in light of additional indications
that Baghdad may instruct its representatives overseas to take
actions against Western interests. We have been urging other
countries to expel Iraqi diplomats in order to minimize this
Meanwhile, in the current situation, we would expect al-Qaida
to launch attacks against US interests and assert that they were
defending Muslims and the people of Iraq. Small-scale and possibly
large-scale attacks in various parts of the world are likely.
There have been reports in recent months of suspicious activities
around military facilities, ports, and other facilities such
as bridges and power plants that have economic as well as symbolic
significance. Al-Qaida also has shown an interest in chemical,
biological, chemical and improvised radiological dispersal devices.
Looking briefly at the evolving terrorism situation, historically,
the major threats came from secular groups, such as the Abu Nidal
Organization and the Palestinian Front for the Liberation of
Palestine (PFLP) -- groups that enjoyed the backing of such state
sponsors of terrorism as Libya, Syria, Iraq and Iran. The groups
have largely been supplanted in recent years. And Abu Nidal himself
was killed recently in Iraq. If you believe Iraqi authorities,
Abu Nidal committed suicide by shooting himself several times.
However, since the early 1990's, the terrorist threat has evolved,
and the most dangerous attacks against the United States and
our friends have come from radical fundamentalist groups, such
as al-Qaida. Most of them are self-supporting, in that the bulk
of their funding has been raised through supporters, diversion
of legitimate charitable giving, criminal activities, and front
attacks on the U.S. embassies in Kenya and Tanzania, the attack
USS Cole in Yemen, and the September 11 attacks
burned into the world's consciousness the broad reach and vicious
mentality of al-Qaida. One of Bin Ladin's original motivations
was his hatred of the U.S. military presence on Saudi soil --
a presence that was largely prompted by Iraq's threat to the
Saudi Kingdom, Kuwait, and in the other countries of the Gulf.
In recent years he has cloaked himself in other "causes" such
as the Palestinians' aspiration for a state and Saddam Hussein's
conflict with the U.S. and its allies, but we think this is primarily
an effort to attract more support for his initial goal of establishing
fundamentalist Islamic extremist regimes in the Middle East and
Bin Laden and his al-Qaida group enjoyed sanctuary, first in
Sudan and then in Afghanistan. Now that its Taliban protectors
have been defeated by the American-led coalition, al-Qaida has
been disbursed and its capabilities degraded. It is not the organization
that it was previously. It is under stress and its leaders worry
more about capture than initiating multiple large scale attacks.
Indeed, many members have been caught or killed. The arrest of
Khalid Shaikh Mohammed in Pakistan earlier this month was another
major setback for al-Qaida. We have been making good progress
in undermining the group.
But we cannot relax. Al-Qaida is still dangerous and vicious.
I believe the terrorists would not hesitate to use chemical,
biological or even radioactive weapons if they could, for they
seem to glory in killing and maiming as many people as possible.
Their victims need not all be Americans other westerners -- citizens
of more than 90 countries were murdered in the World Trade Center
bombing. Africans were the primary victims of three major attacks
in Kenya and Tanzania. Australians and Indonesians were the major
victims in the Indonesian bombing.
Al-Qaida and its related groups were loosely knit to begin with,
and this trend could continue. This can create a challenge in
detecting and deterring future attacks. Since 9/11, al-Qaida
affiliated groups have been able to conduct attacks in far flung
corners of the world, such as the one against a French tanker
off the Yemen coast, and against a synagogue in Tunisia, where
a dozen German tourists were killed. And the attack in Indonesia
last October that killed over 200 people, primarily Australian
tourists but also seven Americans, shows the devastation that
can be caused by terrorists using relatively low-tech explosives.
The unsuccessful attempt involving a shoulder-launched missile
to shoot down an Israeli passenger plane at Mombassa, Kenya during
a simultaneous attack on an Israeli-owned hotel also shows the
continued vulnerability of countries in the developing world.
We have programs, especially our antiterrorism training assistance
(ATA) to help these countries. The terrorists, however, have
the luxury of picking their targets at a time and place of their
choice. It is not possible to protect everything everywhere,
whether at home or overseas.
