Office of the Coordinator for Counterterrorism
July 31, 2012
MR. VENTRELL: Okay. Good afternoon, everyone. We have with us today Ambassador Dan Benjamin, the State Department’s Coordinator for Counterterrorism. He is here today to present our annual report on worldwide terrorism, and without further ado, I’m going to turn it over to him for opening remarks. We’ll then have time for a handful of questions, so Ambassador Benjamin.
AMBASSADOR BENJAMIN: All right. Thanks very much, and thank you all for coming today. Today, the State Department is issuing Country Reports on Terrorism 2011, which fulfills a congressional mandate and also provides us with an opportunity to review counterterrorism events worldwide. Please bear in mind that the report only covers events and developments that occurred during the 2011 calendar year.
Of course, 2011 was an extremely significant year in counterterrorism. Besides the death of Usama bin Ladin and a number of other key al-Qaida operatives, we saw millions of citizens throughout the Middle East advance peaceful public demands for change without any reference to al-Qaida’s incendiary world view. This upended the group’s longstanding claim that change in this region would only come through violence. These men and women have underscored, in the most powerful fashion, the lack of influence al-Qaida exerts over the central political issues in key Muslim-majority nations. MORE