|Secretary of State Madeleine K. Albright
October 8, 1999, Washington, DC
As released by the Office of the Spokesman
U.S. Department of State
Today, under the 1996 Antiterrorism Act, I am designating 28 groups as foreign terrorist organizations (FTOs).
This is the second biennial designation under the Act. It includes 27 groups previously listed, and one addition, the Al Qai'da organization, which is led by Usama bin Ladin. Three groups have been removed. These changes reflect the living nature of the list. Groups that renounce terrorism and cease support for, or involvement in, terrorist acts, will be removed. Groups that actively plan or commit terrorist acts will be added.
These designations have three main consequences:
First, it is a crime to provide funds, weapons, or other types of tangible support to any of the designated organizations;
The Antiterrorism Act was designed to put a stop to fundraising in the United States by and on behalf of organizations that engage in, or sponsor, terrorist acts.
But the designations we make under the law are as important for what they symbolize as for the concrete consequences they have.
President Clinton has rightly identified terrorism as one of the most important security challenges we face. It is a worldwide phenomenon. And we are determined to oppose it wherever, however, and whenever we can.
The State Department plays a key role in this effort through our Office of Counterterrorism Coordinator. The Office works to develop and maintain international cooperation in fighting terrorism, trains foreign officials in counterterrorism techniques, advises Americans on the threats posed by terror, and helps our law enforcement agencies to bring terrorist who have harmed Americans and others to justice.
It is alarming, therefore, that Congress has just voted to slash our funding for counterterrorism programs by 36%, as part of a bill that would cut international affairs programs, as a whole, by more than $2 billion from the President's request. At a time of increased public concern about the terrorist threat, and clear evidence that terrorists continue to target Americans, this action is directly contrary to the interests of our nation and the safety of our citizens. It is one reason the President has said he will veto the foreign operations appropriations bill when it reaches his desk.
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