EXPRESSING SENSE OF THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES ON FIFTH ANNIVERSARY OF TERRORIST ATTACKS LAUNCHED AGAINST THE UNITED STATES ON SEPTEMBER 11, 2001 -- (House of Representatives - September 13, 2006)
Mr. KINGSTON. I thank the gentleman for yielding, and I wanted to say that there have been a lot of steps we have taken since 9/11. Many of these steps have been taken against the Democrat leadership's will. I think it is sad that so soon after 9/11 there seemed to be so much partisan division, and yet there still was some bipartisan unity.
We were able to, for example, increase funding for first responders on homeland security. We were able to pass the PATRIOT Act. We were able to pass the REAL ID Act that revamps the requirements for State identification cards. We passed the Homeland Security Act of 2002, which established the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. And we passed more border security, including physical barriers, more Border Patrol agents, and more state-of-the-art technology. We ended the catch-and-release program. Unfortunately, 164 Democrats voted against it. We passed the Safe Port Act, which enhances our port safety. We did the Intelligence Reform and Terrorism Prevention Act of 2004, which set up a lot of intelligence-gathering information, and part of this was the NSA program on surveillance.
And I want to say this, that I don't want the Federal Government listening to any conversation that I might have or you may have or constituents may have. But if they are suspected terrorists, and they are calling to Baghdad, I kind of want Uncle Sam to know about that.
I was actually shocked to hear that on Monday NANCY PELOSI, the leader of the Democrat Party, said that capturing Osama bin Laden would not make the world more safe. I was appalled that a Member of Congress would say such a thing. But I want you to know that that is a minority opinion. Most Democrats, most Republicans think capturing Osama bin Laden would be a good thing for the world's security and would, in fact, make the world safer. And I am glad that we have these intelligence surveillance programs so that we can close in on him.
I am also glad that we passed the BioShield program to enhance our defense against chemical and biological weapons. We have also passed an Emergency Communications Act that will help us communicate during times of disaster, and a Maritime Security Act.
All of these are done in reaction to 9/11, but also looking to prevent future attacks, and I think we are moving in the right direction. A lot of work has yet to be done, but we have got to stay the fight and we need to be unified.
Mr. Speaker, I submit for the RECORD an Associated Press article regarding events leading up to September 11, and a document entitled ``The Post-9/11 Facts.'
Timeline: Key Events Leading Up to Sept. 11
Chronology of some key events in U.S. relations with Islamic groups and with Usama bin Laden before Sept. 11, 2001:
Feb. 26, 1993--Bomb explodes in garage under World Trade Center, killing six and injuring more than 1,000. Group of Islamic extremists later convicted.
Nov. 13, 1995--Seven people, including five Americans, killed when two bombs explode at U.S.-Saudi military facility in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. Usama bin Laden blamed for attack.
Sept. 27, 1996--Taliban, suspected of giving refuge to bin Laden, completes takeover of Kabul, Afghanistan.
June 25, 1996--Bin Laden followers detonate bomb at U.S. military base near Ohahran, Saudi Arabia, killing 19 American soldiers and wounding hundreds of Americans and Saudi Arabians.
Aug. 7, 1998--U.S. embassies in Nairobi, Kenya, and Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, bombed, killing more than 250 people, including 12 Americans, and injuring 5,000. In retaliation, United States launches airstrikes against suspected terrorist camps in Sudan and Afghanistan.
Aug. 28, 1998--FBI accuses bin Laden of having declared ``jihad,'' or holy war, against United States. Complaint also alleges bin Laden founded Al Qaeda that year to promote Islamic fundamentalism and force non-Muslims out of Muslim countries.
Nov. 4, 1998--Bin Laden charged with ordering embassy bombings.
Oct. 12, 2000--Suicide bombers in Yemen attack U.S. Navy destroyer USS Cole, killing 17 sailors. Officials suspect bin Laden involvement.
Jan. 15, 2001--U.N. imposes new economic sanctions against Taliban for refusing to turn over bin Laden for trial.
The Post 9/11 Facts
Legislative accomplishments since 9/11:
Major Legislation Enacted: the USA PATRIOT Act of 2001 and its 2006 reauthorization; the Homeland Security Act of 2002; the Enhanced Border Security and Visa Entry Reform Act of 2002; the Maritime Transportation Security Act of 2002; and the Intelligence Reform and Terrorism Prevention Act of 2004.
House-passed (109th Congress): the Border Protection, Antiterrorism, and Illegal Immigration Control Act of 2005; the SAFE Port Act of 2006; and the 21st Century Emergency Communications Act of 2006.
Institutional Reforms: creation of the Department of Homeland Security; creation of the Office of the Director of National Intelligence; creation of the National Counterterrorism Center; creation of the Terrorist Screening Center; and creation of the U.S. Northern Command (USNORTHCOM).
