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U.S. State Department

Excerpt from "Patterns of Global Terrorism—2002"

Reprinted from Terrorism: Documents of International and Local Control, Volume 39, U.S. Perspectives, edited by James Walsh

Published in 2003

Although post-9/11 many important reports on terrorism have been issued, the U.S. State Department's annual assessment has long been considered the government's most important public report on terrorism. U.S. law requires the Department of State to provide Congress with an annual report on global terrorism. The report must give a complete assessment of foreign countries where significant terrorist actions occurred, must report on countries known to support terrorism, and must assess worldwide terrorist organizations. U.S. law also requires the report to describe how countries cooperate with the United States to apprehend, convict, and punish terrorists who attack U.S. citizens or interests, as well as how countries attempt to prevent future terrorist acts.

"The world is fighting terrorism on five fronts: diplomatic, intelligence, law enforcement, financial, and military."

The following excerpt from "Patterns of Global Terrorism—2002" is part of the introduction written by Cofer Black, State Department coordinator for counterterrorism. The impact of 9/11 on this report is obvious. His introduction, which precedes the lengthy country-by-country reports and assessment of each terrorist organization, is a summary of the actions taken by the U.S. government against terrorism since 9/11. It also includes U.S. terrorism policy and strategy, and the four powerful guiding principles President Bush laid out for U.S. counterterrorism.

Things to remember while reading excerpts from "Patterns of Global Terrorism—2002":

  • "Patterns of Global Terrorism—2002" is especially notable because it was the first State Department annual report on terrorism since 9/11.
  • Congress and Americans were now totally aware that terrorism could reach the U.S. homeland. Preventing future terrorist attacks and bringing those responsible to justice was the number one priority of everyone.
  • Following the 9/11 attacks President Bush had declared a "War on Terrorism."
  • The crimes of terrorism had to be dealt with on a global basis.
  • Preventing future crimes of terrorism requires a multiple front offensive. Note the five key fronts explained by the State Department.

Excerpt from "Patterns of Global Terrorism—2002"

The evil terrorism continued to plague the world throughout 2002, from Bali to Grozny to Mombasa . At the same time, the globalwar against the terrorist threat was waged intensively in all regions with encouraging results.

The year saw the liberation of Afghanistan by Coalition forces, the expulsion of al-Qaida and the oppressive Taliban regime, the destruction of their terrorist training infrastructure , and the installation of a transitional government committed to democracy and economic development.

Al-Qaida terrorists are on the run, and thousands of them have been detained . More than one third of al-Qaida's top leadership has been killed or captured, including some who conspired in the September 11 attacks, the 2000 attack on theUSS Cole , and the 1998 bombings of two US Embassies in East Africa.

Moreover, the global antiterrorism coalition that was forged in the immediate aftermath of the September 11 attacks in the United States remains united.

The world is fighting terrorism on five fronts: diplomatic , intelligence , law enforcement, financial , and military.


The progress that has been achieved in the global war on terrorism would not have been possible without intense diplomatic engagement throughout the world. Diplomacy is the backbone of the campaign, building the political will, support, and mechanisms that enable our law enforcement, intelligence, and military communities to act effectively.

The web of relationships we have cultivated has borne fruit in countless ways, from increasing security at home and abroad to bringing wanted terrorists to justice in the United States and elsewhere.

All our friends have stood with us multilaterally—at the United Nations, in NATO, ANZUS, EU, G-7, G-8, OAS, ASEAN, APEC, OIC, OECD, OSCE—and bilaterally in virtually every corner of the world.

New counterterrorism relationships with Russia, China, India, Pakistan, Central Asian republics, and others have shown results and hold promise for continued engagement in the future. Collaboration in combating terrorism has deepened with partners such as Algeria, Bahrain, Egypt, Morocco, Tunisia, and the United Arab Emirates.

The Coalition's objectives are clear: to eliminate the threat posed by international terrorism and to deter states from supporting or harboring international terrorist groups.


