Edwards to Call for More Counterterrorism

Sep 7, 2007 10:32am

ABC’s Raelyn Johnson reports: In advance  of the 6th anniversary of the September 11th terrorist attacks, John Edwards will travel to New York City to say that the U.S. is further away from ridding the planet of terrorism than we were six years ago.

“Today, terrorism is worse in Iraq, and it’s worse around the world,” Edwards will say today in a counterterrorism speech given in New York City.  Edwards will appear with 9-11 widow and activist Kristen Breitweiser, a short distance away from ground zero, at Pace University.

Speaking to the recent German terrorist plot where three Islamic militants were arrested for planning massive attacks on America targets, Edwards suggests that the US needs to extend the kind of operations between German and American intelligence that ultimately foiled that plot.

“We saw the promise of a new multilateral approach just a couple of days ago in Germany,” says Edwards.  “We must be able to coordinate similar operations throughout the world — in the Middle East, Asia, Africa, and anywhere terrorists would attack.”

The center of Edwards’ speech is focused on a new international counterterrorism organization that he says he would create as president, called the Counterterrorism and Intelligence Treaty Organization.  “Every nation has an interest in shutting down terrorism.  CITO will create connections between a wide range of nations on terrorism and intelligence, including countries on all continents.”  Essentially, Edwards’ policy calls for members to voluntarily share financial, police, customs and immigration intelligence.

In recent weeks Edwards has sought to up his anti-war rhetoric given recent reports on Iraq from the GAO office and and the upcoming report to Congress from Gen. David Petraeus, commander of U.S. forces in Iraq.  Today, his speech happens to comes as reports of a new Osama Bin Laden tape has emerged in the last 24 hours.

“We need a counterterrorism policy that will actually counter terrorism. That matches 21st century threats with 21st century tactics. That replaces Cold War thinking designed to defeat a single, implacable enemy with new world thinking that can defeat a multi-national, diverse, and often hidden foe.”

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