Al-Qaida is probably the terrorist group with the broadest international
reach but there are regional-based groups that continue to pose
a threat to American lives and American friends.
I would like to now provide a brief regional overview.
In Latin America, the Revolutionary Armed Forces of
Colombia (FARC), is the most dangerous terrorist group. The 9,000
to 12,000 armed members of the FARC engage in bombings, assassinations,
indiscriminate mortar attacks, kidnapping, extortion, hijacking,
as well as guerilla and conventional military action against
Colombian political, military, and economic targets. Since 1992,
the FARC has murdered at least 10 US citizens and currently holds
three United States Government civilian contractors hostage.
has well documented ties to narcotics traffickers and is engaged
every aspect of the narcotics trade from taxation
to protection to cultivation and marketing. Colombias three
terrorist organizationsthe FARC, the National Liberation
Army (ELN), and the United Self-Defense Forces of Colombia (AUC)were
responsible for some 3,500 murders in 2002.
While groups like the FARC in Colombia still are a major threat,
we have to also look at the terrorist threat in this hemisphere
in the context of the threats emanating primarily from other
parts of the world. International terrorist groups have not hesitated
to operate in Latin America to advance their causes elsewhere,
such as the bombings of the Israeli Embassy in Buenos Aires in
1992 and the Argentine-Jewish Cultural Center (AMIA) in 1994.
Just recently, the Government of Argentina moved forward on indictments
in the AMIA case against four Iranian officials, and the Israeli
government has implicated the Iranian regime in the bombing of
At this time,
we have no confirmed, credible information of an al-Qaida presence
in Latin America. However, terrorist fundraising
continues to be a concern throughout the region. Suspected activities
of Hizballah and HAMAS financiers in the Triborder area (Paraguay,
Brazil, and Argentina) led those three countries to take determined
and cooperative action during 2002 to investigate and disrupt
illicit financial activities. Paraguay, Brazil, and Argentina
also invited the U.S. to join a new "Three Plus One" counterterrorism
cooperation mechanism to analyze and combat any terrorist-related
threats in the Triborder region. I led an interagency U.S. delegation
to meet with the four countries in Buenos Aires in December,
and a follow-up meeting focused on counterterrorism finance capacity-building
is planned for this spring.
In the Middle East, Iran has continued to foment terrorism
by providing fund and weapons to Palestinian rejectionist groups
such as the Palestine Islamic Jihad (PIJ) and Hizballah, which
is a Lebanese organization. Although Israel withdrew from southern
Lebanon, Hizballah continues sporadic antitank guided missile
and mortar attacks against Israeli positions in the small Shab'a
Farms area of the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights. Hizballah claims
the Shab'a Farms is Lebanese and not Syrian territory, and is,
therefore, a legitimate scene for military operations. The Iranian
supply flights come into Damascus International Airport and are
transferred overland through Syrian controlled controlled areas
of Lebanon to Hizballah forces. (Hizballah conducted the terrorist
attacks against the U.S. Marine barracks and embassy in Lebanon
that claimed more U.S. lives than any other group prior to al-Qaida's
Palestine Islamic Jihad (PIJ), and the al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades,
their suicide attacks against Israeli targets,
including attacks in which at least ten American citizens were
killed in a variety of bombings last year. These groups all strive
to perpetuate violence against Israel and thwart an peace agreement
between the parties. . Iraq has provided payments to families
of suicide bombers in order to encourage their attacks and reassure
them that their families will be provided for if they become "martyrs."
Europe is also a hot spot. In addition to the persistence
of domestic terrorist threats in a number of countries, large
immigrant populations provide numerous opportunities for terrorists
to blend in.
Just last week, French authorities found in a Paris railway
station luggage storage area small flasks with traces of ricin,
a deadly poison that could be used for terrorist attacks. This
past January, British police discovered traces of the same poison
during a raid on a London apartment. These discoveries increased
our concern that extremists are planning to follow through with
long standing threats of conducting poison plots against Western
Italian forces last year disrupted suspected terrorist cells
and captured al-Qaida suspects in Milan and elsewhere who were
providing support to terrorist operations and planning attacks.
