SPEAKERS CONTENTS INSERTS Tables
Page 1 TOP OF DOC27478PDF
REVIEWING THE STATE DEPARTMENT'S ANNUAL REPORT ON TERRORISM
INTERNATIONAL TERRORISM AND NONPROLIFERATION
HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
ONE HUNDRED NINTH CONGRESS
MAY 11, 2006
Serial No. 109176
Page 2 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOCPrinted for the use of the Committee on International Relations
Available via the World Wide Web: http://www.house.gov/internationalrelations
COMMITTEE ON INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS
HENRY J. HYDE, Illinois, Chairman
JAMES A. LEACH, Iowa
CHRISTOPHER H. SMITH, New Jersey,
DAN BURTON, Indiana
ELTON GALLEGLY, California
ILEANA ROS-LEHTINEN, Florida
DANA ROHRABACHER, California
EDWARD R. ROYCE, California
PETER T. KING, New York
STEVE CHABOT, Ohio
THOMAS G. TANCREDO, Colorado
RON PAUL, Texas
DARRELL ISSA, California
JEFF FLAKE, Arizona
JO ANN DAVIS, Virginia
MARK GREEN, Wisconsin
JERRY WELLER, Illinois
Page 3 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOCMIKE PENCE, Indiana
THADDEUS G. McCOTTER, Michigan
KATHERINE HARRIS, Florida
JOE WILSON, South Carolina
JOHN BOOZMAN, Arkansas
J. GRESHAM BARRETT, South Carolina
CONNIE MACK, Florida
JEFF FORTENBERRY, Nebraska
MICHAEL McCAUL, Texas
TED POE, Texas
TOM LANTOS, California
HOWARD L. BERMAN, California
GARY L. ACKERMAN, New York
ENI F.H. FALEOMAVAEGA, American Samoa
DONALD M. PAYNE, New Jersey
SHERROD BROWN, Ohio
BRAD SHERMAN, California
ROBERT WEXLER, Florida
ELIOT L. ENGEL, New York
WILLIAM D. DELAHUNT, Massachusetts
GREGORY W. MEEKS, New York
BARBARA LEE, California
JOSEPH CROWLEY, New York
EARL BLUMENAUER, Oregon
Page 4 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOCSHELLEY BERKLEY, Nevada
GRACE F. NAPOLITANO, California
ADAM B. SCHIFF, California
DIANE E. WATSON, California
ADAM SMITH, Washington
BETTY McCOLLUM, Minnesota
BEN CHANDLER, Kentucky
DENNIS A. CARDOZA, California
RUSS CARNAHAN, Missouri
THOMAS E. MOONEY, SR., Staff Director/General Counsel
ROBERT R. KING, Democratic Staff Director
Subcommittee on International Terrorism and Nonproliferation
EDWARD R. ROYCE, California, Chairman
PETER T. KING, New York
THOMAS G. TANCREDO, Colorado
DARRELL ISSA, California, Vice Chairman
MICHAEL McCAUL, Texas
TED POE, Texas
JERRY WELLER, Illinois
J. GRESHAM BARRETT, South Carolina
BRAD SHERMAN, California
Page 5 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOCROBERT WEXLER, Florida
DIANE E. WATSON, California
ADAM SMITH, Washington
BEN CHANDLER, Kentucky
DENNIS A. CARDOZA, California
RUSS CARNAHAN, Missouri
TOM SHEEHY, Subcommittee Staff Director
DON MACDONALD, Democratic Professional Staff Member
EDWARD A. BURRIER, Professional Staff Member
GENELL BROWN, Staff Associate
C O N T E N T S
The Honorable Henry A. Crumpton, Coordinator for Counterterrorism, Office of the Coordinator for Counterterrorism, U.S. Department of State
Mr. Russell Travers, Deputy Director, Information Sharing and Knowledge Development, National Counterterrorism Center
LETTERS, STATEMENTS, ETC., SUBMITTED FOR THE HEARING
The Honorable Henry A. Crumpton: Prepared statement
Page 6 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC
Mr. Russell Travers: Prepared statement
REVIEWING THE STATE DEPARTMENT'S ANNUAL REPORT ON TERRORISM
THURSDAY, MAY 11, 2006
House of Representatives,
Subcommittee on International Terrorism
Committee on International Relations,
The Subcommittee met, pursuant to notice, at 1:30 p.m. in room 2172, Rayburn House Office Building. Hon. Edward R. Royce (Chairman of the Subcommittee) presiding.
Mr. ROYCE. This hearing on the State Department's annual report on terrorism will come to order. The State Department recently released its congressionally-mandated Country Reports on Terrorism for 2005. As Members may recall, this report has been controversial the last 2 years. Media attention surrounding this year's release has focused on the skyrocketing number of terrorist attacks reported for 2005. Last year, the National Counterterrorism Center reported 11,111 terrorist incidents worldwide, resulting in 14,602 deaths, 56 of which were Americans. As we all know, NCTC cites three reasons for this increase. First is a broader definition of terrorism. Second is a more comprehensive dataset; and third is Iraq.
Page 7 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC
I would like to commend the State Department for its consultation with the Committee prior to this report's release. Before last year's controversial reporting changes, Congress was not consulted. So the consultation is very much appreciated.
The report for 2005 includes ''Strategic Assessment'' of terrorism, which is summarized as follows:
''Overall, we are still in the first phase of a potentially long war. The enemy's proven ability to adapt means we will probably go through several more cycles of action/reaction before the war's outcome is no longer in doubt. It is likely that we will face a resilient enemy for years to come.''
That is the assessment on terrorism.
The State Department is right to put the terrorist threat in stark terms, because the American public needs to be ready for what is likely to be a decades-long struggle. Unfortunately for a variety of reasons, many countries don't view counterterrorism as a top priority, and that of course is a great challenge to us and the United States.
You are to be commended, Ambassador Crumpton, for giving Pakistan blunt criticism over the weekend when traveling in Afghanistan. Yet, when we read the Pakistan analysis in this report, we are left with a positive impression of its counterterrorism efforts. My concern is that your words will fade, as will mine, but reports are to be more lasting. Similarly, no concerns were raised about Mexico, even if its border security policies and practices are of considerable concern.
Page 8 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC
I talked with a border security guard who had stopped an individual from a training camp in Afghanistan. The fellow was originally from Uzbekistan. This was the second time that they had stopped this particular individual. He was quite intent on not being held, and as a consequence, he really injuredhe bitthe arm of the border patrol agent.
There are individuals coming over the border that are security risks for the United States, and frankly the United States can do a better job in combating terrorism. We certainly should expect more of Mexico, too, given their lack of control and security. So this report does concern me.
Indeed, Subcommittee Members in past years have been frustrated by the lack of negative information on other governments. Kenya and Canada are among the few countries receiving critical treatment this year. The State Department might also consider doing more to standardize the country reports so that comparable information is reported.
In general terms, the report describes well an adaptive and resilient enemy. Yet in reading it, we don't get a full sense of who that ''enemy'' is. As the 9/11 Commission rightfully pointed out:
''The enemy is not just 'terrorism,' some generic evil. . . . The catastrophic threat at this moment in history is more specific. It is the threat posed by Islamist terrorism, especially the al-Qaeda network, its affiliates, and its idealogy.''
President Bush's October 6th speech addressed in detail the idealogy behind terrorist acts, and identified the enemy by many terms, including ''Islamic radicalism.'' That a large majority of this report's foreign terrorist organizations are inspired by radical Islam is a fact, which merits greater emphasis, I believe, in the report.
Page 9 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC
To be sure, this is an improved report, but it can be better. Our goal should be to challenge nations to do better. Our Ambassador's hand in Nairobi, Kenya, may be strengthened, but in other countries, a fuller and sharper-edged report would more effectively press our counterterrorism agenda.
I will now turn to the Ranking Member, Mr. Brad Sherman from California, for any opening statements that he may have.
Mr. SHERMAN. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. I want to thank Ambassador Crumpton and Mr. Travers for joining us today. This report represents at least some improvement over prior years' reports. The report is longer and more detailed. It includes more information, and includes a section on terrorist safe havens and efforts by terrorists to obtain weapons of mass destruction.
This report has not attracted any controversy based on statistical errors, anomalies, and under-reporting as we have seen in the prior two reports. Unfortunately, we cannot effectively compare the 2005 statistics with those in prior years, because those years were so flawed, and now you are adopting an improved methodology which I hope you will stick with.
I also commend you for making these statistics available on your Web site. That is to say the Web site of the NCTC. I urge you to listen to suggestions on how to make the database more useable, more searchable, more sortable.
For example, as it appears on the Web site, you can't sort based on number of victims, and so it is difficult to look at only large attacks, as compared with small ones. And you can't search for terrorist incidents by a particular individual or group, only broad characteristics of perpetrators, such as ''Sunni extremists.''
Page 10 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC
The report correctly identifies Iran as the number one state sponsor of terror. That has been true every year for the past decade. Iran achieving this dishonor in 2005 should be of no surprise. Among other things, Iran is the major patron of Hezbollah, which is perhaps now the most dangerous terrorist organization in the world now that al-Qaeda has become more of a franchise than a single unified group.
The 2005 report mentions, and I think incorrectly characterizes, the so-called ''detention'' of senior al-Qaeda figures in Iran. Detention is not what goes on in luxury hotels in Hawaii, and it is also not the right term to use to describe the conditions of senior al-Qaeda operatives living in freedom in Iran.
These operatives include one of bin Laden's sons, and it also includes a man that we believe helped plan while in Iran the May 2003 Riyad bombings, which killed 26 people, including nine Americans.
The al-Qaeda means the base, and in many ways Iran is becoming the base of the base. At least the 2004 report indicated that Iran failed to control the al-Qaeda operatives on its soil. The fact that these al-Qaeda operatives have not been turned over to the United States or other international bodies for prosecution is reason enough for Iran to be listed as the number one state sponsor of terror.
Along with the presence of these operatives, significant evidence, including that uncovered by the 9/11 Commission, point to a more insidious al-Qaeda-Iran relationship. I would note that if an other country other than Iran was the willing host of perhaps dozens of al-Qaeda operatives, some of the men most wanted by the United States, the treatment in this report would not have been as muted.
Page 11 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC
The uncomfortable truth is that Iran plays a great deal and cooperates a great deal with al-Qaeda, far more than Saddam Hussein every did, and if we want to develop an effective policy to counter Iranian support for terrorism, we are going to have to do more, especially preventing Iran from having nuclear weapons, because once they do, one should expect far more open support for international terrorism.
Now this report still has two significant overall flaws. They are pretty much interrelated. The first is that every country is described in such a way as to emphasize the positive aspects of its record. So just reading the report, it is hard to differentiate between our best allies and those who have been substantially less supportive.
Second, the report contains very little information critical of any country that is neutral toward or favorably inclined toward the United States. Sure, the countries on the terrorism list, and countries like Venezuela, are the subject of harsh criticism.
The report basically says no evil of any regime that we get along with, except with the sole idiosyncratic exception of Canada. And I would hope instead that a more thorough report that we would hope to get next year would look, for example, at Pakistan support for cross-border terrorism in Kasmir, and would also focus on Saudi Arabia's approach of funding international terrorism abroad, while passing laws to combat terrorism at home.
The Saudi financing of the terrorist ideology is well known and runs into the hundreds of millions, if not billions, of dollars. There are so many countries that are complimented in this report because they pass tough laws against terrorism in their own country, and then fail to take any action when their money, when their country is used as a base for terrorism elsewhere.
