CNN LIVE EVENT/SPECIAL
Secretary Powell Speaks at State Department
Aired April 30, 2003 - 10:49 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
LEON HARRIS, CNN ANCHOR: Now we want to take you to Washington. We understand that Secretary of State Colin Powell is briefing at the State Department, and he's talking, we believe, about the Middle East peace process, as well as giving a report on global terrorism.
Let's listen in.
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COLIN POWELL, SECY. OF STATE: ... $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.
POWELL: 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 Mombasa, 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.
HARRIS: As Secretary Powell steps away, so will we. We did hear him say this moring at the assessment reached -- the conclusion, I should say, reached by this assessment is that 2002 saw an increase in global commitments to combating terrorism, and also a decrease, a dramatic decrease, in terroristic attacks. He also says we still cannot relax or resolve or vigilance, despite the fact there was such a reduction.
We did not hear him say anything at all about this developing story in the on war on terror that we heard about moments ago coming to us out of Islamabad, Pakistan, word that in Karachi six men were arrested who were believed to be linked to Al Qaeda, one of whom also may be tied into that bombing of USS Cole. That also a significant terrorist event.
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