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Homeland Security

American Forces Press Service

Ridge: Global Terrorism Requires Global Response

By Donna Miles
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, Jan. 12, 2005 - Global terrorism requires the strength of a global response, and international cooperation is the only way to confront this threat, Homeland Security Secretary Tom Ridge said today at the Center for Strategic and International Studies here.

The outgoing secretary called the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks against the United States "the opening sally in a new chapter on terrorism" that demonstrated just how far terrorists can and are willing to go in their efforts.

Subsequent attacks in Madrid, Beslan, Bali, Jakarta, Istanbul, Baghdad and elsewhere have hammered home the reality that "what once was the purview of individual nations is now the responsibility of every nation that stands on the side of hope and liberty," Ridge said.

Shortly after the attacks on the World Trade Center and Pentagon and the establishment of the Department of Homeland Security, Ridge said it became clear that "efforts to secure America would not succeed without international cooperation."

He credited the United States' work with the international community for achievements already achieved, including progress in maritime, airport and other security areas.

Continued progress in dismantling the terrorist threat also demands a better understanding of terrorist groups and how they operate, Ridge said. The department's fourth Homeland Security Center of Excellence, to be established at the University of Maryland, will study some of these behavioral and social aspects of terrorism.

"We must work to understand how terrorist groups form, how they operate, what's the motivation, how do they target, how do they grow, how do they sustain themselves," Ridge said.

And he said the United States also must understand what motivates a moderate Muslim to become an extremist and sacrifice everything in the name of terrorism. "If we do not address that cause that fuels this barbaric and merciless movement, then we cannot stop the cycle of young boys and girls who are at this moment being indoctrinated in hate and manipulated into acts of terror," he said.

Until that day comes, Ridge said United States won't waver in its fight against global terrorism. "And by working together across all nations that share a love for liberty," he said, "I'm confident that we will triumph."

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