The gathering of intelligence about al-Qaida's infrastructure in Afghanistan helped enable us to dismantle or scatter much of its membership and organization.

Information gained from captured enemy combatants and imprisoned terrorists is being exploited effectively around the world.

The expansion of intelligence sharing and cooperation among nations since September 11 is preventing attacks, saving lives, and exposing the hiding places of terrorists.

Law Enforcement

An impressive global dragnet has tightened around al-Qaida. Since September 11 more than 3,000 al-Qaida operatives or associates have been detained in more than 100 countries, largely as a result of cooperation among law enforcement agencies.

Entire cells have been wrapped up in nations such as Singapore, Italy, and elsewhere. In all these cells, deadly attacks on U.S. interests or our allies were being planned.

In the United States, the rule of law is being applied relentlessly against terrorists. For example, U.S. Attorney General John Ashcroft called October 4 "a defining day in America's War on Terrorism." On that day, the United States convicted would-be shoe bomber Richard Reid ; sentenced American Taliban John Walker Lindh ; and neutralized a suspected al-Qaida terrorist cell in Portland, Oregon. Another alleged al-Qaida cell was uncovered and its members arrested in Lackawanna, New York, during the summer.

Since the previous Patterns of Global Terrorism report was issued, the United States designated several additional groups as Foreign Terrorist Organizations (FTOs), including the Communist Party of the Philippines/New People's Army, Jemaah Islamiya , and Lashkar I Jhangvi . The Lashkar I Jhangvi was responsible for the kidnapping and murder of American journalist Daniel Pearl in 2002. The FTO designation carries several legal consequences: it is unlawful for U.S. persons to knowingly provide funds and other material support to designated groups; members of these groups are ineligible for U.S. visas ; and U.S. financial institutions must block the funds of the groups.


More than 166 countries have issued orders freezing more than $121 million in terrorist-related financial assets .

Nearly all countries around the world have submitted reports to the United Nations [UN] on actions they have taken to comply with the requirements of UN Security Council Resolution (UNSCR) 1373, which includes obligations to freeze the assets of terrorists and to prohibit anyone in the country from providing financial or other material assistance to terrorists or their supporters.

The Financial Action Task Force—a 29-nation experts' group dedicated to the establishment of legal and regulatory standards and policies to combat money laundering —is working to deny terrorists access to the world financial system.

The European Union (EU) and the United States have worked closely together to ensure that nearly every terrorist individual or group designated by one . . . is also designated by the other. The Netherlands took effective action to freeze the financial assets of José Maria Sison, leader of the Communist Party of the Philippines/New People's Army terrorist group, and then asked the EU to freeze the assets of Sison and his group; the EU did so. In August, Italy joined the United States in submitting the names of 25 individuals and companies linked to al-Qaida to the UN, so their assets could be frozen worldwide.

The G-8 nations have committed themselves to a range of measures aimed at seizing terrorist assets. The Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation group, APEC, has adopted an ambitious antiterrorist finance action plan. The United States joined with Kyrgyzstan, Afghanistan, and China in including the Eastern Turkestan Islamic Movement on the UN's list of organizations affiliated with al-Qaida.

In the United States, the Foreign Terrorist Asset Tracking Center, Operation Green Quest, and the Terrorist Financing Task Force are facilitating information sharing between intelligence and law enforcement agencies and helping other countries to improve their legal and regulatory systems so they can more effectively identify, disrupt, and defeat terrorist financing networks.

More than 250 terrorist groups and entities have been designated under Executive Order 13224 , which freezes their U.S.-based assets.

In November, the United States blocked the assets of the Benevolence International Foundation, which for years misused its status as a charity by funneling money to al-Qaida. Its CEO is closely associated with Usama Bin Ladin and has helped his cause financially.

Also in November, the State and Treasury Departments announced a $5-million reward program that will pay for information leading to the disruption of any terrorism financing operation.