Page 12 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC
We can no longer give favorable reports on those who follow the ''go kill elsewhere'' approach to dealing with terrorism. I would also point out that there is no mention in this report of those countries, chiefly in the Middle East, that don't ban terrorist organizations intent on killing Israelis, and in fact allow and give tax deductions for donations to those very terrorist organizations. I would hope that next year's report would tell us what which countries are having telethons for terrorists.
The State Department has a tough role in compiling these reports. On the one hand, to be diplomatic. You don't want to criticize anybody we have even a halfway decent relationship with.
On the other hand the report ought to tell the American people the truth. Now, the State Department faces the same issue in our human rights report, and shows some real dedication to honesty even when we have to provide negative information about some of our best allies. That is what makes it such a valuable report.
I would hope that next year's report does not pull its punches, but provides an honest assessment, particularly of those in the Middle East who seek to clamp down on terrorism domestically, and promote it as long as it takes place outside the particular country's borders. And I yield back.
Mr. ROYCE. We will go to Mr. Tancredo from Colorado.
Mr. TANCREDO. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. Certainly I want to commend you for the degree to which the report looks at issues in a new way, and in a somewhat more critical way in certain areas that we have in the past urged your group or the report to actually reflect.
Page 13 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC
But there is this issue that the Chairman referred to in terms of the lack of willingness to talk about some of the more distressing aspects of the cooperation between certain places in South and Central America, and also by the way with Mexico.
There are certain situations there that would bring up a great amount of concern. According to a report that is available now, Britain's secret service, M16, has established the first proof that al-Qaeda is playing a major role in the Cold War between North and South America.
In the words of this M16 memo, the situation is a new and dangerous threat to the stability that is also being exploited by al-Qaeda. Details of al-Qaeda's penetration into Latin America emerged from documents discovered during recent anti-terrorist operations in Pakistan to try to locate Osama bin Laden.
The documents include evidence that al-Qaeda has established links with the Colombian terror group, FARC, the Shining Path SL in Peru. They also reveal al-Qaeda's links with thousands of Muslim students in the Dominican Republic.
Another Pakistani document shows the links between al-Qaeda and Mexico's popular revolutionary army, EPR. The document reveals that al-Qaeda sees EPR as collaborators in attacks in Mexico on foreign targets, especially those of the United States and Britain.
It also says that the EPR can play a key role in allowing al-Qaeda operatives to enter the United States through the busiest land crossing in the world, Tijuana. Another document reveals that along Peru's border with Chile, a large Arab community is providing substantial sums of money for al-Qaeda, and that the closest links that al-Qaeda has are with Venezuela, exploiting Chavez's latest tirade against the Bush Government, et cetera.
Page 14 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC
At any rate, certainly I will provide this to you if it is of any value. It is just that in the report itself, although there are references to the FARC and the connection to Venezuela, or their willingness to trade with these folks, there is nothing about al-Qaeda's activities in this area, and that I think is a glaring sort of mistake on the part of the report itself. I just wanted to make you aware that is certainly where some of my questions would go.
Mr. ROYCE. Thank you, Mr. Tancredo. Congresswoman Diane Watson, from Los Angeles, California.
Ms. WATSON. Thank you, Chairman Royce, for holding this hearing, and I also want to welcome the panel of witnesses, the Coordinator of Counterterrorism, the Honorable Henry A. Crumpton, and Mr. Russell Travers, Deputy Director of the National Counterterrorism Center.
It is my understanding that the State Department has employed a new methodology for counting the number of terrorists and terrorist incidents, and I will be interested in learning more about this mechanism.
And I also am interested in hearing more about the Department's counterterrorism efforts in West Africa. As you know, West Africa is becoming a major source of oil for the United States. Disruption of this supply of oil from Nigeria can now have a major impact on the cost of oil on the world markets, not to mention at the local gas station around the corner. We can all attest to that.
Page 15 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC And I also am concerned about our Nation's public diplomacy efforts, and I am interested in hearing from both of you about what efforts the Administration is undertaking to integrate public diplomacy with the Department's counterterrorism strategy. So I will be looking forward to your testimony, and once again thank you, and I yield back my time, Mr. Chairman.
Mr. ROYCE. Thank you. Mr. Jerry Weller from Illinois.
Mr. WELLER. Thank you, Chairman Royce. I want to thank you for holding this hearing today examining the country reports on terrorism for 2005. I note that often when we talk about terrorism the focus is on the Middle East.
However, there are important developments in our own hemisphere which the report sheds light on, and we should be carefully examining, knowing that these countries are our closest neighbors.
To highlight a few of these, the tri-border area between Argentina, Paraguay, and Brazil, continues to be a significant concern because of Hezbollah and Hamas, a fundraising activity.
Cuba still continues as a state sponsor of terror. Venezuela has virtually ceased its cooperation in the global war on terror, tolerating terrorists in its own territory and seeking closer relations with Cuba and Iran, both state sponsors of terrorism.
Further, the report indicates that Venezuela is unwilling or unable to control trafficking of arms supplies and drugs from the terrorist groups known as FARC and ELN across its own borders.
Page 16 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC
Reports also indicate that Venezuela has provided training to radical leftists from Ecuador, notably the Alfresta Liberation Army, nicknamed the ELA. There is concern also about the report statements regarding Canada, including that terrorists have capitalized on liberal Canadian immigration and asylum policies to enjoy a safe haven, raise funds, arrange logistical support and plan terrorist attacks, and further stating numerous suspected terrorists and terrorist supporters are present in Canada.
While we maintain strong counterterrorism cooperation and good relations with our northern neighbor, Canada, the reports of terrorists active within Canada are a serious concern. Also, I would note that there are some positive notes in this hemisphere, including noting that some countries, such as Panama, Trinidad, Tobago, Jamaica, Mexico, and El Salvador, have made serious prevention and preparedness efforts.
President Uribe made solid progress in defeating Colombian-based narco-terrorist organizations, inducing thousands of illegal combatants to demobilize and rejoin society.
Cross-border cooperation with Colombia improved with Ecuador, Brazil, and Peru. Finally, the report notes an increasing political will to address terrorism in the hemisphere through the Organization of American States' InterAmerican Committee Against Terrorism.
Mr. Chairman, I look forward to discussing these developments from the report with our witnesses. Thank you very much.
Page 17 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Mr. ROYCE. Thank you, Mr. Weller. At this time, I will introduce our witnesses. Henry Crumpton was sworn in as Coordinator for Counterterrorism at the Department of State, with the rank of Ambassador-at-Large on August 2, 2005. MR. Crumpton joined the Central Intelligence Agency in 1981, and served as an operations officer both at headquarters and abroad.
In 1998, Mr. Crumpton held a 1-year assignment at the Federal Bureau of Investigation as Deputy Chief of the International Terrorism Operations Section. And in 1999, Mr. Crumpton was Deputy Chief of Operations at the CIA's Counterterrorist Center.
Widely respected, Mr. Crumpton is the recipient of numerous awards, including the Intelligence Commendation Medal, and the George H. W. Bush Award for excellence in counterterrorism. Ambassador Crumpton, it is good to see you again. We appreciate you being here before our Committee.
Mr. Russell Travers is at the National Counterterrorism Center, and he serves as Deputy Director of Information Sharing and Knowledge Development. He manages NCTC information sharing initiatives, NCTC's red team, and advanced analytical research efforts, the maintenance of the United States Government's terrorist identities database, and the tracking of worldwide terrorism incidents.
Prior to his current position, Mr. Travers served as DIA Deputy Director for Policy Support, responsible for intelligence support to the Office of the Secretary of Defense. Mr. Travers has published several articles, most recently, ''Failures, Fallacies, and Fixes: Posturing Intelligence for the Challenges of Globalization.'' He did this for the Joint Military Intelligence College, and it is very good to have you with us, too, sir. We appreciate it.
Page 18 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC
Before proceeding with your testimony, which we are going to encourage you to summarize, I would like to express my appreciation to both of you for providing your written testimonies to the Subcommittee early enough to be useful.
This allows for a more productive hearing, and unfortunately, is an exception to the rule for Administration witnesses. So, we appreciate what both of you have done, and we thank you both. Mr. Crumpton.
STATEMENT OF THE HONORABLE HENRY A. CRUMPTON, COORDINATOR FOR COUNTERTERRORISM, OFFICE OF THE COORDINATOR FOR COUNTERTERRORISM, U.S. DEPARTMENT OF STATE
Mr. CRUMPTON. Chairman Royce, Congressman Sherman, distinguished Members of the Subcommittee, thank you for the opportunity to testify on the Country Reports on Terrorism 2005. Thank you also for the support and for the constructive criticism.
Our top priority has been to deliver a report that informs and stimulates constructive debate, and enhances our collective, dynamic understanding of the global terrorist threat.
The report should also serve as a reference to inform policy makers, the American public, and our international partners, about our efforts, progress, and challenges in this global war.
Page 19 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC
It is my opinion that we produced a report that accomplishes these objectives. But I note that I am also determined that next year's report will be even better.
In working to do so, we added additional chapters in the 2005 report, including ''Strategic Assessment'' and ''Terrorist Safe Havens.'' The ''Strategic Assessment'' chapter illustrates trends, and addresses the question of whether we are winning against al-Qaeda and its affiliates. A broader assessment is important because this is not the kind of war where we can measure success with conventional metrics, or aspire for a single, decisive battle that will break the enemy's will, or hope for a signed peace accord to mark our victory.
We conclude that our collective international efforts have harmed al-Qaeda. Its core leadership no longer has effective global command and control of its networks. Osama bin Laden and Zawahiri are frustrated by their lack of direct control.
Al-Qaeda and its affiliates are desperate to claim Iraq as their own, which is why Zawahiri fears a viable Iraqi nation and foments terrorist attacks and sectarian violence. We and our allies, along with the emerging Iraqi Government, must deny Iraq to al-Qaeda. We must retain unrelenting pressure against the enemy.
The ''Terrorist Safe Havens'' chapter is important in that like enemy leadership, enemy safe haven has great strategic importance. Safe havens allow the enemy to recruit, organize, plan, train, coalesce, heal, rest, and claim turf as a symbol of legitimacy, which is why al-Qaeda and its affiliates place so much emphasis on attaining safe haven.
Page 20 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC The 2005 report also identifies several important trends. First, in response to our operational success, enemy operational elements are becoming smaller in size. We see more threats emerging from small cells, and even individuals, who act with greater autonomy. As a result, they are more difficult to detect and engage.
Second, terrorist groups are becoming more sophisticated. As an example, they use the Internet to improve their global reach, intelligence collection, and operational capacity. A third trend is the increasing overlap of terrorist and criminal enterprises.
A fourth trend has to do with Iraq. Iraq is a battlefield. The United States and other coalition forces, together with their Iraqi counterparts, are engaging international terrorists in Iraq.
These coalition forces are there at the request of the Iraqi Government, and with the authorization of the United Nations Security Council, specifically Resolutions 1546 and 1637. We are determined to deny Iraq as a terrorist safe haven for various factions that seek to undermine this new government.
For some terrorists, Iraq is also a cause. Networks that support the flow of foreign terrorists to Iraq have been uncovered in several parts of the world. We must therefore help Iraqis secure their country and help other countries shut down these networks.
As in the past years, the 2005 report includes information on terrorist situations in individual countries. Areas in which we witnessed positive trends over the past year include Afghanistan, Pakistan, Iraq, Saudi Arabia, Algeria, Colombia, Indonesia, the United Arab Emirates, the Philippines, and Canada.