An Italian court last year sentenced members of the Tunisian
Combatant Group to prison terms, marking the first conviction
of al-Qaida associates in Europe since September 11, 2001.
designation of three Chechen terrorist groups under Executive
underscored our condemnation of terrorism
in that conflict and reiterated our support for a political settlement
between Russian and Chechen groups. All five permanent members
of the Security Council, plus Germany and Spain, joined in submitting
the names of those three groups for inclusion on the UNs
consolidated terrorist list. This is the first time all five
members have joined in a submission to this list. Coming in the
weeks just before the beginning of this war, this show of unanimity
among the P-5 was remarkable.
a significant number of terrorist suspects, including two individuals
to be financiers for the al-Qaida network.
Germany also placed several high-profile terrorists on trial,
including a member of the Hamburg cell involved in the Sept 11
attacks, and four North Africans accused of plotting to attack
the Strasbourg Christmas market in 2000. Turkey arrested a number
of individuals with ties to al-Qaida. France, Belgium, the UK,
and others were involved in investigations of British "shoe
bomber" Richard Reid.
In South Asia, remaining al- Qaida and Taliban cells
and sympathetic groups continued to present a danger throughout
Afghanistan. Pakistan has become a favored destination for fleeing
terrorists, but Pakistan support in going after them has been
excellent. This was demonstrated by the arrest of al-Qaida's
operational planner, Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, and Ramsi bin al
Shibh, a September 11 planner. Extremist violence in Pakistan
continues to claim more Pakistani lives than the Westerners on
whom it is targeted. Meanwhile, extremist violence in Kashmir,
fueled by infiltration from Pakistan across the Line of Control,
threatens to become a flash point for a wider India-Pakistan
Elsewhere in South Asia, we have reason for guarded optimism.
The Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam in Sri Lanka have entered
peace negotiations with the government. The Maoist insurgents
in Nepal have also declared a cease fire in their ongoing campaign
to overthrow the government there, but we are watching carefully
for signs that they might choose a return to violence.
In South East Asia, the terrorist group Jemaah Islamiya
(JI), is considered to be responsible for the October bombing
of the nightclub in Bali that killed more than 200 persons. This
was the biggest terrorist attack since 9/11. Indonesia arrested
Abu Bakar Bashir, spiritual leader of JI, on several charges,
including attempting to assassinate the President of Indonesia
and charges related to a string of bombings around Christmas
2000. There have been arrests in several countries of operatives
associated with JI, and the Bali bomb blast investigation has
proceeded quickly and professionally. But concerns about future
possible attacks remain.
In the Philippines, insurgent groups appear to have launched
new offensives. There has been an increase in violence by the
Communist People's Party and its armed wing, the New People's
Army, and by the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF). The Abu
Sayyaf Group (ASG) is of particular concern. ASG has kidnapped
several hundred Filipinos and foreigners in the last several
years. It has been responsible for the deaths of three Americans,
including a US soldier. It appears that ASG is no longer interested
only in kidnap-for-ransom but also in bombings and other traditional
terrorist-type activities. The USG is concerned at the growing
evidence of links between the ASG and terrorist groups, including
al Qaeda and JI. Similarly, our two governments also are concerned
there could be a link between ASG and Iraq.
In Africa, the coordinated attacks against a commercial
airliner and a hotel in Mombassa, Kenya in November that killed
12 Kenyans and three Israeli tourists demonstrated that Africa
is still vulnerable to terrorism from both indigenous insurgent
groups that use terrorist tactics and to international terrorist
groups. We believe al-Qaida was responsible for the Mombassa
attacks, as well as the 1998 attacks on the US embassies in Nairobi,
Kenya, and Dar Es Salaam, Tanzania.
In Angola, last May there was a grenade attack on a convoy of
US oil workers in Cabinda. Although no one claimed responsibility,
the attackers were likely Cabindan separatists. The Government
has cooperated in increasing security for private oil companies
COUNTERING THE THREAT:
Mr. Chairman, let me now describe how we try to counter the
international terrorism threat.
