Secretary of State Colin Powell
Statement on Redesignation of Foreign Terrorist Organizations
October 5, 2001
Today I am taking an important step in continuing our efforts to combat terrorism.
I am redesignating 25 groups as Foreign Terrorist Organizations under U.S. law.
The initial designations of these groups in 1997 and 1999 are due to expire
on October 8. By re-designating them as Foreign Terrorist Organizations and
publishing that decision today in the Federal Register, we continue the measures
against these terrorist groups in accordance with the provisions of the Antiterrorism
and Effective Death Penalty Act. This Act makes it illegal for persons in the
United States or subject to U.S. jurisdiction to provide material support to
these terrorist groups; it requires U.S. financial institutions to block assets
held by them; and it enables us to deny visas to representatives of these groups.
I made this decision in consultation with the Attorney General and the Secretary
of the Treasury after an exhaustive review of these groups violent activities
over the past two years.
Every one of these groups has continued to engage in terrorist activity over
the past two years. Most of these groups---such as HAMAS, the Palestine Islamic
Jihad, the Tamil Tigers, the FARC in Colombia, Basque ETA, and of course Usama
bin Ladens al-Qaida organization---have carried out murderous attacks
on innocent people since their last designation in 1999. Others---such as the
Abu Nidal Organization, Aum Shinrikyo, and the Kurdish PKK---have been less
active but have nonetheless continued to plan and prepare for possible acts
of terrorism. Still others---such as the Egyptian al-Jihad and the Gamaa
al-Islamiyya---have provided direct support for the terrorist activities of
Usama bin Ladins network.
I did not redesignate two groups, the Japanese Red Army and the Tupac Amaru
Revolutionary Movement, because I determined that the statutory criteria for
redesignation had not been met. With respect to the Japanese Red Army, we have
maintained close watch and exchanged information with other concerned countries,
but we have not received sufficient information during the past two years to
justify designation. This decision does not condone or excuse the past terrorism
carried out by these groups, nor does it suggest that we now consider these
groups to be legitimate. Terrorists in these organizations remain accountable
for their past crimes and will continue to be subject to all other relevant
U.S. laws, regulations, and statutes. We remain concerned about their potential
for renewed terrorist activity and will continue to monitor them closely. If
we receive new evidence of terrorist activity, I will not hesitate to redesignate
these groups as Foreign Terrorist Organizations.
With these actions today, our list of designated Foreign Terrorist Organizations
now stands at 28. As we embark on a long-term struggle against terrorism, I
hope this list will draw the attention of foreign governments across the world
to these groups and will encourage those governments to take action, as we have,
to isolate these terrorist organizations, to choke off their sources of financial
support, and to prevent their movement across international borders.