Page 21 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC
The 2005 report also discusses problem areas, that unfortunately do remain. For example, Iran remained the most active state-sponsor of terrorism. Our strategy to defeat terrorists is structured at multiple levelsa global campaign to counter violent extremism; a series of regional collaborative efforts to deny terrorists safe haven; and numerous bilateral security and development assistance programs aimed to build partner CT capabilities, as well as liberal institutions that support political and economic justice.
This strategy is aimed to enhance our partners' capacity to resist the terrorist threat and address conditions that the terrorists exploit. We work with or through partners at every level, whenever possible.
To implement this strategy, United States Ambassadors, as the President's personal representatives abroad, lead interagency Country Teams that recommend strategies using all instruments of U.S. State craft to help host nations understand the threat and strengthen their political will, and capacity to counter it.
One example of such an interagency strategy is the Trans-Sahara Counter Terrorism Initiative. Another is the Regional Strategic Initiative, which is designed to develop flexible regional networks of interconnected Country Teams. The RSI is a key tool in promoting cooperation between our partners on the war on terror.
We are working with Ambassadors and interagency representatives in key terrorist theaters of operation to assess and to respond to the threat. To date, three RSI strategy sessions have been held, with more scheduled for the coming month.
Page 22 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC
Another example of increased interagency transnational cooperation is along the Afghanistan-Pakistan border. President Musharraf's political-economic initiatives in this area, announced just a couple of days ago, are critically important.
In conclusion, al-Qaeda and its affiliates are attacking what they fear the most, the development of a global civic society. We must measure CT success in the broadest perspective. Tactical and operational CT battles will be won and lost, but we wage these battles in a global war within a strategic context.
We must fight the enemy with precise, calibrated efforts to buy space and time to transform the environment and the conditions that the enemy exploit. We must fight the enemy with all the tools of statecraft, in cooperation with our growing network of partners, to construct enduring solutions that transcend violence.
We will aim to deny the enemy its leadership, its safe havens, and those unique conditions that they exploit. Our citizens and allies expect no less. Mr. Chairman, we hope this report advances our collective understanding of the challenges and the solutions. This completes the formal part of my remarks, and I welcome your questions and comments.
[The prepared statement of Mr. Crumpton follows:]
PREPARED STATEMENT OF THE HONORABLE HENRY A. CRUMPTON, COORDINATOR FOR COUNTERTERRORISM, OFFICE OF THE COORDINATOR FOR COUNTERTERRORISM, U.S. DEPARTMENT OF STATE
Page 23 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Chairman Royce, Congressman Sherman, Distinguished Members of the Subcommittee, thank you for the opportunity to testify today on the annual Congressionally-mandated Country Reports on Terrorism 2005. In my testimony, I will address four areas: key additions to the 2005 report; trends witnessed in 2005; country-specific and multilateral efforts; and current initiatives to counter terrorists' efforts. I will summarize my formal written statement and ask that you include my full testimony in the record.
A top priority for my office has been to deliver a report that informs, stimulates constructive debate, and enhances our collective, dynamic understanding of the global terrorist threat. In addition, the report should serve as a reference tool to inform policy makers, the American public, and our international partners about our efforts, progress, and challenges in the global war on terror. It is my opinion that we produced a report that accomplishes these objectives.
ADDITIONS TO THE REPORT
In working to do so, we opted to add additional chapters to the 2005 report, including ''Strategic Assessment'' and ''Terrorist Safe Havens,'' as well as an expanded ''Building International Will and Capacity'' chapter. The ''Strategic Assessment'' chapter illustrates trends and addresses the question of whether we are winning against al-Qaida and its affiliates. President Bush and Secretary Rice believe we should tackle the question directly and provide the best assessment possible. A broader assessment is important because this is not the kind of war where you can measure success with conventional metrics or aspire for a single, decisive battle that will break the enemy's will or hope for a signed peace accord to mark our victory.
Page 24 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC
Some of the key points included in this chapter, coupled with the trends in the 2005 report shed light on the evolution of the global terrorist movement. We conclude that our collective international efforts have harmed al-Qaida. Its core leadership no longer has effective global command and control of its networks. The few enemy leaders that have avoided death or capture find themselves isolated and on the run. Thus, al-Qaida increasingly emphasizes its ideological and propaganda activity to help its cause. By remaining at large, and intermittently vocal, bin Ladin and Zawahiri seek to symbolize resistance to the international community, retain the capability to influence events, and through the use of the media and internet, serve to inspire actual and potential terrorists.
Nonetheless, there is evidence that core leaders including bin Ladin and Zawahiri are frustrated by their lack of direct control, as demonstrated by the October 2005 Zawahiri-Zarqawi correspondence. With its Afghan safe haven gone, with Pakistan reducing its safe haven along the border, and with global international cooperation constraining terrorist mobility, al-Qaida and its affiliates are desperate to claim Iraq as their own. This is why Zarqawi fears a viable Iraqi nation and foments terrorist attacks and sectarian violence. This is why we and our allies, along with the emerging Iraqi government, must deny Iraq to al-Qaida. We must retain unrelenting pressure against al-Qaida.
The second chapter, ''Terrorist Safe Havens,'' is an important new addition in that, like enemy leadership, enemy safe havens have great strategic importance. The National Strategy for Combating Terrorism, the 2004 Congressional Intelligence Reform Act, and United Nations Security Council Resolution 1373 all emphasize this point. Safe havens allow the enemy to recruit, organize, plan, train, coalesce, heal, rest, and claim turf as a symbol of legitimacy. This is why al-Qaida and its affiliates place so much emphasis on attaining safe haven. The 2005 report includes an informative discussion of the physical and cyber spaces the enemy uses to recruit, fundraise, plan, and train. In addition, we have recently issued a supplement to the report specifically on the issue of safe haven and other topics, referred to in Section 7120(b) of the 9/11 Commission Implementation Act of 2004.
Page 25 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC
TRENDS IN 2005
The 2005 report identifies four trends that I would like to highlight. First, in response to our operational success, enemy operational elements are becoming smaller in size. We see more threats emerging from small cells and even individuals, some with more autonomy. Therefore, they are more difficult to detect and engage. These looser terrorist networks are less capable but also less predictable and in some ways more dangerous. We may face a larger number of smaller attacks, less meticulously planned, and local rather than transnational in scope.
Second, terrorist groups are becoming more sophisticated. They use technology, and particularly the Internet, to improve their global reach, intelligence collection, and operational capacity.
A third trend is the increasing exploitation of the overlap of terrorist and criminal enterprises. In some cases, terrorists use the same networks used by transnational criminal groups, exploiting the overlap between these networks to improve mobility, build support for their terrorist agenda, and avoid detection.
The fourth trend has to do with Iraq. Iraq is a battlefield. U.S. and other Coalition forces, together with their Iraqi counterparts, are engaging international terrorists in Iraq. These Coalition forces are in Iraq at the request of the Iraqi government and consistent with an authorization in UN Security Council Resolution (UNSCR) 1546 (2004) and extended in 2005 by UNSCR 1637. We are determined to deny Iraq, which is now selecting its first full-term democratically-elected government in decades, as a terrorist safe haven for various factions that seek to undermine Iraq's new government.
Page 26 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC
For some terrorists, Iraqi is not only a battlefield; it is also a cause. Networks that support the flow of foreign terrorists to Iraq have been uncovered in several parts of the world. We must, therefore, help Iraqis secure their country and help other countries shut down these networks. We must build partnerships with capable institutions in the new Iraqi Government and the broader region. Many governments, including Jordan and the UK, have played critical roles in this collective effort.
As in past years, the report includes regional overviews and commentary on terrorist situations in individual countries. We note progress and the lack thereof where appropriate. The ''Terrorist Safe Havens'' and ''State Sponsors of Terrorism Overview'' also provide additional information in this regard.
Some areas in which we witnessed positive trends in 2005 include Afghanistan, Pakistan, Iraq, Saudi Arabia, Algeria, Colombia, Indonesia, the Philippines, and Canada. Specifically:
Afghanistan embraced a new democratic government, a remarkable feat even while violence along the Afghanistan-Pakistan border increased.
Pakistan continued its efforts to wrestle South Waziristan from al-Qaida influence.
Iraqis bravely participated in democratic elections and recently agreed to form a national unity government, a critical step in ending the violence.
Page 27 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC
Saudi Arabia captured or killed the top 26 senior al-Qaida operatives inside the country by the end of 2005. The government also took steps to counter radicalization, and opened its Financial Investigation Unit.
Algerian forces reduced the Salafist Group for Preaching and Combat's (GSPC) strongholds in Algeria to small isolated pockets.
Colombia demobilized in 2005 10,418 United Self-Defense Forces of Colombia fighters, made some progress in engaging the National Liberation Army into negotiations, and kept the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) on the strategic defensive. Bogota now boasts police forces in all 1,098 municipalities throughout the country, and is trying to work with bordering countries to combat the FARC. Kidnappings in Colombia numbered less than 300 in 2005down from more than 2000 a year at its high pointand the Colombian government cooperated with our efforts to recover three U.S. citizens kidnapped by the FARC in February 2003. These efforts continue.
Indonesia intensified its broad counterterrorism campaign after the second Bali bombing in October 2005, and its campaign continues to gain momentum. This includes successful prosecution of terrorist operatives, an emphasis on moderate religious theology to blunt radicalization, and the death of Bali bomb maker Azahari bin Husin in a November shootout.
With U.S. Government assistance, the Philippine Government now has increasing control of the island of Basilan and is beginning to create stability on the island of Jolo, both areas of operation for Jemaah Islamiya and the Abu Sayyaf Group.
Page 28 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC
U.S.-Canadian counterterrorism cooperation continued to be strong, and rests on our joint efforts to safeguard the northern border. This bilateral cooperation, which also extends internationally, is characterized by a number of established and new fora, including the Security and Prosperity Partnership of North America, the terrorism sub-group of the Cross Border Crime Forum, and the Smart Border Accord. The latter led to an agreement to expand the number of Integrated Border Enforcement Teams covering the border to 15.
In addition, although not removed from the State Sponsors of Terrorism List in 2005, Libya and Sudan took positive steps in the fight against terrorism. Libya continued in 2005 to cooperate with us against terrorists in Africa and the Middle East. Sudan continued its cooperative commitment against known and suspected international terrorist elements believed to be operating in and out of Sudanese territory. However, despite these positive steps, we are deeply concerned about the Sudanese government's role in Darfur. We must continue to work with the Sudanese government and others to resolve this issue before we can move further.
While no countries were added or deleted from the State Sponsors of Terrorism List, we did designate two organizations as Foreign Terrorist Organizations (FTO) in 2005. Specifically, we designated the Moroccan Islamic Combatant Group and the Islamic Jihad Group. In addition, we amended the FTO designation of Lashkar e-Tayyiba to include new aliases. Throughout 2005 al-Qaida and its associated networks continued to represent the most prominent current terrorist threat to the United States and our international partners. There are other terrorist organizations of concern, however, including Hizballah, al-Qaida in Iraq and the GSPC.
The 2005 report also discusses problem areas that unfortunately do remain. Such areas include safe havens in North Waziristan in Pakistan and Hizballah dominated areas of Lebanon. In addition, Iranagain in 2005remained the most active state sponsor of terrorism. Tehran has repeatedly refused to bring to justice, publicly identify or share information about detained senior al-Qaida members who murdered Americans and others in the 1998 East Africa Embassy bombings. Iran encouraged anti-Israeli terrorist activity, rhetorically, operationally and financially. Iran provided Lebanese Hizballah and Palestinian terrorist groups with extensive funding, training and weapons. In addition, Iran has provided assistance to anti-Coalition forces in Iraq. As the President said earlier this year, some of the most powerful IEDs we are seeing in Iraq today include components that came from Iran.