The USA Patriot Act

Six weeks after the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, Congress passed and President George W. Bush signed the USA Patriot Act, more formally labeled Uniting and Strengthening America by Providing Appropriate Tools Required to Intercept and Obstruct Terrorism Act. The act was passed by a 98 to 1 vote in the U.S. Senate and 357 to 66 vote in the U.S. House of Representatives. The U.S. Department of Defense, charged with preventing future terrorists attacks, lists four significant areas in which the Patriot Act strengthened their efforts against terrorism.

1) The act gave law enforcement more investigative tools to target terrorists. Section 201 allows the use of electronic surveillance methods (wiretaps) for investigation of specific terrorism-related crimes as the potential use of weapons of mass destruction like chemical weapons, the financing of terrorism, and killing Americans abroad. In the past wiretaps were allowed for crimes such as drug trafficking, or mail and passport fraud, but not on all of the crimes terrorists could commit.

Section 206 allows federal agents to use "roving wiretaps" against terrorists, which apply to a suspect rather than one particular phone line. Roving wiretaps had been used in other crime cases, but did not legally apply to terrorism. Using cell phones, terrorists are well trained in constantly changing communication devices and locations. Obtaining a court order to tap a specific phone at a specific location had become an obsolete, ineffective tool.

Section 213 allows courts to give permission to law enforcement agents to delay notice that a search warrant has been approved and about to be used. Delayed notification search warrants give officers time to search a number of individuals without tipping them off ahead of time. Delayed notice prevents escape from the investigative scene, evidence destruction, or tipping off other criminal associates their activities are under investigation. Delayed notification has long been used in drug cases, fighting organized crime, and child pornography.

The Patriot Act also allows federal agents to ask for a court order to acquire business records in national security terrorism cases. This ability is granted in Section 215. The Department of Defense reports that they look not only for bank records to see who sends money to terrorists but records from hardware stores, booksellers, chemical suppliers, and weapons manufacturers. Although highly controversial, an individual's library checkout records can also be obtained.

2) The act allows for better sharing of information and cooperation between government agencies. Sections 203 and 218 breaks down the so-called "Wall" halting the flow of information and evidence-sharing between agencies. Section 203 allows police officers, FBI agents, intelligence officers, immigration officers, and federal prosecutors to share information gained by wiretaps and from grand juries who gather information on specific cases. Section 218 allows full coordination between intelligence and law enforcement to protect against threats from a foreign agent. An often used phrase by law enforcement agencies to describe this aspect of the Patriot Act is that they are better able to "connect the dots."

3) The Patriot Act recognizes that new technologies like computer systems are used by terrorists allowing them to plan terrorist activities from various locations and frequently switch locations. Previously search warrants had to be obtained for each site, which was time consuming and ineffective. Sections 219 and 220 allow warrants to be issued by a judge in any district where terrorist activities occur then used in any district necessary nationwide.

4)The act clearly defines "material support" for terrorists. All support activities are federal crimes. Section 805, "Material support of terrorism" identified what "support" encompassed. Section 805 includes any act specifically intended to support terrorism such as people who raise and move funds, open bank accounts, recruit terrorists, provide training, provide weapons and supplies, buy airline tickets, lease cars, and rent apartments. Also included are those who offer terrorists expert advice and assistance as how to destroy bridges, buildings, make bombs, or acquire deadly chemical or biological agents. The Department of Defense rates this section as vital to keeping terrorists out of U.S. communities. They list terrorism support as the most frequently encountered terrorist activity on U.S. soil.

A number of Patriot Act sections will expire on December 31, 2005, if not renewed by Congress. Those include Sections 201, 206, 215, and 220. Groups such as the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) oppose renewal of various sections unless they are altered to better protect civil liberties. For example, the ACLU opposes renewing Section 206 "roving wiretaps" because it believes the wiretaps infringe on every American's privacy.