The world is fighting terrorism on five fronts: diplomatic,
financial, intelligence, law enforcement, and military.
and their organizations cannot be defeated through force of
Diplomacy constitutes this nations
first line of defense and is one of our most potent offensive
weapons in the war on terrorism.
Diplomacy is the instrument of power that builds political will
and strengthens international cooperation. Through diplomatic
exchanges we promote counterterrorism cooperation with friendly
nations that serves our mutual interests. We build capacity that
bolsters the capabilities of our allies. Diplomacy helps us take
the war to the terrorists, to cut off the resources they need
and depend upon to survive.
of Justice, Treasury, Homeland Security, Defense, CIA and many
other federal agencies have critical missions in
this regard. However, as the lead foreign affairs agency, the
Department of State through my office serves as
the coordinator and overall clearinghouse for counterterrorism
activities conducted overseas by the United States Government.
we have methodically taken the battle against terrorism to
front lines. Strong embassies and active
diplomacy are an important part of the effort. Our ambassadors
and the staff members of our embassies and consulates, drawn
not just from State but also from other federal agencies, are
serving us well. Over my career in international affairs and
now being a part of that diplomatic front line, I have much admiration
and respect for the men and women who serve at our missions overseas.
In the face of especially grave threats today, they continue
to serve with great professionalism and bravery. Indeed, they
are the backbone to our overseas counterterrorism efforts. It
is this "diplomatic readiness," to use Secretary Powells
phrase, that is vital to our ability to fight terrorism.
Our embassies are our direct voices to the governments of other
nations. They facilitate our efforts to disrupt terrorist networks
and to apprehend terrorist individuals. Ambassadors, their Deputies,
and other members of country teams, including representatives
from other agencies, are all instrumental in developing and maintaining
good working relations with the host country and pursuing our
It is an important function of my office and staff to support
this front line effort. Since assuming the Coordinator's job
three months ago, I have traveled to Russia, China, Japan, the
U.K., Israel, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, and the Tri-Border region
of South America.
I can say unequivocally that our Chiefs of Mission and their
country teams are invaluable resources. They are both leading
and supporting our efforts to promote and achieve our counterterrorism
agenda in their respective host countries and regions.
of State is at the forefront of the financial war on terrorism.
The Secretary has designated 36 Foreign Terrorist
Organizations, freezing their assets, blocking travel by their
members and supporters, and criminalizing material support for
them. He has designated 60 entities and individuals under Executive
Order 13224, freezing their assets and banning U.S. persons from
having any transactions with them. He has designated 48 groups
under the USA PATRIOT Act the "Terrorist Exclusion
List" excluding their members and supporters from
the U.S. And both directly and through our embassies, we are
working with governments around the world to attack the mechanisms
by which terrorists raise, move, and use money.
The Administration is reviewing the requirement in current law
regarding designations of terrorist organizations and individuals
every two years. Under the Antiterrorism and Effective Death
Penalty Act of 1996, the designation of a Foreign Terrorist Organization
(FTO) automatically expires after two years unless renewed. This
year, 29 groups are up for redesignation.
The task of drafting new administrative records every two years
to support a determination to redesignate FTO's is labor intensive
and unnecessary in most cases. The resources could be better
used for other important counterterrorism duties, including monitoring
and designating new groups as appropriate. We are preparing draft
legislation to amend the FTO statute and want to work with the
Congress to make this process less administratively onerous.
We also help other countries improve their ability to counter
terrorism financing. For example, earlier this month, my staff
joined an interagency team in Manila to successfully assist the
Government of the Philippines with enacting financial controls
vital to denying terrorists access to funding and in so doing
brought the Philippines into compliance with international anti-money
laundering and terrorist financing standards. My staff and Washington-based
interagency teams, joining our embassy country teams, are helping
many other front-line states to evaluate their financial systems,
identify vulnerabilities, and develop counterterrorism finance
training programs. My colleague, Tony Wayne, Assistant Secretary
for the Bureau of Economic and Business Affairs, will elaborate
on these efforts.