Page 29 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC
Before addressing our current counterterrorism efforts, I would first like to say a few words about how the State Department in 2005 sought to deal with terrorism through multilateral fora. We worked closely in a variety of areas with our UN Security Council and General Assembly partners, as well as with our G8 counterparts. Our efforts were realized, for example, in the UN Security Council with the adoption of two resolutions. The first, resolution 1617, strengthened the current sanctions regime against the Taliban and al-Qaida, and endorsed the Financial Action Task Force standards for combating money laundering and terrorist financing. The second, resolution 1624, addressed incitement to terrorism and related matters. In addition, we continued to work through the UN 1267 Sanctions Committee to impose binding financial, travel, and arms/munitions sanctions on entities and individuals associated with al-Qaida, the Taliban, and bin Ladin. We also worked within the UN General Assembly to ensure the Outcome Document, issued at the end of the high-level plenary meeting of the 60th General Assembly, contained a clear and unqualified condemnation of terrorism ''in all its forms and manifestations, committed by whomever, wherever, and for whatever purposes,'' and set objectives for UN actions to counter terrorism.
Within the G8 we worked with our partners in 2005 to complete virtually all outstanding project tasks included in the 28-point action plan that is part of the Secure and Facilitated International Travel Initiative (SAFTI) issued at the June 2004 Sea Island Summit. This included strengthening international standards for passport issuance; developing new measures to defend against the threat of MANPADS; establishing a Point-of-Contact network to deal with aviation threat emergencies; and expanding training and assistance on transportation security to third-party states.
Page 30 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC
In addition to multilateral fora, bodies such as the Inter-American Committee against Terrorism (CICTE) and the Organization of Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) have made important contributions at the regional level. CICTE has delivered more than $5 million in capacity-building in the region, providing training to hundreds of security officials in the region. The OSCE has pushed its 55 members to implement ICAO travel document standards, sponsoring workshops and training for government officials, as well as to modernize shipping container security and prevent and suppress the financing of terrorist organizations.
OUR CURRENT CT INITIATIVES
Our strategy to defeat terrorists, however, does not stop there. Rather, our strategy is structured at multiple levelsa global campaign to counter violent extremism; a series of regional collaborative efforts to deny terrorists safe haven; and numerous bilateral security and development assistance programs designed to build partner CT capabilities, as well as liberal institutions, support the rule of law, and address political and economic injustice.
This strategy is aimed to enhance our partners' capacity to resist the terrorist threat and address conditions that terrorists exploit. We work with or through partners at every level, whenever possible. To implement this strategy, U.S. Ambassadors, as the President's personal representatives abroad, lead interagency Country Teams that recommend strategies using all instruments of U.S. statecraft to help host nations understand the threat, and strengthen their political will and capacity to counter it.
One example of such an interagency strategy is the Trans-Sahara Counter Terrorism Initiative (TSCTI), a multi-faceted, multi-year strategy aimed at defeating terrorist organizations by strengthening regional counterterrorism capabilities, enhancing and institutionalizing cooperation among that region's security forces, promoting democratic governance, discrediting terrorist ideology, and reinforcing bilateral military ties with the United States.
Page 31 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC
Another example is the Regional Strategic Initiative (RSI). My office has worked to develop this program which is designed to develop flexible regional networks of interconnected Country Teams. We are working with Ambassadors and interagency representatives in key terrorist theaters of operation to assess the threat and devise collaborative strategies, actionable initiatives and policy recommendations.
The RSI is a key tool in promoting cooperation between our partners in the War on Terrorbetween Malaysia, Indonesia and the Philippines, for example, as they deal with terrorist transit across the Celebes (Sulawesi) Sea; or between Mauritania, Algeria, Morocco, Niger, Chad, and Mali to counter a GSPC enemy recruiting and hiding in the desert which sits astride their national borders.
Our terrorist enemies are highly adaptable: defeating them requires both centralized coordination and field authority. Resources and responses must be applied in a rapid, flexible, and focused manner. The RSI helps achieve this.
As of April 2006, three RSI strategy sessions have been held, with more scheduled for coming months. These sessions are chaired by Ambassadors, with Washington interagency representatives in attendance. The sessions focus on developing a common, shared diagnosis of the strategic situation in a region. Using this common perspective, networked Country Teams then identify opportunities for collaboration, and self-synchronize efforts across multiple diverse programs in concert with the National Counterterrorism Center's strategic operational planning effort to achieve the President's national strategic goals.
Page 32 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOCCONCLUSION
In conclusion, al-Qaida and its affiliates are attacking what they fear the most, the development of a global civic societya society characterized by global networks of liberal institutions, free speech, democratic organizations, free-market forces, and the rule of law. We must measure counterterrorism success in the broadest perspective. Tactical and operational counterterrorism battles will be won and lost, but we wage these battles in a global war within a strategic context. We must fight the enemy with precise, calibrated efforts to buy space and time to transform the environment and the conditions that terrorists exploit.
We must fight the enemy with all tools of statecraft, in cooperation with our growing network of partners, to construct enduring solutions that transcend violence. We will aim to deny the enemy its leadership, its safe havens, and the conditions it exploits. Our citizens and allies expect no less.
Mr. Chairman, we hope this report advances our collective understanding of the challenges and the solutions. This completes the formal part of my remarks and I welcome your questions and comments.
Mr. ROYCE. Ambassador Crumpton, thank you very much. We will go down to Mr. Travers.
STATEMENT OF MR. RUSSELL TRAVERS, DEPUTY DIRECTOR, INFORMATION SHARING AND KNOWLEDGE DEVELOPMENT, NATIONAL COUNTERTERRORISM CENTER
Page 33 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC
Mr. TRAVERS. Thank you, Mr. Chairman, and Members of the Subcommittee. I appreciate the opportunity to be here to discuss NCTC's statistic support to the country reports on terrorism. Because this is a complex subject, I provided a series of charts and graphs that will help depict the trends and judgments that I will be addressing.
As noted by Mr. Sherman, in order to be as transparent as possible, all of this information and much more is in fact available on our Web site at www.nctc.gov.
Mr. ROYCE. And slides are in the Members' packets as well for this information.
Mr. TRAVERS. Yes. The second graphic provides the bottom lines for 2005 as the Chairman suggested. Approximately 11,000 terrorist incidents occurred, and 14,500 people were killed, and 25,000 wounded, and another 35,000 kidnapped.
As the Chairman noted, my written statement addresses in detail the reasons these numbers are substantially higher than in previous years. In reference to Ms. Watson's comment, I will of course be happy to address any of the specific benthological issues in the Q and A if you are interested.
From a practical perspective, these issues do limit our ability to compare 2004 and 2005 data to only high fatality incidents, and I will provide such a comparison at the end of my oral statement.
Page 34 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Turning to viewgraph three, incident data must be used carefully. Looking at the totality of annual data can be instructive if sorting by attack method as reflected in the Pi chart on the left.
For instance, we noted that some 360 suicide bombings were responsible for 3,000 fatalities in 2005. However, simply adding up the total number of incidents is of far less value. Terrorism is a tactic used by different groups for different reasons.
So the 11,000 incident figure by itself has very little meaning. Total incident counts simply aren't a useful metric for progress on the war on terrorism, and this is a judgment shared by the Congressional Research Service.
Similarly, incidents vary in terms of significance. When aggregating total incidents all attacks are equal. The deadly bombing associated with the Hariri assassination counts no more than a pipeline bombing.
As you can see in the graph on the right, there were over 6,000 incidents in which there were no fatalities. The general point here is that not all incidents are equal, and it reinforces the notion that the data must be used carefully.
Turning to viewgraph four, a regional breakout can be instructive. Here in the black bars are the number of incidents and the red bars are the number of fatalities. Clearly, terrorism is a global phenomena, though the Near East and South Asia bore about 70 percent of the total attacks, and over 80 percent of the casualties.
Page 35 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Drilling down a little deeper, Iraq suffered about 30 percent of the attacks and over 50 percent of the casualties. With the exception of the Western Hemisphere, all regions saw major Sunni extremist attacks.
The Valentine's Day attacks in the Philippines, Bali, London, New Delhi, Sharm al-Shaykh, Amman, and many in both Iraq and Afghanistan. Many of these were multiple coordinated attacks conducted by al-Qaeda affiliated groups.
The home grown variety, typified by the attacks in London, is of particular concern. The U.K. Parliamentary Committee today released its report and concluded that $15,000 and readily available expertise were all that was required for the July 7 bombings.
The next viewgraph provides a sense of the human toll. Some 14,500 people were killed, 56 of which were Americans. Several unique categories of noncombatants were particularly hard hit. Of the 40,000 killed or wounded, 6,500 were police, a thousand were children, 140 were teachers, and a hundred were journalists.
In total, of the 40,000 casualties, 10 to 15,000 Muslims were the victims of terrorist, largely in Iraq, the victims of Islamic extremists. Finally, Mr. Chairman, I realize that there is interest in comparisons with previous years. For the reasons discussed earlier, our ability to conduct such an analysis is limited to high fatality incidents, those in which 10 or more people were killed.
This comparison is reflected in the last power point. For orientation, the graph on the left is Iraq, and the graph on the right is the rest of the world. The black bars are the number of incidents and the red bars is again the number of fatalities.
Page 36 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC
In the case of Iraq, the high fatality incidents grew from about 65 in 2004 to about 150 in 2005; and the associated number of fatalities doubled from 1,700 to 3,400. In the rest of the world the number of incidents held steady at about 70 in 2004 and 2005, but the associated fatalities actually fell from about 3,000 to about 1,500.
Numerically, that is pretty easy to explain. Many attacks in 2004Madrid, Beslan, the Filipino Superferry, exceeded a hundred or more fatalities. Whereas, those in 2005 tended to have lower casualty counts.
A word of caution, however, the political impact of the 2005 attack is every bit as significant as those in 2004, irrespective of the number of fatalities. Moreover, no one should try to draw trends based on only 2 years of data.
Mr. Chairman, that concludes a very quick review of some of the key observations drawn from our compilation of the 2005 terrorist incidents data, and our support to the Department of State. I look forward to answering any questions that you may have.
[The prepared statement of Mr. Travers follows:]
PREPARED STATEMENT OF MR. RUSSELL TRAVERS, DEPUTY DIRECTOR, INFORMATION SHARING AND KNOWLEDGE DEVELOPMENT, NATIONAL COUNTERTERRORISM CENTER
Good afternoon, Mr. Chairman and members of the Subcommittee.
Page 37 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Consistent with its statutory mission to serve as the U.S. Government's knowledge bank on international terrorism, the National Counterterrorism Center (NCTC) provided statistical support to the Department of State's Country Reports on Terrorism. To promote transparency and assist academics, policy makers and the public in understanding the data, NCTC has posted on its website, www.nctc.gov , a detailed discussion of the methodology and counting rules used to develop the statistics, a summary of key observations, a selection of supporting charts and graphs, and the incident descriptions associated with all high fatality attacks in which 10 or more people were killed.
Section 2656f(b) of Title 22 of the U.S. Code requires the State Department to include in its annual report on terrorism ''to the extent practicable, complete statistical information on the number of individuals, including United States citizens and dual nationals, killed, injured, or kidnapped by each terrorist group during the preceding calendar year.'' While NCTC keeps statistics on the annual number of incidents of ''terrorism,'' our ability to track the specific groups responsible for each incident involving killings, kidnappings, and injuries is significantly limited by the availability of reliable open source information, particularly for events involving small numbers of casualties. The statistical material compiled in support of Country Reports, therefore, is drawn from the number of incidents of ''terrorism'' that occurred in 2005, which is the closest figure that is practicable for NCTC to supply in satisfaction of the above-referenced statistical requirements. In deriving its figures for incidents of terrorism, NCTC applies the definition of ''terrorism'' that appears in the 22 U.S.C. §2656f(d)(2), i.e., ''premeditated, politically motivated violence perpetrated against noncombatant targets by subnational groups or clandestine agents.''
