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7/14/03 - THE FIGHT AGAINST AL-QAIDA - 2003-07-17

The United States was savagely attacked on September 11th, 2001, by al-Qaida terrorists. But almost all of those directly involved in organizing these attacks are now in custody or confirmed dead. Sixty-five percent of the senior al-Qaida leaders have been captured or killed, including Abu Zubaydah, al-Qaida’s operations director. But as President George W. Bush said, the war against global terrorism is not yet over:

“We recognize that al-Qaida has trained thousands of foot soldiers in many nations and that new leaders may emerge. And we suspect that some al-Qaida deserters will attach themselves to other terrorist groups in order to strike American targets. Terrorists that remain can be certain of this: We will hunt them down by day and night in every corner of the world until they are no longer a threat to America and our friends.”

U.S. and coalition forces continue the work of fighting terrorists and establishing order in Afghanistan. When the Taleban regime was removed from power, some surviving al-Qaida terrorists sought refuge along Afghanistan’s border with Pakistan. President Bush said that along with the Afghan and Pakistani governments, the coalition “is engaged in operations to find and destroy these terrorists”:

“Pakistan has apprehended more than five-hundred terrorists, including hundreds of members of al-Qaida and the Taleban. As this fight continues, the people of Afghanistan are moving forward with the reconstruction of their country and the founding of a democratic government. They have selected a president. They’re building a national army. And they are now in the final stages of drafting a new constitution.”

Afghanistan still has many challenges. But, said President Bush, “that country is making progress, and its people are a world away from the nightmare they endured under the Taleban. Pakistan and Afghanistan are among many governments that understand the threat of terror and are determined to root it out.”