The ACLU predictably opposes Section 215 as well, which allows law enforcement access to an individual's various records including library checkout and business records. A number of bills were in Congress in mid-2004 to make changes to the Patriot Act in an effort to better protect the civil liberties of all U.S. citizens.

As a result of all these efforts, it is much harder today for terrorists to raise and move money. Many who formerly provided financial support for terrorism seem to have backed away. Some facilitators have been captured and arrested. The international banking system is no longer safe for terrorists to use.

Future progress will not be measured in millions of dollars worth of frozen assets, as the amount of such funding is finite , but rather in terms of nations' efforts to prevent terrorist financing. Fundamentally, terrorists must now look over their shoulders, wondering whether it is safe to move, raise funds, plan, and conduct operations.


Operation Enduring Freedom was launched on 7 October 2001. It comprises some 90 nations, nearly half of the world's countries. It is the largest military coalition ever assembled in all of human history. Its successes have also been historic. The bulk of Afghan territory was liberated from Taliban control within a matter of weeks. With our Coalition partners, the United States is helping to train the Afghan National Army so that Afghans can once again provide for their own security and the stability of the country. Schools have been rebuilt, teachers trained, and textbooks supplied. Land mines are being cleared. Hundreds of thousands of refugees have returned.

In Afghanistan and elsewhere, military action continues to be waged against terrorists with global reach. More than 500 suspected terrorists are being detained at the U.S. facility at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba.


Despite solid progress, the danger persists.

Al-Qaida is still planning attacks. Every al-Qaida operations officer captured so far was involved in some stage of preparation for a terrorist attack at the time of capture. Recent audiotapes by al-Qaida leaders contain exhortations to further violence and threaten the United States and our Coalition allies.

These threats must be regarded with utmost seriousness. Additional attacks are likely.

I have focused on our many accomplishments—diplomatic, intelligence, law enforcement, financial, and military. As significant as those have been, however, it is important not to think that victory is on the horizon. Far from it. Indeed, the ultimate success of this campaign will hinge in large part on two factors—sustained international political will and effective capacity building .

First, we must sustain and enhance the political will of states to fight terrorism. The secret of maintaining a coalition is demonstrating daily to its members that the fight is not over and that sustained effort is clearly in their long-term interests. My meetings with government officials in every region of the world have convinced me that we have made tremendous progress on that score.

Second, we have to bolster the capacity of all states to fight terrorism. Despite our unmatched power, we recognize that the United States will not be able to win without the help of others. The United States cannot investigate every lead, arrest every suspect, gather and analyze all the intelligence, effectively sanction every sponsor of terrorism, prevent the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, or find and fight every terrorist cell.

Simply put, this is a global fight that requires a global system to defeat it.

President Bush has stressed from the beginning that "the defeat of terror requires an international coalition of unprecedented scope and cooperation." So our effort must also be truly international. . . .

Around the world, we are working to build up the capability of nations' forces so that they can take the fight to the terrorists from the streets of Sanaa in Yemen to Pankisi Gorge in Georgia, from the island of Basilan in the Philippines to the jungles of Colombia.

Our goal is to assist governments to become full and self-sustaining partners in the fight against terrorism.

As President Bush said at the end of 2002: "In the new year, we will prosecute the war on terror with patience and focus and determination. With the help of a broad coalition, we will make certain that terrorists and their supporters are not safe in any cave or corner of the world."

U.S. Policy

President Bush has laid out the scope of the war on terrorism. Four enduring policy principles guide U.S. counterterrorism strategy:

First, make no concessions to terrorists and strike no deals. The U.S. Government will make no concessions to individuals or groups holding official or private U.S. citizens hostage. The United States will use every appropriate resource to gain the safe return of U.S. citizens who are hostage. At the same time, it is U.S. Government policy to deny hostage takers the benefits of ransom , prisoner releases, policy changes, or other acts of concession.

Second, bring terrorists to justice for their crimes. The United States will track down terrorists who attack Americans and their interests, no matter how long it takes.

