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Al-Qaida Plots Foiled

President George W. Bush says the United States and its allies have “killed or captured nearly all of those directly responsible for the September 11th [2001] attacks; as well as some of [Osama] bin Laden’s most senior deputies.” Among those killed or captured, says Mr. Bush, are “the mastermind of the U.S.S. Cole bombing, who was chief of al-Qaida operations in the Persian Gulf; the mastermind of the Jakarta and the first Bali bombings, a senior al-Zarqawi terrorist agent who was planning attacks in Turkey; and many of al-Qaida’s senior leaders in Saudi Arabia.”

Mr. Bush says a number of al-Qaida terrorist attacks have been prevented:

“Overall, the United States and our partners have disrupted at least ten serious al-Qaida terrorist plots since September 11th, including three al Qaida plots to attack inside the United States. We’ve stopped at least five more al-Qaida efforts to case targets in the United States, or infiltrate operatives into our country.”

Working with other nations, the U.S. disrupted al-Qaida plots to attack ships in the Straits of Hormuz and the Arabian Gulf in 2002 and 2003. In 2003, the U.S. helped foil a plot to attack Britain’s Heathrow airport using hijacked commercial airliners. A planned al-Qaida attack on Westerners in Karachi, Pakistan, was stopped in the Spring of 2003. Large-scale terrorist bombings in Britain were prevented in 2004 through cooperation between the U.S. and its allies.

In 2003, U.S. authorities arrested and prosecuted Iyman Faris for his part in a plot to destroy the Brooklyn Bridge in New York City. Faris pleaded guilty to providing material support to al-Qaida. He is now in a U.S. prison. American authorities in 2003 and 2004 prevented al-Qaida agents from casing U.S. government targets, gas stations, and tourist sites in the U.S.

President Bush says al-Qaida has been hurt, but remains dangerous:

“Because of this steady progress, the enemy is wounded – but the enemy is still capable of global operations.”

“Our commitment is clear,” says Mr. Bush, “we will not relent until the organized international terror networks are exposed and broken, and their leaders held to account for their acts of murder.”

The preceding was an editorial reflecting the views of the United States Government.