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U.S. Department of State

Great Seal

U.S. Counterterrorism Efforts

Fact Sheet released by the U.S. Department of State, Office of the Spokesman, August 4, 1999.

Blue Bar

The United States Government is engaged in a long-term struggle against international terrorism. We use a wide variety of foreign policy tools, from military force when necessary, to vigorous diplomacy, law enforcement, improvements in U.S. security, and the development of new technology. 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.

Our determination to bring terrorists to justice was rewarded in April 1999 when the two Libyan suspects in the Pan Am 103 bombing were turned over for trial. This was the result of a sustained, eight year-long international effort to put pressure on Libya to comply with UN Security Council requirements in this case.

Since 1993, a dozen suspected international terrorist fugitives have been apprehended overseas and turned over to the United States to stand trial for various terrorist crimes.

Two Presidential Directives were issued in 1998 to coordinate efforts to prevent and respond to unconventional attacks, and to shield our information and transportation facilities.

Last month the President signed an Executive Order imposing financial and other commercial sanctions on the Afghan Taliban for its support of Usama bin Laden and his terrorist network.

In addition, the Secretary of State has formally designated 30 foreign terrorist organizations, making it illegal for U.S. citizens and institutions to provide funds or other forms of material support to such groups.

The United States is engaged in a vigorous campaign to promote by the year 2000 the universal adoption and ratification of all eleven existing international terrorist conventions. Every nation has the responsibility to arrest or expel terrorists, shut down their finances, and deny them safe haven. Our goal is to strengthen the rule of law against terrorism globally.

In June the Department hosted an important counterterrorism conference that included representatives from 22 nations in the Middle East, South Asia, Central Asia, Europe, and Canada. The conference promoted international cooperation against terrorism and the sharing of information on terrorist groups and countermeasures.

The United States conducts the successful Anti-terrorism Training Assistance program, which trains foreign law enforcement personnel in such areas as airport security, bomb detection, maritime security, VIP protection, hostage rescue, and crisis management. To date, we have trained more than 20,000 representatives from more than 100 countries.

We also conduct an active research and development program to adapt modern technology for use in defeating terrorists.

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