Jihadist terrorism remains the most pressing threat to our national security today. Al-Qaeda and its affiliated groups throughout the world are committed to our destruction as a nation and to the destabilization of the Middle East in order to create a new Caliphate, or Islamic empire, based on a distorted version of their faith. This is a global threat that must be confronted.
The attacks of September 11th stand as a clear reminder that our enemies bare no hesitation in murdering the innocent. Those assaults while devastating, were not the first of Islamic terrorist attacks on our nation. The bombing of the Marines Corps barracks in Lebanon in 1983, the first World Trade Center attack of 1993, the bombings of our embassies in Tanzania and Kenya in 1998 and the attack on the USS Cole in 2000 all preceded 9/11 and demonstrated the Islamists' intent to bring war to the Western World.
The recent unsuccessful plot at US Military Post Fort Dix and the failed car bombs in central London and at the Glasgow International Airport further prove that Islamic terrorists continue to seek the destruction of the our nation its allies. Equally alarming is that our intelligence community reports Al-Qaeda is expanding its reach and is actively plotting new attacks against our homeland.
There are some who believe that if we simply pull back from our interests and allies in the Middle East and Asia, Islamic terrorism will simply go away. This is a dangerous and incorrect assumption. The radicalism and violence will increase and the war on terror will move from the sands of the Middle East to our native soil, our friends, and interests abroad. Our enemies are constantly on the offensive throughout the world and they must be countered at every turn.
However, this is not a war that will be fought entirely outside of our borders. Because our enemy seeks to attack us at home, the vigilance of our intelligence services, police and even our neighbors is integral to our national security. For that reason, I support efforts in Congress to fully fund new technologies and training programs that will prepare our first responders for new and dangerous threats. I also support the Patriot Act and its legal counterparts, which give our intelligence community and police the tools they need to investigate and quickly act on critical information to prevent a terrorist attack.
The protection of the American people from all threats, foreign and domestic, is the most important responsibility Congress has to uphold. That is why I continue to support the Global War on Terror. It is not a war of our choosing, but it is a war we must win for the security of our country now, and the safety of our children’s futures.