INTELLIGENCE, LAW ENFORCEMENT
The gathering of intelligence about al-Qaida's infrastructure
in Afghanistan helps enable us to dismantle or scatter much of
its membership and organization.
Information gained from captured enemy combatants and imprisoned
terrorists is being exploited effectively around the world. Last
month's arrest of Khalid Shaikh Mohammed, the third ranking al-Qaida
official, represents a major part of our intelligence efforts.
The expansion of intelligence sharing and cooperation among
nations since 9/11 is preventing attacks, saving lives, and exposing
the hiding places of terrorists.
An impressive global dragnet has tightened around al-Qaida.
Since 9/11 more than 3,000 al-Qaida operatives or associates
have been detained in over 100 countries, largely as a result
of cooperation among law enforcement agencies.
Entire cells have been wrapped up in nations such as Singapore,
Italy, and elsewhere. In all these cells, deadly attacks on US
interests or our allies were being planned.
We are also delivering training and assistance to foreign law
enforcement agencies to assist them in strengthening their capacity
to deter terrorism. Assistance in matters such as border security,
criminal prosecutions, and anti-corruption efforts helps to create
an environment in which it is increasingly difficult for terrorist
groups to operate.
actions to disarm Saddam Husseins regime
in Iraq and liberate his people from his brutal hand is a major
attempt to alleviate the threat that weapons of mass destruction
will be put to terrorist purposes. We are concerned particularly
about the potential use of biological, chemical and radiological
dispersion type devices in terrorist operations. In Afghanistan,
Operation Enduring Freedom last year liberated the bulk of Afghan
territory from Taliban control within a matter of weeks. This
deprived Al-Qaida of its major sanctuary for planning, preparing
for, and coordinating terrorist attacks.
The ultimate success of this global counterterrorism campaign
will hinge in large part on two factors: sustained international
political will and effective capacity building.
First, we must sustain and enhance the political
will of states to fight terrorism. The secret of maintaining
a coalition is demonstrating daily to its members that the
fight is not over and that sustained effort is clearly in their
long-term interests. My meetings with government officials
in every region of the world have convinced me that we have
made tremendous progress on that score.
Second, we need to enhance the capacity of all
states to fight terrorism. The United States cannot alone investigate
every lead, arrest every suspect, gather and analyze all the
intelligence, effectively sanction every sponsor of terrorism,
prevent the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, or
find and fight every terrorist cell.
We have various programs to bolster the capacity of those willing
to join us in the fight against international terrorism. I describe
them in the annex to this testimony.
Mr. Chairman, to sum up:
Mr. Chairman, again, thank you for the opportunity to testify
and I look forward to hearing your questions.
STATE DEPARTMENT COUNTERTERRORISM PROGRAMS
Terrorist Finance Programs. This is a core function of
the State Department's efforts to counter international terrorism.
We seek to interrupt and deny the flow of funds going to terrorists
and their operations and to strengthen the financial and regulatory
sectors of vulnerable coalition partners against manipulation and
penetration by the financiers of terror.
for our counterterrorism finance offensive was actually laid
before 9/11, with provisions that the
State Department proposed and the Congress enacted as part of the
Antiterrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act of 1996. The Act
authorizes the Secretary of State, in consultation with the Attorney
General and the Secretary of Treasury, to designate Foreign Terrorist
Organizations (FTOs). Among other provisions, the Act prohibits
U.S. persons and persons subject to the jurisdiction of the United
States from knowingly providing material support or resources to
an FTO, or attempt or conspire to do so. Among other consequences
of a designation, any financial institution that becomes aware
that it has possession of or control over funds of a designated
FTO must retain possession of or control over the funds and report
the funds to the Treasury Departments Office of the Foreign
Assets Control (OFAC). Currently 36 groups are designated.
Following September 11, the President signed Executive Order 13224,
which requires U.S. persons to freeze the assets of individuals
and entities designated under this E.O. for their support of terrorism.