The figures in this year's edition of Country Reports are not directly comparable to statistics reported in pre-2005 editions of Patterns of Global Terrorism, or to the figures NCTC reported in April 2005. Those figures were compiled on the basis of a more limited methodology tied to the definition of ''international terrorism,'' which is also contained in 22 U.S.C. §2656f (see box below). Subject to changes in statutory reporting requirements, NCTC anticipates that future statistics provided by NCTC will (like this year's report) be tied to the broader definition of ''terrorism.''
Page 38 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC
NCTC cautions against placing too much weight on any set of incident data alone to gauge success or failure against the forces of terrorism. If NCTC appears before this committee next year and the 2006 incident totals are higher than 2005, it will not mean we are losing the war against terrorism. Similarly if the 2006 incident totals are lower than 2005, it will not mean we are winning. For the following reasons, NCTC does not believe that a simple comparison of the total number of incidents from year to year provides a meaningful measure:
Terrorism is a tactic, used on many fronts, by diverse perpetrators in different circumstances and with different aims. Simply adding the total number of attacks by various groups from different regions has limited meaning.
Approximately one half of the 2005 incidents in the NCTC database involve no loss of life. An attack that damages a pipeline and a car bomb attack that kills 100 civilians may each count as one incident in the database. Thus, an incident count alone does not provide a complete picture.
Counting protocols inevitably require judgment calls that may have an impact on results. Events identified as simultaneous and coordinated, for example, would be recorded as one incident, as would attacks that subsequently targeted first-responders. For instance, on the morning of August 17, 2005, there were approximately 450500 small bomb attacks in Bangladesh. Because they were coordinated, NCTC counted them as a single incident; an argument could be made that the attacks represented 450 separate attacks.
The nature of this exercise necessarily involves incomplete and ambiguous information, particularly as it is dependent on open source reporting. The quality, accuracy, and volume of such reporting vary significantly from country to country. Thus, determining whether an incident is politically motivated can be difficult and highly subjective, particularly if the incident does not involve mass casualties.
Page 39 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC
As additional information sources are found, and as more information becomes available, particularly from remote parts of the globe (as was the case with Nepal in 2005), NCTC will continue to enrich the database, revising and updating the tabulation of incidents as necessary. As a result, the complete data set cannot be meaningfully compared to previous years, as the improved data gives the appearance that attacks on civilians may have been occurring at a substantially higher rate than was reflected in previous years' reporting and accounting.
Despite these limitations, tracking incidents of terrorism can help us understand some important trends, including the geographic distribution of incidents and information about the perpetrators and their victims. Year-to-year changes in the gross number of incidents across the globe, however, may tell us little about the international community's effectiveness in preventing these incidents, and thus reducing the capacity of terrorists to advance their agenda through violence against the innocent.
The data provided on the NCTC website, an extract of which is included in Country Reports, is based on the statutory definition set forth above. Accordingly, the incidents NCTC has catalogued in the database are those which, based on available open source information, meet the criteria for ''premeditated, politically motivated violence perpetrated against noncombatant targets by subnational groups or clandestine agents.'' Determination of what constitutes an incident of terrorism, however, is sometimes based on incomplete information and may be open to interpretation. The perpetrator's specific motivation, whether political or otherwise, is not always clear, nor is the perpetrator's identity always evident. Moreover, additional information may become available over time, affecting the accuracy of initial judgments about incidents.
Page 40 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC
To establish the repository for the U.S. Government's database on terrorist incidents, in 2005 NCTC unveiled the Worldwide Incidents Tracking System (WITS). Available on the Internet at www.nctc.gov, WITS allows public access to and a transparent look at the NCTC data. A search engine and a wide array of data fields allow the user flexibility in conducting research. Substantial enhancements to the search engine and a reports generating feature will be fielded over the coming year.
To further the goal of transparency, during the course of 2005 NCTC invited academic, commercial, and research organizations to brainstorm and consult on the methodology used to compile terrorism incidents. NCTC will continue to work with subject matter experts to review counting protocols and to ensure its data remains meaningful and relevant. NCTC will ensure that data posted to the website is updated as often as necessary. Thus, the NCTC website must be viewed as a living document, regularly incorporating information about prior incidents as well as current events. As information on specific incidents is revealed through court cases or criminal investigations, for example, NCTC reviews its files and updates the relevant incident data. NCTC is investigating the feasibility of enabling recognized subject matter experts, academicians, think tanks, and others to provide constructive feedback and substantive concerns directly to NCTC.
Users of the WITS database should recognize that expert opinions may differ on whether a particular incident constitutes terrorism or some other form of political violence. The box below provides a few examples of attacks in 2005 that were judged NOT to be terrorism. These particular examples were relatively easy to distinguish; often the available facts present no clear basis upon which to determine motivation, and NCTC analysts are left to make judgments on the basis of very little information.
Page 41 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC
[Note: Image(s) not available in this format. See PDF version of this file.]
NCTC has made every effort to limit the degree of subjectivity involved in the judgments, and, in the interests of transparency, has adopted a set of counting rules that are delineated below.
Terrorists must have initiated and executed the attack for it to be included in the database; as noted above, foiled attacks, as well as hoaxes, are not included. Spontaneous hate crimes without intent to cause mass casualties were excluded to the greatest extent practicable.
What is a ''noncombatant''?
Under the statutory definition of terrorism NCTC uses to compile its database, the victim must be a ''noncombatant.'' However, that term is left open to interpretation by the statute. For the purposes of the WITS database, the term ''combatant'' was interpreted to mean military, paramilitary, militia, and police under military command and control, in specific areas or regions where war zones or war-like settings exist. Further distinctions were drawn depending on the particular country involved and the role played by the military. Noncombatants therefore included civilians and civilian police and military assets outside of war zones and war-like settings. Diplomatic assets, including personnel, embassies, consulates, and other facilities, were also considered noncombatant targets.
Although only acts of violence against noncombatant targets were counted as terrorism incidents for purposes of the WITS database, if those incidents also resulted in the death of combatant victims, all victims (combatant and noncombatant) were tallied. In an incident where combatants were the target of the event, non-combatants who were incidentally harmed were designated ''collateral'' and the incident excluded from the posted data set. For example, if terrorists attacked a military base in Iraq and wounded one civilian bystander, that victim would be deemed collateral, and the incident would not be counted. However, if the attack, even if it appeared to be directed against a combatant target, demonstrated a wanton disregard for civilians in the immediate vicinity, it is included in the data.
Page 42 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC
In the cases of Iraq and Afghanistan, it is particularly difficult to gather comprehensive information about all incidents and to distinguish terrorism from the numerous other forms of violence, including crime and sectarian violence, in light of imperfect information. The distinction between terrorism and insurgency in Iraq is especially challenging, as Iraqis participate in the Abu Musab al-Zarqawi terrorist network as well as in tribal and sectarian violence. Therefore, some combatants may be included as victims in some incidents when their presence was incidental to an attack intended for noncombatants. We note, however, that because of the difficulty in gathering data on Iraq and Afghanistan, the dataset does not provide a comprehensive account of all incidents of terrorism in these two countries.
What is ''politically motivated violence?''
The statutory definition also requires the attack to be ''politically motivated.'' NCTC has adopted a series of counting rules to assist in the data compilation. Any life threatening attack or kidnapping by any ''Foreign Terrorist Organization'' or group appearing on the list of ''Other Organizations of Concern'' is deemed politically motivated. Similarly, any serious attack by any organization or individual against a Government/Diplomatic official or a Government/Diplomatic building is deemed politically motivated and is therefore considered terrorism. On the other hand, any attack that is primarily criminal or economic in nature or is an instance of mob violence is considered not to be ''politically motivated.'' Similarly, any terrorist organization actions that are primarily intended to enable future terrorist attacks (robbing a bank or selling narcotics for the purpose of raising money, for example) are not considered terrorism.
Page 43 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC In between these relatively clear-cut cases, there is a degree of subjectivity. In general, NCTC counting rules consider that attacks by unknown perpetrators against either unknown victims or infrastructure are not demonstrably political and therefore are not terrorism. However, there are exceptions to this general rule: if such an attack occurs in areas in which there is significant insurgency, unrest, or political instability, the attack may be considered terrorism; or if the attack occurs in a region free of such political violence, but involves something more than a shooting (for instance, improvised explosive device, beheading, etc.), the attack may, depending on the circumstances, be considered terrorism. Finally, if low-level attacks against noncombatant targets begin to suggest the existence of a chronic problem, the attacks may be considered terrorism.
Perhaps the most difficult distinctions to draw exist in Africa. Beyond the difficulties associated with the incomplete information, the existence of various forms of ethnic and tribal violence in many areas relatively ungoverned by central State control make determinations of terrorism particularly problematic. Tribal groups in unstable areas, many of which are formed around indigenous ethnicities, often act as governing bodies in the absence of effective central government control. For the purposes of counting terrorist incidents, NCTC distinguishes two general cases: when such groups come into direct conflict with one another, the violence is close to war-like circumstances and is not considered terrorism; on the other hand, when these groups recklessly endanger or target local populations (i.e., raiding villages and methodically killing civilians), the attacks are considered terrorism. NCTC envisions working with appropriate experts to further refine the approach to this difficult problem.
KEY NCTC OBSERVATIONS FROM THE 2005 DATA
Page 44 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC The bottom line statistics regarding 2005 are as follows: over 11,000 terrorist incidents occurred, 14,500 noncombatants were killed (56 individuals were Americans according to Department of State information), 25,000 noncombatants were wounded, and 35,000 noncombatants were kidnapped.
There are 3 principal reasons for the numbers being significantly higher than in past years:
The previously used statutory definition of ''international terrorism'' (''involving citizens or territory of more than one country'') resulted in hundreds of incidents per year; the currently used statutory definition of ''terrorism'' (''premeditated, politically motivated violence perpetrated against noncombatant targets'') results in many thousands of incidents per year.
The ''international terrorism'' definition was originally used to compile 2004 statistics, but it gave rise to results that we considered to be underinclusive (the Van Gogh assassination, Philippine Superferry and one of two Russian aircraft downed in 2004 didn't meet the ''international terrorism'' definition). Accordingly NCTC retroactively applied the broader ''terrorism'' definition to the 2004 data as a proof of concept; this was a quick review in which all of 2004 was catalogued in May/June of 2005. While NCTC is confident that the application of the broader ''terrorism'' definition captured the high fatality incidents for 2004, we undoubtedly did not catalogue thousands of incidents in which few or no individuals were killed. The level of effort difference between the two years means that 2005 is a far more comprehensive data set than that for 2004; as such it limits our ability to do 2004/2005 comparisons to only the higher fatality incident counts (see below).
Page 45 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC
The level of violence directed against civilians in Iraq was substantially higher in 2005 than it was in 2004.
Terrorism remains a tactic used across all regions of the world. However, the Near East and South Asia were particularly hard hit, accounting for almost 75% of the attacks and 80% of the fatalities. Over 50% of noncombatant fatalities worldwide were in Iraq.
Of the 40,000 individuals killed or wounded in terrorist attacks in 2005, several unique categories of noncombatants bore a significant brunt of terrorism: 6500 police, 1000 children, 300 government officials, 170 clergy/religious figures and 100 journalists were killed or wounded in 2005. At least 10,00015,000 Muslims, mostly in Iraq, were the victims of terrorism.
