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30 April 2003

Powell Cites "Unprecedented Progress" in War on Terrorism

(Speaks April 30 at release of annual report) (1090)

Secretary of State Colin Powell says "unprecedented progress has been
made" in the global war against terrorism.

Speaking at the release of the State Department's annual publication,
"Patterns of Global Terrorism," Powell said "Nations everywhere now
recognize that we are all in this together; none of us can combat
terrorism alone." Countries around the world have taken specific
antiterrorism steps, he said.

Powell noted that thousands of terrorists have been captured and
detained, and those still at large are finding that "life has
definitely become more difficult." He added that states that sponsor
terrorism are being increasingly isolated by international pressure.

Speaking of Iraq, Powell said that its liberation "is a great victory
for freedom," and that Iraq can now become "an example of a state
transformed. Instead of a threat to international peace and security,
it can now become a contributor to regional and international peace
and security."

However, Powell noted that terrorist attacks occurred in 2002 in every
region of the world, and that "even as I speak, terrorists are
planning appalling crimes and trying to get their hands on weapons of
mass destruction. We cannot and will not relax our resolve, our
efforts and our vigilance."

The transcript of Powell's remarks follows:

(begin transcript)

U.S. DEPARTMENT OF STATE
Office of the Spokesman

Secretary of State Colin L. Powell at the Release of the 2002
"Patterns of Global Terrorism" Annual Report
April 30, 2003
Washington, D.C.

SECRETARY POWELL: Well, good morning, ladies and gentlemen. I am
pleased to join Coordinator for Counterterrorism Ambassador Cofer
Black in presenting Patterns of Global Terrorism 2002, our annual
publication.

The international campaign against terrorism that President Bush
launched and leads continues to be waged on every continent. With
every passing month, that campaign has intensified.

As the President has pledged, "With the help of a broad coalition, we
will make certain that terrorists and their supporters are not safe in
any corner or cave of the world."

I am pleased to report that unprecedented progress has been made
across the international community. Nations everywhere now recognize
that we are all in this together; none of us can combat terrorism
alone. This global threat demands a global response. Concerted action
is essential, and together we are taking that concerted action.

Countries across the globe have taken concrete antiterrorism steps,
the kinds of steps called for in the pathbreaking United Nations
Security Council Resolution 1373. The world's regional organizations
have followed suit with reinforcing measures. United Nations sanctions
have been imposed on many terrorist groups and on individuals,
officially making these groups and individuals international pariahs.

And here in the United States, we have designated additional groups
and Foreign Terrorist Organizations. We and other members of the
international community are sharing intelligence and law enforcement
information and cooperating more closely than ever before, and we are
working with our partners around the world to help them build their
domestic capacities to combat the terrorist threat within and across
their national boundaries.

Our own capacity to combat terrorism has been strengthened by the
establishment of the Department of Homeland Security under the very,
very able leadership and direction of Governor Tom Ridge.

As a result of all of these efforts, thousands of terrorists have been
captured and detained. For those still at large, life has definitely
become more difficult. It is harder for terrorists to hide and find
safe haven. It is harder for them to organize and sustain operations.
Terrorist cells have been broken up, networks disrupted, and plots
foiled.

The financial bloodlines of terrorist organizations have been severed.
Since 9/11, more than $134 million of terrorist assets have been
frozen. All around the world, countries have been tightening their
border security and better safeguarding their critical
infrastructures, both physical infrastructures and virtual
infrastructures.

States that sponsor terrorism are under international pressure and
increasingly isolated. Much of this lifesaving work has gone on behind
the scenes. Meanwhile, U.S.-led coalition forces destroyed a major
terrorist stronghold in Afghanistan. In the process, they liberated
the Afghan people from the dual tyranny of the Taliban and al-Qaida.

So too, the liberation of Iraq is a great victory for freedom. It has
freed the international community from the threat posed by the
potentially catastrophic combination of a rogue regime, weapons of
mass destruction and terrorists. And it has freed the Iraqi people
from a vicious oppressor.

Now, we and our coalition partners are committed to helping the
liberated Iraqi people. They deserve and will get a stable and united
country under a representative government. Now, Iraq's great natural
talent and wealth will be used to benefit all of its citizens.

To the region and the world, Iraq can become an example of a state
transformed. Instead of a threat to international peace and security,
it can now become a contributor to regional and international peace
and security.

These are all remarkable achievements, but terrorism still casts its
grim shadow across the globe. The international campaign against
terrorism must press forward on every front: diplomatic, intelligence,
law enforcement, financial and military. As our report indicates, 2002
saw an increase in global resolve and effectiveness against terrorism
and a significant decrease in the number of terrorist attacks, from
355 in 2001, down to 199 in 2002.

That said, last year, terrorist attacks occurred in every region of
the world. The terrorist bombings in Bali last October killed some 200
people from two dozen different countries. That same month, terrorists
took 800 people hostage in a Moscow theater, the largest terrorist
kidnapping ever. Terrorists also struck in Mombassa, killing 15 people
in a hotel, while attempting to murder many more by firing a missile
at a commercial airliner. Of the 725 people who perished as a result
of terrorism in 2002, 30 were United States citizens, several of them
members of our State Department family.

Even as I speak, terrorists are planning appalling crimes and trying
to get their hands on weapons of mass destruction. We cannot and will
not relax our resolve, our efforts and our vigilance. We hope that
this report will increase public awareness of the historic efforts
that we and our partners are making to combat terrorism and to
safeguard our citizens against terrorism.

And now it is my pleasure to turn over the proceedings to our
Coordinator for Counterterrorism, Ambassador Cofer Black.

Cofer.

Thank you.

(end transcript)

(Distributed by the Office of International Information Programs, U.S.
Department of State. Web site: http://usinfo.state.gov)