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On September 11, We Remember the Victims of Terrorism

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We also renew our commitment to win the war on terrorism.

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September 11 has become a day of remembrance for all victims of terrorism and a poignant reminder of the constant threat posed by all those that would use terrorist tactics in the furtherance of their ambitions, their ideologies, or their political or religious goals. It is also a day for reflection on the progress made, and the steps that still must be taken, to quell international terrorism.

Since 9/11, we have remained relatively safe within our own national borders. Yet hardly a day passes without some roadside explosion, suicide bombing, or other terrorist attack elsewhere in the world. And we all recognize that we cannot let our own guard down even for a second. So while we have accomplished much, so much remains to be done.

The United States has been among the most active venues for ferreting out international terrorists, and those that finance them. In order to protect our national security and our citizens, we have passed legislation that extends well beyond our borders, and we have used our extensive leverage over international financial institutions to dissuade them from providing a conduit for terrorist funding.

But outside the United States, the EU, and a limited number of other counties, the situation remains quite different. There, the human, social, and economic costs of terrorism remain staggering. A recent US National Counter-Terrorism Center report indicates that there were more than 11,500 terrorist incidents last year alone, resulting in more than 13,000 deaths, 30,000 wounded and 6,000 hostages. While many of these terrorist attacks were concentrated in Afghanistan, Iraq, and Pakistan, terrorist incidents were also reported in more than 70 other countries.

We must face up to the fact that it is still not viewed as illegal in many countries to provide funding to terrorist organizations, even to groups that might be linked to al Qaeda. And terrorist organizations continue to rely heavily on financial and material support from such countries, and from entities and individuals that condone and support their cause. Such is the case today with Iran and Syria, which continue to actively support terrorist groups carrying out their bidding; or Saudi Arabia and other Gulf States that allow their nationals to provide stipends to the families of suicide bombers.
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