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Secretary of State Colin Powell Releases Terrorism Report

Aired April 30, 2001 - 15:51   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
JEANNE MESERVE, CNN ANCHOR: I'm Jeanne Meserve in Washington. We're going to take you right to the State Department where Secretary of State Colin Powell is unveiling his department's annual report on global terrorism.

(JOINED IN PROGRESS)

COLIN POWELL, SECRETARY OF STATE: ... International cooperation against terrorism is increasing and it is paying off.

The year 2000 saw a number of events that marked this successful progress, this cooperation between agencies and nations.

For example, last December the United Nations Security Council levied additional sanctions, in United Nations Security Council Resolution 1333, against the Taliban for allowing terrorist camps to operate on Afghanistan territory and for harboring Osama bin Laden.

Second, a trial began that led to an eventual conviction in the 1988 bombing of Pan Am 103.

Next, the accused perpetrators and co-conspirators in the East Africa embassy bombings were also brought to trial in New York City.

The continuing investigation of the bombing of the USS Cole, a probe that involved a wide number of countries, has thus far been productive and continues to move forward.

A thwarted attempt by the Ahmed Ressam clique to carry explosives across the U.S.-Canadian border disrupted plans for a terrorist attack.

The international community also showed support for the UN convention against terrorist financing. This is the 12th time the United Nations has acted formally in this way, taking one more important step toward shutting down terrorist acts around the world.

Each of these events has a common thread: active and intense cooperation in the international community. That community rallied to maintain pressure on Libya and ensure that suspects were brought to trial. It gave important help to finding and bringing to trial those accused of attacking our embassies in East Africa. POWELL: This help crossed many borders and involved many nations, and it sent a strong message to the Taliban through the United Nations.

These successes mean that we are achieving the basic objectives of United States counterterrorism strategy: isolation of countries and groups that support terrorism, disruption of terrorist planning and operations, sharing of information, and the apprehension and trial of perpetrators. These objectives are shared by many of our partners throughout the world.

We have increased our cooperation with a number of countries and regions. We maintain strong working relationships with many of our allies in the Middle East, including Jordan, Egypt and Israel. And we look to expanding partnerships in the Arabian peninsula.

We are reaching out to the Central Asian states. We continue to work closely with India. And we work through multilateral organizations such as the UN, the G-8 and a number of others.

The results are clear. State sponsors of terrorism are increasingly isolated. Terrorist groups are under growing pressure. Terrorists are being brought to justice. We will not let up.

But we must also be aware of the nature of the threat before us. Terrorism is a persistent disease. Many of you have heard me speak of the positive side of globalization. But terrorism shows the dark side, as it exploits the easing of travel restrictions, the improvements of communication or the internationalization of banking and finance, making it easier for terrorists to do some of their work.

And so the fight goes on. Just as we acknowledge successes today, we know that there will be new challenges and, yes, some setbacks tomorrow. But we continue to reduce our vulnerability and, above all, to renew our determination to confront and combat an ever- present danger to international peace and innocent lives.

POWELL: And so we release this report, and I call it to your attention.

MESERVE: You've been listening to Secretary of State Colin Powell speaking at the State Department, releasing the Annual Report on Global Terrorism. He says we will not let up in the fight against global terrorism; terrorism is a persistent disease.

He cited international cooperation on international terrorism and said it had brought many successful results, including the trial of suspects in the bombing of Pan Am Flight 103; the investigation into the bombing of the USS Cole.

This was a 91-page report. It says that there has been an 8 percent increase in terrorist attacks in the year 2000. Nineteen Americans died in those attacks; 17 of them were on board the USS Cole. Secretary of State Powell saying that the U.S. and its allies have been successful in trying to isolate countries and groups who support international terrorism. The fight goes on, he said. We will continue to try to reduce our vulnerabilities.

Some of the other things that he mentioned, some of the countries who have been particularly useful in these international cooperative efforts, he cited Jordan, Egypt, Israel and India; said they are reaching out to other countries in Central Asia, to agencies from other countries and, of course, to multilateral organizations like the United Nations.

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