Updates on the Terrorist Plot Thwarted in the U.K

Transcript of Press Conference: British Home Sec. John Reid & Transportation Sec. Douglas Alexander

In-depth Report:




Federal News Service August 11, 2006 Friday

Global Research Editor’s Note: Who is in charge in the absence of the Prime minister and the Deputy Prime minister? Why are both of them absent? Read Carefully. Emphasis added.

SEC. REID: Good morning, ladies and gentlemen. I’m sorry we had a slight delay this morning. Douglas and I would just like to give you an update on the basis of what has been happening.

Obviously public safety remains the prime focus of all of our government effort, and our task is to disrupt any life-threatening activity and to bring alleged terrorists to justice.

At the same time, we have a duty to put in place measures to enable people to travel in safety. And to this end, the Transport secretary and I will be meeting with the National Aviation Security Committee, which brings together senior representatives of the aviation industry, later today. And Douglas Alexander will cover details of that later on.

I should make absolutely plain that this is not an operational briefing from the police. That is their job. There are those whose job it is to commentate and speculate on matters such as these. That is not my job, and I don’t intend to do that today. As I explained yesterday, there are both ongoing operations and there are potential judicial proceedings. So there is fine judgment about how much we can put into the public domain in order to share that information, but curtailing it, so that we don’t in any way impinge upon or undermine operational procedures or any future judicial proceedings.

However, I can tell you that 24 people have been arrested and are currently in custody. As I said yesterday and I repeat today, we think that the main suspects are in custody, but we always err on the side of caution. Again, I said yesterday that we can never be certain, and therefore we want to be sure that alongside the operational interventions we made, we maintain a very high level of vigilance and the necessary restrictions in the aviation sector.

Neither the police or the government are in any way complacent. This is an ongoing operation, and so the Joint Terrorism and Analysis Center, JTAC, has advised that the threat level should remain at critical as a precautionary measure, in order to protect the public.

The Bank of England has also frozen the assets of 19 of the 24 individuals.

One word, perhaps, on the dimensions of a plot, an alleged plot, such as this, and our response. The international nature of plots such as these requires and always requires intensive collaboration.

This was an operation conducted largely in the United Kingdom and driven from here, but of course, like many other such operations, it has an international dimension. We are very grateful for all the help and cooperation we have received from our international partners, including Pakistan, and I would like to thank them for the assistance which they have given us.

Obviously, there are strong and existing links on all levels, political, intelligence, security, transport and so on to tactical such international problems. On the political level, I have had conversations with several European colleagues, and I know Douglas has had similar conversations. And I hope in the next few days to be able to meet with my EU partners to discuss matters of mutual interest.

Yesterday, I chaired the further Cobra meeting in the afternoon, and I will chair another one later today. Let me make absolutely plain that it is the normal and conventional procedure for the lead department minister to chair such meetings. In this case, as in many cases in the past, it is the home secretary. It is also the case that on occasions in the past not only the deputy prime minister, but the prime minister have attended Cobra meetings chaired by the home secretary. There is absolutely nothing unusual in that whatsoever. Nevertheless, both the prime minister and the deputy prime minister remain fully briefed and fully involved throughout, and the deputy prime minister in particular is leading up in the process of bringing our communities together as part of our common purpose and common effort.

I would like to once again pay tribute to the work of the agencies involved in this operation and for the dedication and resilience as this progresses. I think it is now important to give them the space and the time to complete their investigations to ensure that justice is served. I would obviously also like to thank the British public and in particular the airport and airline staff who have reacted stoically in the face of adversity and disruption to transport network.

Before I hand over to the Transport secretary on that subject — and Douglas will give further detail of this afternoon’s meetings — I would like to make just one final point.

More than ever, we need to draw on the tolerance and resilience of all parts of our community in the days ahead. This is a common threat to all of us, and we should respond, all of us, with a common purpose and common solidarity. This is in the nature of the British people, and that solidarity and common cause is, I believe now, our most precious asset, and we should foster it in all sections of our community.


SEC. ALEXANDER: Thank you, John.

Yesterday was an extraordinary and difficult day, not just for the aviation industry, but for the traveling public of the United Kingdom, and I want to begin my remarks this morning with a word of heartfelt thanks.

Standing firm in the face of terrorism involves us all. Sometimes, as in yesterday, it means staying calm at the end of a very long check-in queue. The forbearance that has been shown and continues to be shown today by the traveling public demonstrates that the worst instincts of a tiny minority has brought forth the best instincts of the vast majority.

Our continuing efforts now is to work with the airlines, the airports, police and passengers so that we can all travel safely and swiftly. I can report that the situation at our airports remains difficult, but is getting better. But the scale of the challenge means that it will take time to continue the process of recovery that is now under way.

As I left my department to attend this briefing, the reports I was receiving indicated that there are more flights and fewer delays than yesterday, and already the situation is better than the most optimistic forecasts I was receiving late into the evening yesterday.

Birmingham Airport, to take one example, reports that it is very much like a normal day, with 80 percent of flights being on time, and the remaining 20 percent incurring delays of generally not more than 20 minutes.

Heathrow — my understanding is that all but a few long-haul services and 60 to 70 percent of short-haul services are now operating, although of course very considerable delays remain.

At Gatwick, all but a few long-haul and short-haul services are now operating again.

Passengers, as I said, are responding well to the new arrangements in what I fully understand remain very difficult and deeply frustrating circumstances. And the industry has worked well to adapt to new arrangements in dealing with the situation.

Public safety, of course, remains the prime focus of all of our efforts. I had extensive contacts yesterday at all levels with the airlines, airport operators and the unions, updating them during the course of the day and hearing first-hand the challenges that they were seeking to address to get passengers and planes moving. This activity continues today and will continue in the days ahead. I have already spoken several times today to BAA to receive updates on the emerging situation and to get a report on the current state of play.

