Germany is an important ally in the war on terrorism. As Tom Ridge, U.S. Secretary of Homeland Security, said on October 29th to the German Council on Foreign Relations, Germany has “made a valuable contribution to fighting terrorists both inside and outside German territory.” This is especially true in regard to Afghanistan, where Germany was an important member of the coalition that ousted the Taleban regime and its al-Qaida terrorist collaborators.
Germany’s law enforcement officials have arrested several suspected terrorists, including some involved in the September 11th, 2001, attacks. Others were arrested for allegedly plotting a terrorist attack against the U.S. military base in Heidelberg. Germany has also seized more than two-hundred bank accounts of terrorists containing several million dollars. New laws make it harder for terrorists to find sanctuary on German soil.
Terrorism is the “new totalitarianism,” said Secretary of Homeland Security Ridge in his Berlin speech. For the first time in history, a small number of people with weapons of mass destruction could wreak havoc against civilians around the world. Terrorists, said Mr. Ridge, seek the disintegration of democratic societies by undermining free governments.
It is not by chance that the new level of terrorism has coincided with the globalization of transportation, commerce, technology, and communication. The same benefits enjoyed by freedom-loving people around the world are available to terrorists as well. That means terrorists have greater mobility, more targets, and more places to hide than ever before.
To fight back, the global coalition against terrorism must cooperate further in sharing intelligence, and use law enforcement and asset seizure to shut down terrorist networks. So far, more than three-thousand suspected terrorists have been detained in ninety countries.
There are many more battles ahead, said President George W. Bush:
“To win the war on terror, we must hunt a scattered and resourceful enemy in dark corners around the world. We must break up their cells, shut off their sources of money. We must oppose the propaganda of hatred that feeds their cause. In the nations where resentment and terrorism have taken root, we must encourage the alternative of progress and tolerance and freedom that leads to peace.”
As President Bush said, “We will meet this danger and overcome this evil. Whatever is asked of us, no matter how long it takes, we will push on until our work is done.”