There are currently over 250 individuals and entities designated
under E.O. 13224. The White House also established an interagency
mechanism to coordinate terrorist financing policy among USG agencies.
Each embassy has identified a Terrorism Finance Coordination Officer
to lead the effort to work with the host governments to detect,
disrupt and deter terrorist financing. Internationally, the UN
has also stepped up its own efforts in the area of fighting terrorist
financing in a major way following September 11, requiring countries
to freeze the assets of those included in its consolidated list
of entities and individuals with ties to al-Qaida and the Taliban.
This list continues to expand as countries join us in submitting
new names of individuals and entities linked to al-Qaida to the
UN. So far, USG and coalition freezing actions have netted over
$120 million in assets of persons or entities with ties to terrorist
networks, and in many cases to al-Qaida.
We are working
with the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) a
31-member organization that sets international standards to combat
money laundering and more recently to combat terrorist financing.
Last month the FATF elaborated on two of its earlier recommendations
on terrorist financing to make the use of cross-border wire transfers
and alternative remittance systems (such as hawalas) more
transparent, and less subject to exploitation by terrorist groups.
On the bilateral front, interagency teams led by the State Department
are traveling to states critical to our counterterrorism efforts
to evaluate their financial systems, identify vulnerabilities,
and develop and implement comprehensive counterterrorism financing
training and technical assistance programs.
CT Finance Capacity Building programs are coordinated by S/CT
and administered through State/INL (The Bureau for International
Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs) and counterpart entities
at the Departments of Justice, Treasury, and Homeland Security
and the Agency for International development. These programs are
aimed at providing front-line states with technical assistance
in drafting anti-terrorist financing legislation, and training
for bank regulators, investigators, and prosecutors to identify
and combat financial crime, particularly terrorist financing.
(For FY 2004, the budget request includes $3.5 million.)
Antiterrorism Training Assistance (ATA). This program
was among the first specific counterterrorism programs funded at
State, first authorized in late 1983. It continues to serve as
the primary provider of U.S. Government antiterrorism training
and equipment to the law enforcement agencies of friendly countries
needing assistance in the war against terrorism. S/CT provides
policy guidance and funding to the Bureau of Diplomatic Security
Office of Antiterrorism Assistance, which implements the program.
provides a wide range of courses to strengthen the capacities
countries. The training includes traditional
courses such as hostage negotiations, bomb detection and airport
security. In recent years, ATA has developed new courses for countering
terrorism financing and defeating cyber-terrorism. It also has
provided a series of seven seminars to help other countries strengthen
their counterterrorism legislation. The Department works of course
with the US embassy officers, especially the Regional Security
Officers, in developing the training package to meet the recipient
countrys needs. In FY 2003, we are scheduling 180 courses
for 56 countries.
(For FY 2004,
the Department is requesting $106.4 million to meet the programs
growing requirements in the NADR account of the Foreign Appropriations
Bill. Of this amount, $19.4 million
is specifically requested for programs in Afghanistan, Pakistan
CT R&D. The
State Department, through S/CT, co-chairs the inter-agency Technical
Support Work Group (TSWG) that rapidly
develops and prototypes counterterrorism technologies to provide
protections against terrorist attacks. For example, the "Quick
2000" masks that have been distributed to members of Congress
and staff were evaluated, modified and improved based on a testing
protocol developed by the TSWG.
This has been a very successful and important program. S/CT provides
policy oversight, managerial direction and helps provide core funding.
The Defense Department executes the program, and provides technical
oversight for the program and contributes the larger share of the
funding. Recently, the State Department reached agreement with
the new Department of Homeland Security to facilitate DHS participation
in the TSWG and to contribute funding.
S/CT has been able to leverage the relatively small State Department
contribution to develop matching contributions and joint research
with international partners in Britain, Canada and Israel. (FY
2004 request: $1.8 million.)
Terrorist Interdiction Program (TIP). TIP aims at bolstering
the border security of countries at a high risk of terrorist transit.