Third, isolate and apply pressure on states that sponsor terrorism to force them to change their behavior. There are seven countries that have been designated state sponsors of terrorism: Cuba, Iran, Iraq, Libya, North Korea, Sudan, and Syria.

Fourth, bolster the counterterrorist capabilities of those countries that work with the United States and require assistance. Under the Antiterrorism Assistance program, the United States provides training and related assistance to law enforcement and security services of selected friendly foreign governments. Courses cover such areas as airport security, bomb detection, hostage rescue, and crisis management. A recent component of the training targets the financial underpinnings of terrorists and criminal money launderers. Counterterrorist training and technical-assistance teams are working with countries to identify vulnerabilities , enhance capacities, and provide targeted assistance to address the problem of terrorist financing.

What happened next . . .

The United States continued to stabilize Afghanistan and disrupt remaining al Qaeda cells hiding in the rugged mountains between Afghanistan and Pakistan. As of June 2004, however, Osama bin Laden had not been captured. The U.S. government continued to strengthen counterterrorism programs both at home and in cooperation with other nations. Weaknesses in U.S. infrastructure continued to be remedied. For example, the federal government took over the screening of all passengers boarding commercial airliners.

Internationally, the United States continued to help nations working to defeat terrorism by assisting their law enforcement and security agencies, in finding and freezing money for terrorist support, and in emergency response improvement.

On March 1, 2003, the cabinet level Department of Homeland Security (DHS) became operational. DHS has the tremendous responsibility of ensuring the protection of the country's critical infrastructure and to have coordinated and effective response policies in place. Over one hundred different government agencies have various responsibilities for homeland security; all report to the DHS, which must coordinate and evaluate their responses.

The United States pursued its War on Terrorism by attacking the nation of Iraq and ousting its tyrannical dictator Saddam Hussein. Hussein was later captured in December 2003. President Bush listed Iraq's support of international terrorists, including ties to al Qaeda, and the potential use of its arsenal of weapons of mass destruction (WMD)—biological, chemical, and possibly nuclear—as primary reasons for going to war with Iraq.

Prior to the March invasion, Secretary of State Colin Powell presented evidence before the United Nations of the existence of these weapons of mass destruction. Nevertheless many of the world's nations including France, Germany, and Russia did not believe war was the answer. The strong international cooperative spirit following 9/11 was damaged by disagreement about Iraq.

As of June 2004 no WMDs had been found and the official U.S. 9/11 Commission examining the entire 9/11 tragedy announced they found no connection between the attack by al Qaeda and Iraq. As the United States handed over all governing responsibilities to Iraq in late June, terrorist activities continued on a daily basis in the country, killing Iraqi citizens and U.S. soldiers.

Did you know . . .

  • In 2002 no successful attacks by foreign terrorist groups occurred in the U.S. homeland.
  • The 2002 "Patterns" report included a section on weapons of mass destruction and terrorists entitled "Chemical, Biological, Radiological, Nuclear (CBRN) Terrorism." It reported while terrorists will continue to use traditional tactics such as bombing, abductions, and murder, they increasingly seek WMDs. The section quotes the leader of al Qaeda, Osama bin Laden, as saying he sees acquiring WMDs for use in terrorist actions as a "religious duty."
  • U.S. counterterrorism assistance to other countries attempting to improve counterterrorism capabilities includes a wide variety of programs. Some of these programs are: (1) training foreign police and security forces in airport security and bomb blast investigation; (2) holding seminars on how to write effective counterterrorism laws; (3) conferences on how to investigate and halt financial support to terrorists; and, (4) policy workshops building relationships and cooperation between counterterrorism agencies from different nations.
  • Another vital report on terrorism issued in July 2002 was the National Strategy for Homeland Security. It was produced by the Office of Homeland Security within the White House (which later grew into the Department of Homeland Security). The report served as the overall policy statement for the U.S. government's counterterrorism efforts.

Consider the following . . .

