September 11, 2001 : Attack on America
Secretary Colin L. Powell Statement on Redesignation of Foreign Terrorist Organizations; October 5, 2001

Statement on Redesignation of Foreign Terrorist Organizations

Secretary Colin L. Powell
Washington, DC
October 5, 2001

Today I am taking an important step in continuing our efforts to combat terrorism.

I am redesignating 25 groups as Foreign Terrorist Organizations under U.S. law. The initial designations of these groups in 1997 and 1999 are due to expire on October 8. By re-designating them as Foreign Terrorist Organizations and publishing that decision today in the Federal Register, we continue the measures against these terrorist groups in accordance with the provisions of the Antiterrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act. This Act makes it illegal for persons in the United States or subject to U.S. jurisdiction to provide material support to these terrorist groups; it requires U.S. financial institutions to block assets held by them; and it enables us to deny visas to representatives of these groups. I made this decision in consultation with the Attorney General and the Secretary of the Treasury after an exhaustive review of these groups’ violent activities over the past two years.

Every one of these groups has continued to engage in terrorist activity over the past two years. Most of these groups---such as HAMAS, the Palestine Islamic Jihad, the Tamil Tigers, the FARC in Colombia, Basque ETA, and of course Usama bin Laden’s al-Qa’ida organization---have carried out murderous attacks on innocent people since their last designation in 1999. Others---such as the Abu Nidal Organization, Aum Shinrikyo, and the Kurdish PKK---have been less active but have nonetheless continued to plan and prepare for possible acts of terrorism. Still others---such as the Egyptian al-Jihad and the Gama’a al-Islamiyya---have provided direct support for the terrorist activities of Usama bin Ladin’s network.

I did not redesignate two groups, the Japanese Red Army and the Tupac Amaru Revolutionary Movement, because I determined that the statutory criteria for redesignation had not been met. With respect to the Japanese Red Army, we have maintained close watch and exchanged information with other concerned countries, but we have not received sufficient information during the past two years to justify designation. This decision does not condone or excuse the past terrorism carried out by these groups, nor does it suggest that we now consider these groups to be legitimate. Terrorists in these organizations remain accountable for their past crimes and will continue to be subject to all other relevant U.S. laws, regulations, and statutes. We remain concerned about their potential for renewed terrorist activity and will continue to monitor them closely. If we receive new evidence of terrorist activity, I will not hesitate to redesignate these groups as Foreign Terrorist Organizations.

With these actions today, our list of designated Foreign Terrorist Organizations now stands at 28. As we embark on a long-term struggle against terrorism, I hope this list will draw the attention of foreign governments across the world to these groups and will encourage those governments to take action, as we have, to isolate these terrorist organizations, to choke off their sources of financial support, and to prevent their movement across international borders.


Released on October 5, 2001

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