The United States has “unfinished business” in the global fight against terrorism, US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said Friday.
Clinton spoke at the John Jay College of Criminal Justice in New York shortly after officials confirmed the terrorist network Al Qaeda was behind a credible report of a threat to harm New York and Washington D.C. days before the 10 anniversary of the September 11th attacks.
Vice President Joe Biden, in an interview with ABC news Friday, said he and President Barack Obama had been briefed on CIA intelligence developed in the last 48 hours that three men may have entered the country with the intent to launch a vehicle-bomb attack on the homeland.
Clinton said the current terrorist threat was made public in order to activate Americans into a “great network of unity and support” against those who would wreak violence on innocent people. “It is a continuing reminder of the stakes in our struggle against extremism”.
“It is a constant reminder of the stakes in our struggle against violent extremism,” said Clinton of the report.
Clinton said US officials are battling the financial support and undermining recruitment efforts of Al-Qaeda and other terror networks. While Al-Qaeda’s leadership has been devastated, she said the terrorist threat in big cities remains and has become more geographically diverse.
The secretary is creating an entire bureau in the State Department to help other countries’ counterterrorism efforts and announced that the United States and Turkey will serve as co-chairs of a new global forum to help countries battle violent extremism worldwide.
She said the killing of Osama bin Laden “put Al-Qaeda on the path to defeat, ” and the raid on his compound was a “great tribute to the thousands of Americans and other people throughout the world who worked with us”.
Clinton said the media is a major focus for counterterrorism, saying websites are frequently used to recruit terrorists. She promoted global media appearances by US officials who speak Arabic, Dari (Persian), Urdu and many other languages to help explain US views and counter terrorist propaganda to a wider audience.
Clinton also said to prevent allies from becoming breeding grounds for terrorists, the United States will help develop “strong and stable democracies” worldwide, since she feels democracies are better-equipped to battle terrorism than autocracies.