Kidnappings occurred worldwide, but were a particularly acute problem in Nepal where entire school districts of students and teachers were abducted. Of the 35,000 people kidnapped worldwide, almost 95% were abducted in Nepal.
Armed attacks and bombings accounted for the majority of fatalities in 2005. Suicide attacks rose in a number of countries. Approximately 360 suicide bombing events accounted for 20% of all fatalities.
Sunni extremist groups, in particular, continued to morph, merge, change their names, and splinter in 2005. These factors, coupled with false claims, claim denials and a tendency by some governments and local press to report perpetrators generically as ''al-Qa'ida'' or ''jihadists,'' made it very difficult to systematically attribute attacks to particular Sunni extremist groups:
Page 46 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC
Most Sunni extremist attacks appear to have been conducted by various affiliated groups; none in the past year can be definitively determined to have been directed by the al-Qa'ida central leadership.
When we did get data on actual perpetrator organizations and individuals carrying out attacks, the individuals themselves were often unknown to the counterterrorism community, and some had been radicalized in a relatively short time.
The ''homegrown'' variety of attacks, such as the 7 July bus and subway attacks in London that drew on UK citizens as suicide bombers, was of particular concern.
Due to differences in the comprehensiveness of the data sets as described above, a comparison of 2004 and 2005 data is limited to a focus on high fatality incidents (those attacks in which 10 or more people were killed):
In Iraq, the number of high fatality incidents increased from approximately 65 in 2004 to about 150 in 2005. Similarly the number of fatalities associated with those attacks grew from about 1700 in 2004 to approximately 3400 in 2005.
In the rest of the world the number of high fatality attacks held constant at about 70 in both 2004 and 2005. The total number of associated fatalities declined from about 3000 in 2004 to about 1500 in 2005. This was due to the fact that many of the attacks in 2004 (such as Madrid, Beslan, the Russian Aeroflot downings, and the Superferry) tended to have higher casualty counts than did the attacks in 2005 (such as the bombings associated with the Hariri assassination, the London subway, Sharm al-Shaykh, Amman and Bali). In general, however, extreme care must be exercised when focusing only on the number of attacks and/or casualty figures; the Sunni extremist attacks of 2005 were as significant as those of 2004 both in terms of demonstrating the desire and capacity to conduct mass casualty attacks and in terms of geopolitical impact. Moreover, NCTC cautions against drawing any conclusions on the basis of only 2 years' data.
Page 47 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC
What is not in the 2005 data: despite the clear intention of al-Qa'ida leadership, there were no attacks against the United States homeland or attacks utilizing chemical, biological, radiological or nuclear weapons.
Mr. Chairman. This concludes my statement. I look forward to your questions.
[Note: Image(s) not available in this format. See PDF version of this file.]
Mr. ROYCE. I thank you both for your testimony. You are right to state that we have made progress fighting terrorism. As you can see, there is great interest in this report. We look forward to working with both of you to improve it over time.
I would like to raise a couple of points. The report notes that one of the three trends in terrorism is its overlap with transnational crime. I would like you to expand on that, as along our southern border, we have seen the narcotics traffickers and human smugglers operate with increased sophistication.
We have seen them basically create a market to bring inand MS13, for example, international crime figures and others, who are willing to pay a hefty premium to that particular organization.
I visited a large sophisticated tunnel that was found opening up into a warehouse in San Diego from Mexico, and that is not an isolated incident. There have been more found since, and I would ask if you are concerned about terrorist overlap with the narcotics and human smuggling networks operating in our hemisphere, especially groups like MS13. Ambassador.
Page 48 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC
Mr. CRUMPTON. Yes, sir. This is a growing trend, and a growing concern. The most obvious example in our hemisphere, of course, is in Colombia with the FARC. Just recently the Department of Justice indicted 50 FARC leaders for narco trafficking.
You now see an organization that really is both a criminal narcotics enterprise and a political terrorist organization. They are one and the same. What sometimes might be more difficult to understand and to track, is how terrorists, whether they be al-Qaeda, Hezbollah, Hamas, or others, use criminal networks to their advantage.
It can be procuring travel documents, and it can be using human smuggling routes, the overlap in terms of acquiring financial support. One example of that is in Iraq. You see kidnappers engaged in a criminal enterprise, but they are cooperating with al-Qaeda and others.
Another area of concern is in Afghanistan, where increasingly you see al-Qaeda and the Taliban working with narco traffickers, especially down in Helmand Province.
And there are other trends in this area. So we are focusing on that and working even more closely with our foreign partners to address it. One example of that, and again returning to this hemisphere, is the efforts by the Organization of American States (OAS), the Inter-American Committee Against Terrorism, and the declaration that was signed in Bogota just a few weeks ago. It focuses on this very concern.
Mr. ROYCE. I would also like to ask you about a Wall Street Journal column this week by the former EU Commissioner for External Relations, Chris Patten. Chris Patten's thesis is that as long as the Pakistani military/radical alliance exists, Afghanistan will never be stable.
Page 49 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC
What Patten said was if we are really going to get to the core of Afghanistan's instability, we must tackle Pakistan. I just ask you, sir, as you were in the region this past weekend, and you stated that Pakistan could do more as far as counterterrorism is concerned, what do you think of Patten's assessment? Specifically, what steps are you looking for from the Pakistanis that would indicate a change of strategy in terms of that alliance, and breaking that alliance?
Mr. CRUMPTON. Pakistan is a key ally in the counterterrorism effort. When you look at the hundreds of al-Qaeda operatives, including key leaders like Khalid Sheikh Mohammed that they have captured, in some ways they have done more than any other country to help us against al-Qaeda.
On the other hand, you look at the challenges that they face, especially along the Afghanistan-Pakistan border, the Pakistani Government realizes the challenges. They have deployed 80,000 of their troops in there. Just in the last couple of years, about 350 have been killed in combat against the al-Qaeda and Taliban-related forces.
But as I noted, they need to do more and I am encouraged that they are. The best and most recent example of that is the announcement just a couple of days ago by President Musharraf, a three point strategy into this border area.
It is not only military, but it is political. It is economic. It is aimed at rebuilding the tribal structure, the tribal authorities that al-Qaeda and its affiliates have sought to destroy.
Page 50 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC
They may have killed more than a hundred tribal leaders, they being al-Qaeda, in that area.
But it is not only Pakistan alone. Afghanistan has got a key role to play and so do we in helping both these countries. It has to be a collaborative effort.
Now there have been some historical diplomatic/political differences between these two countries, and a key part of our efforts is to bring them closer together to working this border area.
Mr. ROYCE. The report recognizes the virtual safe haven of the Internet, which is of increasing concern for counterterrorism officials around the world, and certainly a worry to us. A witness that we recently had before this Committee spoke of the ''virtual caliphate,'' was the expression that he made, about the web.
I would ask you how we can combat this and also quite important is who in the United States Government is tackling this question of monitoring the web and doing something about this virtual caliphate?
Mr. CRUMPTON. Sir, this is in many ways a new and expanding problem. I described a physical safe haven in my remarks. The cyber safe haven offers some of those elements to the enemy, not just an ability to communicate, but to recruit, but to coalesce also, and increasingly to train. It is also a mechanism for their propaganda.
Page 51 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC And how do we tackle this? It is going to be, again like CT efforts across the board, rooted in our partnerships, international partnerships. Cyberspace has no national boundary, and we have to work more closely with our allies and others, not just in terms of monitoring, but in terms of law enforcement, and in terms of using cyberspace to our advantage. There are many things that we are doing, and I am hopeful in the long term.
Mr. ROYCE. And who in government is tackling specifically this issue in terms of trying to develop a counter-strategy?
Mr. CRUMPTON. Yes, sir, the National Security Council, working with NCTC, and all the different agencies, have got a major role to play, whether it is collecting intelligence, whether it is working with law enforcement, whether it is the public diplomacy aspect of what we are doing.
And they all come together working with my office, working with NCTC, and the National Security Council. And the military has got an increasingly important role also.
Mr. ROYCE. Well, I was thinking of making the role inoperable as much as possible. This is a convenient tool for al-Qaeda and other Jihadist groups.
Mr. CRUMPTON. Yes, sir, there are some efforts aimed at that, but there are some technical challenges also, given the flexibility and the technical acumen the enemy has. It does not take long to set up another Web site after one is taken down
Mr. ROYCE. Well, thank you. I have got one last question that I wanted to ask about. We have got a very tight energy market. We have seen the damage the rebel group in the Niger Delta by the name of MEND, has been able to do. That makes the report on the al-Qaeda members operating in Nigeria of great concern to us. I know, Mr. Travers, that your data shows that a large number of incidents, over 6,000, were against infrastructure targets.
Page 52 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC
They weren't targets where deaths are reported. There is simply an intent to go after infrastructure. Based upon what we have seen of al-Qaeda operations and recruitment in Nigeriaand I have talked to several governors there, Muslim governors, who are very concerned about what is happening as a result of the influx of money from the Gulf States that have led to the setting up of recruitment of people into the al-Qaeda.
I was going to ask you now many of those 6,000 targets were against energy infrastructure, because this seems to be a growing phenomenon, is this attack on energy, not just in Nigeria, but throughout the developing world.
Mr. TRAVERS. I would have to get you the exact number for the record, sir. I would just clarify that the 6,000 certainly does include attacks against infrastructure.
It also includes any other incident in which no individual is killed. So this has globalization related targets, and it could have
Mr. ROYCE. I see. Well, when I read it, I assumed that it was infrastructure alone.
Mr. TRAVERS. Infrastructure is in there, and one of the main reasons that we want to catalog and collect this data is because I think it is going to show trends over time. There is no question that there have been perhaps in the energy sectoractually in the infrastructure generally, there has been more attacks against telecommunications, for instance.
Page 53 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC
There are many attacks against pipelines. There was of course the failed attack against the Saudis a few months ago. We have had al-Qaeda claims of attacks within the Delta in Nigeria. I don't believe that those are actually true statements. We think those are false claims. MEND has been primarily associated with those attacks thus far. But there is no question that it is a breeding ground.
Mr. ROYCE. Thank you very much. We are going to go to Mr. Brad Sherman, of Sherman Oaks.
Mr. SHERMAN. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. As I mentioned in my opening statement, Saudi Arabia and most of the Gulf countries allow fundraising by Palestinian terrorist organizations, or those who are highly transparent front groups for those Palestinian terrorist organizations. Ambassador, why isn't this mentioned in the report?
Mr. CRUMPTON. Sir, we can discuss this issue from a couple of different perspectives. One, in terms of their progress to date. We are encouraged by some of the things that they are doing, and
Mr. SHERMAN. Sir, if I could interrupt. Is there then anything that encourages us with regard to preventing the funding of Palestinian terrorist organizations, or is it that we are unwilling to criticize them over here because they are making some progress over there?
Mr. CRUMPTON. Sir, they are making some progress, I think, in all areas. Specifically
Page 54 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC
Mr. SHERMAN. Can you point to any progress that they have made in shutting off money for Hamas and other terrorist organizations, when in fact those governments are looking to expand the aid to Hamas?
Mr. CRUMPTON. Are you talking about the Government of Saudi Arabia specifically, or all the governments in the Gulf area?
Mr. SHERMAN. I am talking about the Gulf Cooperation Council in general. We could get involved in country by country, but Saudi Arabia in particular. What has Saudi Arabia done in the last 12 months to cut off money to Palestinian terrorist organizations?
