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Albright Statement on State Department's Terrorism Report

Albright Statement on State Department's Terrorism Report

Washington D.C. -- The State Department's Report on Global Terrorism in 1998 shows that there were fewer reported incidents than in any year since 1971, but that a record number of people were killed in those attacks, Secretary of State Albright observed in a statement issued April 30. Source: U.S.I.A., Washington File.

Following is the text of the secretary's statement. (begin text)

Today, we are releasing the State Department's annual report on Patterns of Global Terrorism.

Its significance is heightened this year by our memory of the bombing last August of U.S. embassies in Nairobi and Dar es Salaam. We continue to grieve for those, American and African, who were killed or injured by those criminal acts. And we are determined to do all we can to deter, and diminish the consequences, of any future attacks.

This year's report reflects two trends, one encouraging, one very disturbing. Fewer international terrorist incidents were reported in 1998 than in any year since 1971. But more people were killed in the attacks that did occur than in any year on record. This shows that we have done much to make it harder for terrorists to operate. And that we must do more because terrorists now have access to technology that is incredibly destructive.

The list of state sponsors of terror has not changed from last year's report. Governments on the list that would like to see their names removed know exactly what they must do: stop planning, financing and supporting terrorist acts, and stop sheltering or interfering with the apprehension and prosecution of those who commit them.

State-sponsored terrorism remains a grave problem, but direct government involvement in committing such acts continues to decline. Credit belongs to the sustained pressure applied by the Reagan, Bush and Clinton Administrations and by our allies and friends overseas.

Unfortunately, this progress has been countered by the rise of terrorist groups that are less directly dependent on states. Some have broad geographical reach, and have found ways to support themselves through criminal enterprises such as drug smuggling, kidnapping and extortion.

Our response has been to launch a full court press against terror. This means we do all we can to put pressure on terrorists all the time, not just when they are about to strike. In cooperation with other governments, we go after terrorist finances, shut down illegal activities, restrict travel, disrupt training, break up support cells and bring suspects to justice.

In our efforts, we use a wide range of foreign policy tools, from military force when necessary, to vigorous diplomacy, the negotiation of treaties, the enforcement of laws, the sharing of information, the offering of rewards, the development of new technology and the improvement of our security.

Examples in 1998 included two Presidential Directives, issued in May, to coordinate efforts to prevent and respond to unconventional attacks, and to shield our information and transportation facilities.

Working with Congress, we are striving to upgrade the protection of our diplomatic posts. And I have made it clear to all both here in the United States and at our embassies overseas that security is everybody's responsibility, around the clock, every day.

Finally, the combination of diplomacy and tough law enforcement has helped us to apprehend a number of suspects in the Kenya and Tanzania bombings. We will not rest until all who are responsible are held accountable.

Earlier this month, those indicted in the decade-old Pan Am 103 bombing were turned over for trial. As our determination in that case reflects, our memory is long and there is no statute of limitations on our persistence.

In closing, I want to stress that the battle against terror is a multi-year, multi-agency, multi-national enterprise. It is world-wide and long-term.

I commend the State Department's acting Counter-terrorism Coordinator Mike Sheehan, and his team, for their help in orchestrating our full court press.

And to our many partners around Washington, throughout America and across the globe, I say thank you. We appreciate your past and current efforts. And we look forward to your future assistance, which we will need.

(end text)


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Directeur de la publication : Joël-François Dumont
Comité de rédaction : Jacques de Lestapis, Hugues Dumont, François de Vries (Bruxelles), Hans-Ulrich Helfer (Suisse), Michael Hellerforth (Allemagne).
Comité militaire : VAE Guy Labouérie (†), GAA François Mermet (2S), CF Patrice Théry (Asie).