|Secretary of State Madeleine K. Albright
Remarks on Second Anniversary of the East African Bombings
August 7, 2000, Washington, D.C.
As released by the Office of the Spokesman
U.S. Department of State
SECRETARY ALBRIGHT: Good afternoon. Two years ago, at our Embassies in Nairobi and Dar es Salaam, terrorist bombings robbed us of colleagues and loved ones, neighbors and friends. The victims included US and Foreign Service National personnel and hundreds of other Kenyans and Tanzanians who simply happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time.
Time has not lessened our grief or our sense of loss. Our thoughts and prayers remain with the families of those, American and African, who were killed or seriously injured. We honor their memory, including those with whom we served, for their sacrifice came in the line of duty and they have joined the roll of heroes we will never forget.
Today is a day for remembering, but also for renewed resolve. This week, we will hold groundbreaking ceremonies for new office buildings in Nairobi and Dar es Salaam. The Embassies that were attacked in 1998, like their counterparts elsewhere, were doing America’s work: promoting development, building peace, supporting justice and fighting disease. This is work no fair-minded person could oppose; however, because of America’s role as the world’s leading upholder of democracy and law, we are considered a threat by those who threaten others. We are a target for terrorists.
But as we have shown during the past two years, America will not be intimidated, nor will we retreat from the world. For example, we have made great progress in bringing those who carried out the Embassy bombings before the bar of justice. Nine of those suspected are now in custody and we will not rest until all those responsible are held accountable.
With the help of Congress, we have implemented physical security upgrades at every diplomatic post. We have established mandatory inspections for every vehicle entering our facilities overseas, and we’ve hired and trained 337 new Diplomatic Security personnel. We realize that our security may be threatened not only by terrorists but also by practitioners of espionage, and we have implemented a host of measures to control access to our buildings and ensure the integrity of our facilities, equipment and documents. We’ve conducted security awareness briefings for 7,000 employees in the past two and a half months alone, and are making annual refresher training mandatory. Everyone, everywhere, who works for the Department of State knows that security is their responsibility and a core element in their jobs.
The United States will continue to operate diplomatic missions around the world wherever we are welcome and have interests to advance. We will do all we can to protect those missions and personnel, while enabling them to fulfill their duties. We will proceed with plans to upgrade security at home and overseas, and we will ask Congress to reconsider plans to zero out funding for a much-needed international anti-terrorism and security training center to be located here in the United States. And we will work with Congress to obtain the resources we need to get the overall security job done, not just for the year 2000 but as far into the new century as we can foresee.
It has been two years since the Embassy bombings, and much has happened since. But the memory of those who were lost has not faded. Our determination to lead has not lessened, and our commitment to American interests and principles remains steady and sure.
Thank you very much.
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