Mr. CRUMPTON. Well, I can certainly address Hamas now that they are the governing leader in the Palestinian territory. We have talked to the Saudis and others, and we have said that we need to find ways to support the Palestinian people, in terms of their livelihood, but not the Hamas government.
Mr. SHERMAN. Sir, I am not asking whether the State Department is doing a good job of talking to the Saudi Arabians. What I am asking is whether Saudi Arabia has taken definitive action to actually reduce the money that it is giving to Palestinian terrorist organizations.
And if so, and if there is improvement, why isn't that in the report? Why write a report that basically starts from the assumption that funding Palestinian terrorist organizations is an irrelevancy in defining whether a country is clamping down on terrorism?
Page 55 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC
Do we buy into the European view that it doesn't count as international terrorism if you are just trying to kill Israelis?
Mr. CRUMPTON. Sir, we do not consider it an irrelevancy, and I was commenting that the Saudis have worked with us to decrease their funding, and
Mr. SHERMAN. Ambassador, my question was why was there not a write-up in the report on this issue, and you tell me that it is not an irrelevancy, but anybody reading the report would think it was.
Mr. CRUMPTON. Sir, we believe that the Saudis have made some progress, and the Gulf States have made some progress, and we will be glad to cover it in next year's report.
Mr. SHERMAN. I would hope that you would supplement this record as soon as possible to give us your best estimates as to money going from Saudi Arabia, and two or three of the other Gulf Cooperation states, to terrorist-listed organizations, organizations on the terrorist lists, based in the Palestinian areas, looking each year as to the amount of money flowing.
And I am sure that you will see more money flowing in 2006 than you will see in prior years as Saudi Arabia makes at least modest efforts to replace the money that we are not giving to the Palestinian Authority.
Page 56 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC But to say here basically that I would ask you to issue a supplement to your report addressing this issue, because you just told me that it was highly relevant, and of course it is not in your report.
Mr. CRUMPTON. I will be glad to respond to your question in more detail. I would also like to note though that just a couple of days ago, I was meeting with officials of the UAE, and we talked about this specifically.
They are not sending money to the Hamas government, and that includes salaries. We made this point very clearly. But again I will include that in our formal response to your question.
Mr. SHERMAN. And shifting to another issue, I have urged the State Department to provide a road map to those organizations on the terrorist list that would like to get off, particularly those on the terrorist organizations list that do not threaten Americans, and in particular the LTTE and the MEK.
Now, if these organizations had a road map, they could and would be encouraged to modify their behavior to better meet American international norms. Can you give me a rationale why we wouldn't even tell these organizations, who may very well be trying to change their behavior as the IRA did, for example, and why we won't even tell them what we want them to do?
Mr. CRUMPTON. Sir, it is very clear, I believe, for these organizations and others that once they abandon terrorism as a tactic, then we can take them off the list.
Page 57 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC
Mr. SHERMAN. What terrorism is the MEK engaged in during the last several years, and how long do you have to stop engaging in terrorism in order to get off the list?
Mr. CRUMPTON. The MEK, going back to the origins in the 1970s, have killed
Mr. SHERMAN. Oh, if we judge them by the 1970s and 1980s, we would put them at the top of the list. You were talking about if an organization changed their behavior, they have a chance to get off the list, and I am just asking you to define that more clearly.
Mr. CRUMPTON. Well, as I noted, if they abandoned the tactics of terrorism, and they can prove that to us, we will be glad to consider taking them off the list.
Mr. SHERMAN. How long and in what way does it matter if they modify their goals? For example, an organization that abandons, or claims to have abandoned, terrorist tactics, but continues to have goals of ethnic cleansing or genocide, does the goals of the organization matter at all in this, or just whether and for how long they have abandoned terrorist tactics?
Mr. CRUMPTON. Of course, we don't operate in a political vacuum. One example of that is the Sudan. As a country, Sudan has made, I think, some good strides in our expectations for counterterrorism, but Darfur is a horrible tragedy. The Sudanese Government bears a large degree of responsibility, and because of that, we are not taking them off the list.
Page 58 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC
Mr. SHERMAN. So Khartoum can expect to be on that list until they are either able to control the Janjaweed or convince us that the Janjaweed is notthat they are doing all they can to control, and that they are certainly not subsidizing?
Mr. CRUMPTON. The Sudanese Government needs to make more progress and we do have some encouragement, given this recent deal signed with some of the rebel factions.
Mr. SHERMAN. Well, I hope that we go beyond just publishing the address of the State Department, and accepting letters that may be received, and obviously any organization that was a terrorist organization who wants to get off the list can mail you a letter.
I would hope that we would provide specific guidance to specific terrorists and/or former terrorist organizations, so that we lay out what we expect of them, and thereby maximize the likelihood that they will meet those very specific expectations.
Simply telling the MEK or the LTTE go improve your behavior for a few years, and then send us a letter, and we will tell you whether or not you have met criteria that we haven't specifically identified for your circumstance, minimizes the likelihood that these organizations will improve their behavior.
I might point out that Libya would like to get off the state terrorism list and keeps complaining that we keep moving the goal posts. I have no idea if those complaints are true or not.
Page 59 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC
The more specific we are in defining what our expectations are, the better. And I don't have sufficient time to ask you about Libya's involvement in the assassination attempt in 2003, but perhaps you could supplement the record with a response to that question.
Mr. CRUMPTON. Certainly.
Mr. TANCREDO [presiding]. Thank you, Mr. Sherman. We do have a vote coming up soon, and the Chairman is returning.
Mr. ROYCE. I shall defer to you, Mr. Tancredo.
Mr. TANCREDO. Well, just for a moment I will, because there are questions that I do have, and I want to also speak specifically to the MEK, in terms of my colleague, Mr. Sherman's observations.
Besides telling them what is expected of them, it also seems to me that we should consider what they have done for us in the meantime. If there are some positive things that we can identify that the organization is responsible for. Specifically with regard to the MEK, it would be the the fact that they have given us invaluable information about the developments of nuclear weaponry in Iran, it seems to me that it should count on their side of the ledger.
But let me go specifically to the references to Mexico in your report, or, I should say. A very flattering report. Mexico remained engaged with the United States in an effort to improve border security.
Page 60 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC
That is a very interesting statement when you consider the situation and the circumstances in the very recent past, where we have incidents where evidently aspects of the Mexican military either crossed over into the United States, or participated in activities along the border, especially in Texas and Hudsmith County comes to mind right now.
Incidents that were aiding and abetting the transportation of drugs into the United States, and we have a group ofI think 16 sheriffs along the border that will attest to the fact that this is happening, that elements of the Mexican military have been involved in this, and that they have observed them with their own eyes.
That when they have encountered them on our side, and when they have encountered drug trafficking activity, and when the traffickers turn and try to get back over into Mexico, several times they have gotten stuck in the Rio Grande. The truck has gotten stuck or some of the trucks transporting the drugs when they were trying to get back in.
And then the next thing that happens is that the Mexican military pulls up on the other side and with equipment, and in one case a Caterpillar tractor, and actually dragged the truck out of the river and on to the Mexican side and into its ''protective custody.''
The Joint Terrorism Task Force reported something like, I think, 250 or more incursions into the United States of this nature in the last several years. They do not seem to bethe numbers do not seem being reduced.
In fact, the activities are increasing when this is happening, and in recent testimony by the head of the FBI to a Committee of Congress, indicated that we have captured people now in the United States who were in fact terrorists, or connected with terrorist organizations, and came into the United States across the southern border.
Page 61 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC
And when there are reports of upwards of thirtywhat did I do with it. Here it is. According to CRS, from fiscal year 2002 to 2005, 3,694 special interest aliens have been apprehended along the border.
When we also know that for every person that we apprehend on the border, three to five get by us. So the implication here is, of course, that during that same period of time, somewheremaybe up to 20,000 people, special interest aliens, have gotten into the United States.
We have reports from sheriffs on the border where they think that they have observed special interest aliens being protected by members of either the Mexican military or of other aspects of the Mexican Federal Police.
When all of these things are out there, and certainly they are not just well reported, but now we have collaboration on the part of authorities in the United States, how can you ignore all of those things in this brief reference to Mexico, and again a very positive one, about their help?
Mr. CRUMPTON. Yes, sir. What you have outlined is a broad national security and law enforcement challenge. Looking at it from terms of terrorism, we understand that terrorists can take advantage of the flaws that you have described.
And I believe that Mexico understands this. We are working with them in several areas. I would like to note that Secretary Rice and Secretary Chertoff have an initiative to improve cooperation in many different levels.
Page 62 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC
The increased intelligence cooperation to identify those terrorists that may cross, that has increased. Also the third point I would make is that the Organization of American States, their Inter-American Committee Against Terrorism, the focus of this effort is on terrorist mobility to identify, and constrain, and stop terrorists from crossing, not only the United States-Mexican border, but throughout the hemisphere.
And Mexico plays a key leadership role in that, and I will be glad to forward you the declaration that came out of the annual meeting in Bogota just a few weeks ago.
Mr. TANCREDO. Thank you. I have absolutely no doubt that in fact the rhetoric of the Mexican Government would lead us to conclude that they are participating as well as they can under the circumstances, but the circumstances themselves lead us to some concerns.
To what degree, for instance, does the Mexican Government actually have control over its own military? There are questions that arise that would again lead us to believe that significant problems exist there, and that parts of the Mexican military are actually more controlled by the drug cartels than they are the Mexican Government.
Or at least even the Madeiras, this other organization that the Mexican Government employees sometimes to provide some ''security.'' It seems to me impossible to ignore these things, and to create a report that makes it sound as though none of these things were of concern, and that the only focus that we have is on ''statements and the positive reaction from members of the government,'' when on the ground, things are happening that should give us great concern and that are not mentioned here.
Page 63 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC
And are you privy to and did you see the M16 report that talks about the al-Qaeda connection throughout South and Central America, and indeed in Mexicothe one that I referenced earlier.
Mr. CRUMPTON. No, I have not seen the report, but I would welcome you providing a copy of it. I should also note that the parameters, the scope of this report, is looking at terrorism, and not transnational crime. We do know that a key trend though is the increased overlap.
Mr. TANCREDO. Exactly.
Mr. CRUMPTON. So given the scope of the report, we did not address the transnational criminal issues, per se. And I think that is something that we will have to factor in if this trend continues, as I am afraid that it will.
Mr. TANCREDO. Well, when al-Qaeda connections appear, it seems to me to be impossible to just simply ignore their existence when they do make contacts with people who are moving drugs across the border.
It seems like it is not hard to draw the conclusion that we have got a terrorist element involved with this. Thank you very much, and we will go to Ms. Watson.
Ms. WATSON. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. This report, statistically, I feel has a lot of problems, and so I had to go back and read the statement from Mr. Travers to kind of interpret what thisI guess this is a slide presentation, because it says in our information that this report enhances our collective dynamic understanding of the global terrorist threat.
Page 64 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC
And the report serves as a reference tool to inform policy makers, all of us, the American public, and our international partners, about our efforts, progress, and challenges in the global war on terror.
We are told daily that we are fighting a war on terror, but your report defines what actually is terrorism, and what actually I guess are other incidents. For instance, your 2000 bottom lines show 11,000 incidents.
I had to go back to the context and find that not every one of these incidents resulted in death. And so I am confused when I look at this slide presentation, because you have a pie chart here referencing 2005, and incidents started by attack method.
And so you mix in all the different ways that people have died, and property has been destroyed, and then you look at the fatality range, and it does not give us the information we need about terrorism.
