on International Relations
House of Representatives
Washington, D.C. 20515-0128
Statement of Chairman Elton Gallegly
Overview of International Terrorist Organizations
March 26, 2003
Today, the newly-created Subcommittee on International Terrorism, Nonproliferation
and Human Rights is holding its first hearing. I would like to take this opportunity
to welcome all the members of the subcommittee as we begin our work on three
distinct but very critical foreign policy issues for our nation.
Let me now turn to the todays hearing, which will be an overview of international
On September 11, 2001, the United States suffered the worst terrorist attack
in recorded history. More than 3,000 people from over 80 countries were killed
in those attacks on our country. Immediately, President Bush galvanized the
United States and the international community in a global coalition against
This war has been fought and continues to be fought on many fronts, with diplomatic,
law enforcement, intelligence, financial and military components.
As a result of these efforts, tremendous progress has been made in the war
against terrorism. The Taliban regime in Afghanistan has been overthrown. The
terrorist infrastructure that operated in that country has been decimated.
Al Qaeda and its affiliate groups are being pursued in every corner or the
world by aggressive intelligence and law enforcement actions. More than 3,000
Al Qaeda members have been apprehended or killed. And the military action taking
place in Iraq will prevent any international terrorist group from obtaining
material support, sanctuary or weapons of mass destruction from Saddam Hussein
and his regime.
Despite these successes, the battle against international terrorism is far
from over. The United States continues to be threatened by Al Qaeda, as well
as numerous other terrorist organizations operating throughout the world.
Todays hearing will focus on the groups that pose the greatest danger
to both to the U.S. homeland and our interests in foreign countries. The hearing
will discuss which organizations have the capability to strike at America and
which nations continue to provide support to terrorist groups. We will also
examine the international effort being led by the United States to cut off
the funding sources of terrorist groups.
And we will explore the likelihood of terrorist groups obtaining weapons of
mass destruction, either from a state or by developing these weapons on their
We are fortunate that we have before us today two State Department witnesses
that are critical in the battle against international terrorism. Ambassador
Cofer Black is the Coordinator of the Office of Counterterrorism at the Department
of State. His office has primary responsibility for developing, coordinating
and implementing U.S. counterterrorism policy.
Tony Wayne is the Assistant Secretary of State for the Bureau of Economic and
Business Affairs, which formulates and carries out U.S. foreign economic policy.
It is also the office within the State Department with expertise on the sources
of financing for international terrorist organizations and leads the effort
to develop greater international cooperation in attacking terrorist financing
I look forward to hearing from our witnesses and I will now turn to Mr. Sherman,
the Ranking Member on this subcommittee, for any remarks he may wish to make.