More Assets in Financial War On Terrorism
The Rose Garden
The White House
December 20, 2001
2:47 P.M. EST
Thank you all for coming. I'm honored to be joined by the Secretary of State
and the Secretary of the Treasury. The Secretary of Treasury will stay over
afterwards, to answer any questions you have on this particular initiative that
we'll be announcing today.
This is the 100th day of our campaign against global terrorism. And in those
100 days, we've accomplished much. We've built a broad international coalition
against terror, and I want to thank the Secretary of State for his hard work.
We broke the Taliban's grip on Afghanistan. We took the war to the al Qaeda
terrorists. We're securing our airways. We're defending our homeland. And we're
attacking the terrorists' international financial network. And I want to thank
the Secretary of the Treasury for his hard work.
Today I'm announcing two more strikes against the financing of terror. We know
that al Qaeda would like to obtain nuclear, chemical and biological weapons.
And we know that oftentimes they do not act alone; al Qaeda has international
supporters, and some of those supporters hide themselves in the disguise of
Last year a former official of the Pakistani Atomic Energy Commission set up
an organization known as the UTN. UTN claims to serve the hungry and needy of
Afghanistan. But it was the UTN that provided information about nuclear weapons
to al Qaeda. So today I'm adding UTN, and three of its directors, to our list
of terrorists supporting financial organizations and individuals. We're issuing
orders to block any of their assets within U.S. jurisdiction, and putting the
world on notice that anyone who continues to do business with UTN, and its principal
figures, will not do business with the United States.
Since September the 11th, we've witnessed a series of terrorist attacks aimed
at the United States and our friends around the world: anthrax mailings here
at home, suicide bombings against Israel; and only last week, an armed attack
on the Indian Parliament. The legislature of the world's largest democracy,
a nation founded on the principles of freedom of speech, freedom of worship,
was ruthlessly attacked. The terrorists killed eight innocent people. If their
mission had succeeded, they would have kidnapped and killed many of India's
Last week's attack was only the most recent terrorist assault on the institutions
of Indian democracy. More than 30 people were killed in a car bombing of the
State Legislative Assembly in Srinagar on October the 1st. These attacks on
India's Parliament buildings remind us that whatever grievances or causes the
terrorists may cite, their real target is democracy and freedom.
The United States condemns these terrorist attacks against India. And we extend
our sympathies and friendship to the families of the murdered.
American power will be used against all terrorists of global reach. So today
I'm adding another terrorist organization to the list of those whose assets
are blocked by my executive order. Lashkar-e-Tayiba is an extremist group based
in Kashmir. LAT is a stateless sponsor of terrorism, and it hopes to destroy
relations between Pakistan and India and to undermine Pakistani's President
To achieve its purpose, LAT has committed acts of terrorism inside both India
and Pakistan. LAT is a terrorist organization that presents a global threat.
And I look forward to working with the governments of both India and Pakistan
in a common effort to shut it down and to bring the killers to justice.
I'm optimistic about the future of our struggle against terror. I know we've
accomplished a lot so far, and we've got a lot more to do. Over the past 100
days, we and our British allies and others in the coalition have destroyed at
least 11 terrorist training camps inside Afghanistan, terrorist factories that
produce thousands of trained operatives. We've also destroyed 39 Taliban command
and control sites.
Senior al Qaeda and Taliban officials have been captured or killed, and potential
escape routes for the survivors are constantly being blocked to prevent the
cowards from running.
American, Australian and German aid workers held hostage by the Taliban have
been liberated. We've dropped some 2.5 million humanitarian rations to the hungry
people inside Afghanistan. Our attack on terrorist finances is progressing.
The assets of more than 150 known terrorists, their organizations and their
bankers have been frozen by the United States.
One hundred forty-two countries have issued freezing orders of their own. The
result: more than $33 million in terrorist assets have been blocked inside the
United States; more than $33 million more have been blocked abroad by our partners
in the international coalition.
At home, we've created a new Office of Homeland Security under my friend, Tom
Ridge; and worked with Congress to provide more than $20 billion to safeguard
our territory. New airline security legislation has been signed into law. Our
law enforcement agencies are protecting our safety, while respecting the constitutional
rights of our citizens.
We listed the 22 most wanted foreign terrorists. We're reorganizing the INS
so it can more effectively prevent the entry into the United States by those
who want to threaten our national security.
We arrested one of the murderers of the September 5, 1986 hijacking of Pan Am
Flight 73, showing would-be terrorists and current terrorists that we have a
long memory, that we're patient -- that if you think you can hide, we'll come
and find you and bring you to justice.
We made the first indictment against the terrorists, those murderers of September
the 11th. We and our coalition have done much in the past 100 days. And with
the help of freedom-loving countries around the world, we will do much more
to rid the world of evil and of terrorists.