  • List and briefly describe the State Department's five fronts of terrorism.
  • Consider the first principle used in fighting terrorism: "make no concessions to terrorists and strike no deals." Do you think since terrorist attacks continue this policy is effective? Either agree or disagree with this principle and explain your reasoning.
  • As a class activity make a pro/con chart concerning the effects of the U.S.–Iraq war (2003–04) on worldwide terrorism. Is the United States and its interests less likely or more likely to suffer terrorists attacks?

Bali to Grozny to Mombasa: The island of Bali in Indonesia to the capital city of Grozny in Chechnya (a province of Russia) to the port city of Mombassa in Kenya.

Liberation: Free from harsh rule.

Expulsion: Forced out.

al-Qaida: Islamic terrorist group led by Osama bin Laden.

Taliban: Radical Islamic religious and political group in Afghanistan.

Infrastructure: Network of camps and training facilities.

Transitional government: Temporary appointed rulers preparing the country for a permanent government.

Detained: Held in custody.

USS Cole: U.S. naval ship attacked by a small boat full of explosives while docked at a port in Yemen, killing 17 sailors and injuring 39.

U.S. Embassies: U.S. embassies in Tanzania and Kenya attacked with explosives, killing 378.

Global antiterrorism coalition: Alliance of nations worldwide that cooperates to fight terrorism.

Diplomatic: Skilled handling of relations between countries.

Intelligence: Gathering information on an enemy.

Financial: Halting the flow of money to terrorists.

Cultivated: Grown and nurtured.

Collaboration: Cooperation.

Enemy combatants: Term used by U.S. authorities for individuals engaged in battle against the United States.

Exploited: Used.

Dragnet: Network for police to find a criminal.

Operatives: Active members.

Cells: Groups or units.

Richard Reid: Person who attempted to blow up a commercial airliner with explosives hidden in his shoe.

John Walker Lindh:

American who was captured in Afghanistan fighting against American forces.

Jemaah Islamiya: A radical Islamic group in Egypt.

Lashkar I. Jhangvi: A radical Islamic group based in India.

Daniel Pearl: American journalist captured and killed by terrorists in Pakistan.

Visas: Documents a person must have to enter a country.

Financial assets: Money and property.

Money laundering: Placing money gained through crime into financial institutions where it is concealed from authorities.

G-8: A group of eight industrialized nations coordinating worldwide economic development.

Executive Order 13224:

Presidential directive authorizing law enforcement agencies to tie up any terrorist money held in U.S. financial institutions.

Usama Bin Ladin: Leader of the Al-Qaeda terrorist network.

Facilitators: Those who provide support to terrorists enabling them to carry out actions.

Finite: Limited.

Exhortations: Encouragement for.

Capacity building: Increasing the ability of nations to fight terrorism.

Proliferation: Rapid increase in number.

Unprecedented: Never before experienced.

Ransom: Payment of money for the return of a hostage.

State sponsors: Those countries that actively support terrorists in some way; restrictions include bans of arms sales to the countries, no economic assistance from the United States, and international trade restrictions.

Financial underpinnings: Monetary support.

Vulnerabilities: Weaknesses.

For More Information


Walsh, James, ed. Terrorism: Documents of International and Local Control. Vol. 39, U.S. Perspectives. Dobbs Ferry, NY: Oceana Publications, Inc., 2003.

Web Sites

"Patterns of Global Terrorism." U.S. Department of State.http://www. state.gov/s/ct/rls/pgtrpt. (accessed on August 19, 2004).

"Significant Terrorist Incidents, 1961–2003: A Brief Chronology." U.S. Department of State.http://www.state.gov/r/pa/ho/pubs/fs/5902.htm (accessed on August 19, 2004).

"Terrorism." Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI).http://www.fbi.gov/terrorinfo/terrorism.htm (accessed on August 19, 2004).

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Centers for Disease Control.http://www.cdc.gov (accessed on August 19, 2004).

U.S. Department of Homeland Security.http://www.dhs.gov (accessed on August 19, 2004).

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