Counterterrorism isyou know, we are fighting a philosophy. We are fighting a tactic, and I think the numbers are much larger among the Iraqi population, the civilians, than appear in the 2005 report. I am just using that 1 year.
I think statistically that this doesn't give us the information that we need. Now, we can probably go on your Web site and look at how your methodology was actually worked, what your definitions are, and maybe piece it together.
Page 65 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC But when you give us a piece of information like this, we ought to be able to in a snapshot get information, and this does not do it, because the way that you define terrorism, intentionally and politically destroying innocent peoplewomen, children, and so onis that what we are up against?
We want to know what this war that we are fighting against terrorism really means, and I don't think you have given us that information. But moving on, last year the President appointed Karen Hughes to head the State Department's public diplomacy effort, in part as an acknowledgement that our public diplomacy efforts are in need of improvement, particularly in the Muslim world.
The Muslims think that we are fighting Muslims around the globe, and so PDE research, the latest on global attitudes, notes that anti-Americanism is showing modest signs of abating, but that attitudes to the United States remain quite negative in the Muslim world.
So besides increasing our exchanges, how is your office working with the Office of Public Diplomacy to win the hearts and the minds of the people in our nation, and indeed the world's battle against terrorism, and do we have any thoughts on how the department can enhance its public diplomacy program to counter the terrorist threat?
Now that means that we have to go and vote, and I don't know, Mr. Chair, if we are going to be coming back, and I think we will probably be on the Floor for a bit.
Mr. ROYCE [presiding]. We are just going to have to talk faster.
Page 66 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC
Ms. WATSON. Okay. So what I will do is, and not to hold Members here, but I will do is to put these in writing and let you respond in writing if we don't have a chance to hear you out.
Mr. CRUMPTON. Yes, ma'am.
Mr. ROYCE. They are pretty fast talkers though, too. Ambassador Crumpton, would you like to respond to Congresswoman Diane Watson's questions?
Mr. CRUMPTON. Certainly. I think the first part of your comments, I can defer to Mr. Travers regarding the statistics. Regarding the public diplomacy efforts, we work very closely, my office does, with Ms. Karen Hughes and her people. In fact there is an interagency committee established, and we participate in that.
But let me give you some specific examples of what we are doing. I also might note that we have made progress, I think, in cyberspace. We participate in interagency committees to have our message broadcast in cyberspace.
I should also note that I spend more than half my time traveling, and in almost all of my stops, I engage in public diplomacy. I meet with academics, with journalists, in these countries that I visit.
And this part of our effort is to not only communicate our message, but to listen to our partners and to people throughout the world, especially in the Muslim countries, to understand their concerns, and to address them.
Page 67 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC
I should note that some of our efforts, our messages, really have been communicated not only when I travel, but they have translated into Tagaloglint Arabic, Farsi, Russian, Spanish, and French, and we will continue doing this.
It is important, I think, that we realize that this is not just about the United States. It is about civilized global society. And every counterterrorism success that we have is rooted in the success of our partnerships, especially with our Muslim partners.
We are keenly aware of this, and we seek to communicate this at every opportunity, because in many respects this war on a global battlefield, rests on trust and interdependence far more than bullets and bombs.
Ms. WATSON. Let me just comment. When you break up your definition, you talk about international terrorism, and then you talk about in-country. You have international terrorism involving citizens of more than one country, and then you talk about terrorism, premeditated politically motivated violence perpetrated against noncombatant targets.
And I am confused, because we talk about a war on terrorism, but you define it in two different ways, and it is not really reflected in this.
Mr. TRAVERS. No, Ma'am.
Mr. CRUMPTON. I will defer to Mr. Travers.
Page 68 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Mr. TRAVERS. The first point is that they are not our definitions. They are from the statute. Up until last year the community used the international terrorism definition drawn from the statute to support the old patterns of global terrorism.
It became quite clear that that definition undercounted very significant terrorist attacks. And as I noted, as John Brenner noted last year, things like the Hariri assassination, and the Superferry bombing, anything in which the perpetrator and the victims were the same country didn't count under the international terrorism definition.
So when John Brenner was here last year, he indicated that we were going to switch, and use the much broader statutory definition of definition, and as you suggested, it is very broad.
So what we have done for the last year is try to count under that much broader definition. As you noted, premeditated violence directed against noncombatants for political purposes is an exceptionally broad phrase.
It picks up insurgency, and it picks up all sorts of things. But the point is that it is the statutory definition that we are using. We didn't make this up. There are in excess according to political scientists a hundred different definitions of terrorism, and so it is a very complicated subject.
I absolutely agree with you that looking at one particular bar graph or pie chart is not going to tell you how we are doing on terrorism. That is a fact, and one of the points that we have tried to make is that this is not a numbers drill.
Page 69 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC
The metric for terrorism and whether we are succeeding is much more complex and that is a challenge that we all have in confronting that and dealing with the American public.
Mr. ROYCE. I think you are right on the numbers, and I thank you, Congresswoman Watson. The portion of this that I think is a complete political whitewash is when it comes to Mexico, and the analysis given the degree of noncooperation, and given degree of corruption.
When we look at the analysis on Canada, and the serious work done there, the probing and the properly critical tone, and then we contrast that. But I don't blame either one of you gentlemen for that. I know the Administration's views, particularly with respect to the border enforcement bill that we passed out of the House, which today they have announced that they have killed over in the Senate or stymied, with an agreement which will apparently produce a bill along the lines of a massive amnesty without the enforcement provisions, which the House of Representatives was involved in passing to the Senate.
I think at times that some of the verbiage that goes along with the hard numbers can be influenced by a policy perspective, and let us just say that I am disappointed that this same rigorous approach that was applied to Canada is not applied in my view in this document with respect to Mexico.
Given my trips down to the border and what I know about the problems there, and the conversations that I have had with border patrol agents, and with their superiors. I am going to go to Mr. Weller for his questions.
Page 70 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC
Mr. WELLER. Thank you, Mr. Chairman, and Ambassador Crumpton, I would like to shift to Latin America and to Peru in particular. Your report notes that Peru's top counterterrorism objective is preventing the reemergence of Sendero Munoso, or Shining Path, a designated foreign terrorist organization now linked to narco trafficking, and whose recent terrorist activity has targeted United States and Peruvian counternarcotics programs, including the murder of police officers and attacking counternarcotics helicopter.
The international narcotics control strategy report notes that in 2005 the Government of Peru surpassed its coca eradication goals, and conducted operations on land and sea to disrupt the production and transhipment of cocaine, and that Peru works closely with the United States to implement their anti-narcotics strategy and partnership.
My question for you is how would you characterize Peru's willingness to fight terrorist activity and narco trafficking?
Mr. CRUMPTON. To date, we think that Peru continues to make some progress. The larger issue of narco trafficking and transnational crime and corruption in many respects is a greater challenge.
And as we note in the report, our concern is that terrorists take advantage of these weaknesses in civic society, and I think that is the challenge that Peru faces right now more than ever.
Mr. WELLER. You know, narco trafficking, of course, is the primary source of funding for terrorism in our own hemisphere, but the motivation for many that are involved in production of coca and other activities is economic. They need a job.
Page 71 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC
How important do you feel, and how important does the Administration feel that we maintain a strong partnership with Peru in our efforts not only to fight counternarcotics, but terror when it comes to implementing alternative development, as well as expanded trade as part of our strategy in counterterrorism and counternarcotics?
Mr. CRUMPTON. Sir, I think it is of critical importance. As I noted in my remarks, the efforts of counterterrorism in terms of law enforcement or military, that stops the enemy, that keeps the enemy from killing us and it buys us space and time.
The enduring answers, the enduring solutions, are the very thing that you talk about; providing the rule of law and economic opportunity, and hope for these people, because when you have those kinds of conditions, when you have corruption, and when you have injustice, these are the conditions that the enemy seeks to exploit to their advantage.
Colombia is an example where you have had some excellent progress. Right now you have got more than 10,000 AUC fighters that have disarmed, and they are looking for work. We need to be able to help the Colombians put these former fighters to work and to give them some hope.
Mr. WELLER. Shifting now to the tri-border region, your report indicates that Brazil agreed to fully implement a regional intelligence center in Foz do Iguacu Awasu in mid-2006, with cooperation from neighbors Argentina and Paraguay.
And that these countries have also agreed to joint patrols of Itaipu Lake and waterways, while continuing to work on integrated immigration border controls. Can you report on the status of this cooperative effort?
Page 72 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC
Mr. CRUMPTON. I would say slow progress. We need to do more. We need to help them. Again, it is not only a question of counterterrorism, but it is the larger, more complex issues of transnational crime and corruption.
Mr. WELLER. And I have personally been to the tri-border region to see Ciudaddel Este and Foz do Iguacu, and I was just wondering how do you assess the level of cooperation between those three countries since that tri-border region is a hotbed of activity for Hezbollah and Hamas, and other terrorist activity, fundraising activity?
Mr. CRUMPTON. The cooperation is uneven. We think there is some progress, as reflected in our report. But we need to encourage more, and we need to help them think across the board to get to where they all understand that they need to be.
Mr. WELLER. Which of the three countries could do a better job?
Mr. CRUMPTON. All three of them could.
Mr. WELLER. All three? I realize my time is limited. Shifting to Panama. A quick question. Panama is in the process of creating a second wider lane to its canal. Obviously, it is a center for world trade, as well as transportation, and it is the link between North and Central, and South America.
The report highlights Panama as one country that has made serious efforts toward counterterrorism, and knowing the vital importance of the canal, as well as Panama's geographical location, can you highlight some of the challenges, as well as the accomplishments, that we have seen in our partnership with Panama in counterterrorism?
Page 73 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC
Mr. CRUMPTON. Panama faces several challenges. Where I am encouraged is their increased cooperation with their neighbors in Central America.
I met with the head of the delegations from Panama and all of Central American countries in Bogota a few weeks ago, and the focus was on the need to stop and to constrain terrorist mobility, and because of Panama, and because of where it is situated, and the enormous flow of goods and people through there, just the enormity is probably the biggest challenge looking at the numbers.
I think where we are going to have progress is working with them on border controls, not only the land borders, but the airport, maritime, and this was the focus of our discussion; how we can help all of the Central American countries work together.
Mr. WELLER. Now let me ask one last short question if I could, Mr. Chairman. Your report gives a negative view of Venezuela and their cooperation on terrorism. Later this month, we are to receive here in the Congress from you a list of countries determined not to be fully cooperating with the United States' anti-terrorism efforts, particularly when it comes with the prohibition against arms sales.
And this is seen as a step below the state sponsors of terrorism list. Now, many say it is symbolic, but when do we expect to see that Venezuela will be added to this not fully cooperating list?
Mr. CRUMPTON. That is under consideration. We are reviewing this, and I am not optimistic based on what I have seen from Venezuela that they will change their behavior and move in the right direction.
Page 74 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC
Mr. WELLER. So you expect them to be added to this list?
Mr. CRUMPTON. It is possible, sir. Moreover, I was disappointed by the behavior of Venezuela at the OAS and this Inter-American Committee. I refer you to the declaration that came out of that committee, and the three footnotes that Venezuela took that were not helpful, and I think reflect accurately their attitude toward counterterrorism.
Mr. ROYCE. Thank you, Mr. Crumpton, and thank you, Mr. Weller. I want to thank you two gentlemen for testifying. There are some tough questions, but I would like to be clear that these are issues with the Administration, and your efforts are very much appreciated. So thank you, gentlemen, and again, Ambassador Crumpton, and Mr. Travers, thanks for appearing before this Committee. We stand adjourned.
[Whereupon, at 3:38 p.m., the Subcommittee was adjourned.]