Terrorist Surveillance Program, the communications surveillance program used to listen in on international phone calls coming into or out of the United States when one of the parties is a suspected terrorist.
Swift Program, the financial surveillance program used to track the financial transactions of persons suspected of terrorist activities.
Terrorist Detainee Program, intelligence gathered from detainees have yielded crucial information that would have been unobtainable from other sources.
Grants: The Department of Homeland Security has allocated more than $18 billion to states and localities in assistance and direct support for terrorism preparedness since September 11, 2001 through FY 06. Additional billions have been allocated by the Departments of Health and Human Services and Justice.
Al-Qaeda: With the removal of the Taliban, Afghanistan is no longer a safe haven for al-Qaeda and there are no functioning al-Qaeda training camps.
The al-Qaeda network has been significantly degraded since 9/11. Most of those in al-Qaeda responsible for the September 11 attacks have been captured or killed including:
Khalid Shavkh Muhammad, mastermind of the 9/11 attacks.
Ramzi Bin-al-Shibh, a coordinator of the 9/11 attacks.
Ali Abd al-Aziz Ali, nephew of Khalid Shaykh Muhammad and assisted his uncle with various plots including the 9/11 attacks.
Mustafa Ahmed al-Hawsawi, was a communications link between Khalid Shaykh Muhammad and the 9/11 hijackers.
Walid Ba' Attash, assisted with planning of the USS Cole bombing and helped Osama bin Laden select operatives for the 9/11 attacks.
Abu Zubaydah, a senior operative for al-Qaeda.
Hamza Rabia, a key external operations commander for al-Qaeda (killed).
Abu Faraj al-Libi, a key al-Qaeda operational commander (killed).
Majid Khan, helped Khalid Shaykh Muhammad research possible attacks in U.S.
Hambali, mastermind of the 2002 Bali nightclub attack that killed 200.
Lillie, associate of Hambali.
Zubair, associate of senior al-Qaeda operatives.
Abu Faraj al-Libbi, a Libyan subordinate of Osama bin Laden.
Ahmed Khalfam Ghailani, suspect in the 1998 US embassy bombings in Kenya and Tanzania.
Gouled Hassan Dourad, helped support al-Qaeda in Somalia.
Mohammed Atef, al-Qaeda's senior field commander (killed).
Abd al-Rahim al Nashiri, planned and organized bombing of USS Cole.
Abu Issa al-Hindi, planner of reconnaissance of U.S. financial institutions.
Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, operational commander of the terrorist movement in Iraq (killed).
Terror Attacks prior to 9/11:
The U.S. and its interests were attacked by terrorists prior to September 11, 2001: April, 1983, 63 people died at U.S. Embassy in Beirut; October, 1983, 241 died at U.S. Marine barracks in Beirut; February, 1983, six people were killed at the World Trade Center in New York City; June, 1996, 19 American servicemen died in bombing at Khobar Towers in Saudi Arabia; August, 1998, 224 people died at the U.S. embassies in Kenya and Tanzania and October, 2000, 17 people died on the USS Cole in Yemen.
Terror Attacks since 9/11: Bali, 2002, 2005; Madrid, 2004; London, 2005; Egypt, 2004, 2005; Russia, 2004; Jordan, 2005; and India, 2006.
Terror Plots Foiled:
Plan to attack targets on the West Coast of the U.S. using hijacked aircraft in 2002.
Plan to attack targets on the East Coast of the U.S. using hijacked civilian aircraft in 2003.
Plan to blow up apartment buildings in the U.S. in 2002.
Plan to attack urban targets in the United Kingdom using explosives in 2004.
Plan to attack Westerners in Karachi, Pakistan in 2003.
Plan to attack Heathrow Airport using hijacked aircraft in 2003.
Plan to conduct large-scale bombings in the United Kingdom in 2004.
Plan to attack ships in the Arabian Gulf in 2002.
Plan to attack ships in the Straits of Hormuz in 2002.
Plan to attack a U.S. tourist site outside the U.S. in 2003.
Plan to attack Queen Alia Airport in Jordan in 2006.
Plan to attack high-profile buildings in Ontario, Canada in 2006.
Plan to attack an El Al aircraft in 2006.
Plan to blow up civilian aircraft bound for the U.S. over the Atlantic Ocean in 2006.
According to a New York Times/CBS Poll of the Nation and New York City specifically (The New York Times, September 7, 2006):
New York City: 66% of New Yorkers are still `very concerned' about another terrorist attack in New York City; nearly a third of New Yorkers think about September 11 every day; nearly a third of New Yorkers have not yet resumed their normal routines nationally; 75% of Americans said their daily life had largely returned to normal; and 22% of people were still `very concerned' about another terrorist attack.
According to a recent study released by Mount Sinai Medical Center in New York (The New York Times, September 6, 2006), about 70% of a 10,000-person sampling of workers who labored at Ground Zero (excluding NYFD), have developed new or substantially worsened respiratory problems.
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