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11/20/02 - BUSH ON TERRORISM - 2002-11-21

The war against terrorist organizations like al-Qaida and their supporters is advancing. Authorities in Indonesia have arrested a person implicated in last month’s bombing in Bali that killed more than one-hundred-eighty people. Five other suspects are being sought. In the United States, a suspect linked to a sleeper terrorist cell in Detroit, Michigan, with alleged ties to al-Qaida, is also under arrest.

This war will not be won on the defensive. The best way to fight terrorism, said President George W. Bush, “is to go after terrorists where they plan and hide. And that work goes on around the world.”

The U.S. is working with more than ninety countries to disrupt terrorist networks like al-Qaida. More than one-hundred-million dollars in financial assets have been denied to terrorist organizations. The U.S. has cracked down on charities that were exploiting American compassion and funneling donations to al-Qaida and other terrorist groups.

The U.S.-led coalition has captured and interrogated thousands of terrorists, while others have met their fate in caves and mountains in Afghanistan. U.S. troops are assisting authorities in the Philippines, Yemen, the former Soviet republic of Georgia, and other countries where terrorists have gathered. “We’re sending a clear message to the enemies of freedom,” said Mr. Bush. “No terrorist will escape the patient justice of America.”

As part of the war on global terrorism, the U.S. and its allies are acting to stop the spread of weapons of mass destruction to outlaw regimes. United Nations weapons inspectors have already returned to Iraq. “Our goal,” said President Bush, “is not merely the return of inspectors to Iraq. Our goal is the disarmament of Iraq. The dictator of Iraq will give up his weapons of mass destruction, or the United States will lead a coalition to disarm him.”

As President Bush said, “America and the world are now watching Saddam Hussein closely. Any act of defiance or delay will indicate that he is taking the path of deception once again, and this time the consequences would be severe.”