Through this program, priority countries are provided a sophisticated
database system and related support that identifies and tracks
suspected terrorists as they enter and exit these countries. The
program uses a sophisticated data base system with high-speed connections
to airports or border crossing points. The program provides computer
hardware, database software and training and is currently being
deployed in five countries and is scheduled for deployment in twelve
more countries this calendar year. Arrests and detentions have
occurred in all five countries where the system has been deployed.
(FY 2004 request: $11 million for installations in up to 12 new
countries and continued work and maintenance on previous installations.)
CT Senior Policy Workshops. These
workshops aim at improving the capability of participating countries
to effectively respond
to Weapons of Mass Destruction and other forms of terrorist attack.
The objective is to increase senior host nation officials awareness
of the complexities of preventing and effectively mitigating a
major terrorist attack. Ten workshops are planned for FY 04, with
three in Greece to help preparations for the 2004 Olympics.
While the focus of these workshops is to effectively respond to
WMD terrorist incidents overseas, some are customized to address
host government needs based on their perceived threat. For example,
workshops were used in the Caspian Sea as the first phase of the
Training and Assistance offered to Azerbaijan, Georgia, and Turkey
to further facilitate the success of the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan Gas
and Oil Pipeline in responding to energy threats. In partnership
with the Department of Energy, we are currently conducting Workshops
in Central Asia (Kazakhstan) in response to their energy security
threats and to effectively respond to nuclear materials discovered
following the break-up of the Soviet Union.
(FY 2004 request: $2.5 million in NADR funds to conduct 10 Workshops.)
Foreign Emergency Support Team (FEST). As the lead Federal
agency to respond to an international terrorist-related crisis,
the Department of State heads the FEST. The FEST provides a specially
trained and equipped interagency team to assist the U.S. ambassador
and a host government in dealing with a terrorist incident. The
team can provide advice, assistance and assessments for the embassy
on a variety of terrorism-related issues. The composition of the
FEST varies, depending on the nature of the incident (such as a
hostage situation, an embassy bombing, or a chemical, biological,
radiological, or nuclear (CBRN) incident). The team is led by a
senior State Department officer and includes additional State Department
personnel, such as operations officers, communications experts,
and diplomatic security agents.
A dedicated aircraft, which is specially configured and carries
up to 55 persons, is operated by the Department of Defense and
is on a four-hour standby. Smaller teams can be deployed by other
means as required.
(No program increases are requested in the FY 04 request.)
Exercises, TOPOFF. The
Department of State plans and coordinates the international dimension
of the domestic (U.S.) Top Officials
exercise (TOPOFF). This series of exercises was designed to test
and improve the nations domestic readiness for responding
to terrorist incidents involving Chemical, Biological, Radiological,
and Nuclear (CBRN) agents or devices. The current TOPOFF exercise,
TOPOFF 2, is co-sponsored by the Department of States and the Department
of Homeland Security. It is a series of events that started in
the spring of 2002 and culminates with the full-scale exercise
in May 2003. TOPOFF 2 involves active participation by the Government
of Canada in all aspects of the exercise.
S/CT also takes
part in two or three Theater Commanders
Counterterrorism exercises each year. These full-scale exercises
require a year of preparation and normally include representatives
from the various agencies that participate in the FEST. The exercises
ensure continued inter-operability and provide an opportunity to
improve capabilities. S/CT leads the interagency effort and participates
in all the planning activities. Most of the scenarios are complex
and include such serious threats as chemical, biological, nuclear
and cyber terrorism.
(No program increases are requested in the FY 04 request.)
Rewards for Justice Program. The State
Rewards for Justice program is an important tool for helping deter
terrorist attacks and apprehend suspects. In general, this program
offers rewards of up to $5 million for information leading to an
arrest or conviction of any individual for conspiring, aiding,
abetting or committing an act of international terrorism against
U.S. persons or property or the prevention, frustration or favorable
resolution thereof. With respect to Usama bin Laden and other key
al-Qaida leaders, however, the Secretary has authorized a reward
of up to $25 million.
(The FY 04 budget does not include program increases but there
is an $11 million carryover from a previous Supplemental that can
be used for the rewards program for terrorism, war criminal and
war criminal cases.)