My key priority will be to work with the industry focusing on addressing the challenges faced by them in the current environment and in the days and weeks to come. That is why I have convened a working meeting today of the National Aviation Security Committee, bringing together key industry representatives, including airport operators, airline owners, and the government. This will be an opportunity for the deputy prime minister, the Home secretary and I to update the industry, hear more about the situation at the airports across the country, and begin to discuss a way forward in the days and weeks ahead.

I want to send out a strong message that public safety remains at the forefront of all that we do. The heightened level of security will last only as long as the situation demands, and is kept under constant review. It is essential that we strike the right balance that enables us to make the journeys we want to and need to make, and is commensurate with that public priority of public safety. One of the key aims of today’s meeting with the industry will be to look at how we can continue to keep ahead of the game. The changing nature of the threat, we do need to look at, and we will, of course, continue to address that in the work that takes forward from today’s meeting. I will, in the course of that meeting, be discussing, and will continue to discuss, the shared resolve we have with the British aviation industry to rise to that challenge so that we can make sure that the people of Britain and the planes leaving British airports continue to move.

Thank you.

SEC. REID: Thank you very much, Douglas.

As I said at the beginning, we ask for your forbearance both in the questions you’re asking us and also in what you’re reporting, in order that we can balance properly the output of information with avoiding any content or undermining of judicial process.

So let us just fire away.

Q (Name and affiliation inaudible.) I’m sure you’ve been listening, as we all have, to the sort of varied response to these arrests from the Islamic community. What do you say to those sections of the Muslim community who are, frankly, suspicious of the timing of the operation and, quite frankly, seem to see this as part of the victimization of the Muslim community in this country?

SEC. REID: The threat from terrorism is a threat to every individual and every section of British society. The terrorists and attempts to massacre innocent people do not distinguish between people on the age of sex, social background, age, religion or ethnic origin. It is an absolutely common threat to all of us and the only response that we should give if we want to defeat this is a common response from all sections of our community.

The question of specific timing on this specific case, I’m not going to comment on other than to say that there are always difficult issues of judging the right time to intervene when it is suspected that the lives of many of our citizens ought to be at risk. To go in too early in an operation is to lose the possibility of maximum evidence collection or to intervene before we think we have all the main suspects. To go in too late, obviously, be a very hazardous thing indeed for the lives of many people involved.

Q Can I just follow up very briefly, sir, on that, if I may? Well, the point I’m trying to make is that do you accept there is a gulf in trust between some sections of the Muslim community and this government, and these are the very people that you need to be working with and not against?

SEC. REID: I have made my plain — my answer absolutely plain in this. The threat from terrorism is a threat to take the life and limb of the people who are in this country in the most awful way, irrespective of what religion or what ethnic background they have. And the only response from the people of this country is to make common cause and common partners against the terrorists, and I believe that it is the desire and the wish of the vast majority of British citizens.

I have no doubt of that at all.

Q Jim Friend (sp), Channel 5 News. Home Secretary, I realize you said you didn’t want to compromise the judicial process, but these men have now been named on an official Bank of England website. You and the police have both said we now — we believe and we’re certain we have the main suspects. Isn’t there a risk that the conventions of British justice are being redrawn? Some might even say that they are being compromised already.

SEC. REID: I’ve never used the “certain.” What I said yesterday, I repeat again today, that the police and the security service believe that we have the main suspects. And we balance that all the time by saying this is an ongoing operation. There is no 100 percent certainty with these things. And we will continue to maintain our vigilance at the highest level, and we will continue to pursue any avenues or evidence that comes before us.

As far as the freezing of assets is concerned, the Treasury have informed us that this is a normal procedure. When people’s assets are frozen, the names are published, and this is, the Treasury tell us, is part of the obligation of ensuring that people can’t deal with such individuals in the transfer of assets.

Q Andrew Forse (sp) from The Sun. Home Secretary, you mentioned — (off mike) — helped in this operation, you specifically mentioned Pakistan. Can you expand on what their involvement might have been, and whether anything over there triggered yesterday’s events?

SEC. REID: Now, you’ll understand, I’m not going to go into detail. But I think I’ve gone as far as I can in explaining that in general terms international terrorism is an international phenomena. It therefore requires a degree of international connection, coordination and mutual exchange of information across a whole range of intelligence, policing, security, as well as political and military avenues.

And this was an operation which was driven from here in the United Kingdom, which was conducted largely here in the United Kingdom, but it did have an international dimension, and part of that international dimension was support for efforts by Pakistan.

And I would just like to say publicly that we are very grateful for the support that we were given.

SEC. ALEXANDER: I mean, the threat that we face is transnational, and so too must be the response. As the Home secretary has indicated, it is vital that we continue to work with international partners to address what is an international threat.

SEC. REID: And there will be other dimensions of this international effort, apart from the intelligence and security side as well. Douglas will be speaking — and indeed, is already speaking to the presidency of the European and others as to how to carry forward information exchange, common effort in terms of transport and security. And I have been doing the same with our European counterparts in the last few days.

But I make the point that this was an operation largely driven and conducted in the United Kingdom.

SEC. ALEXANDER: I think it’s also important to emphasize that that’s not a feature of simply this operation, but an ongoing part of the work of government. We have an R&D program within the Department of Transport related to security measures at airports. It is absolutely commonplace, indeed, standard practice, that we are sharing the research and development that we undertake on security measures at airports with partners like the United States.

Q Mr. Reid — (name inaudible) — from Channel 4 News. This conspiracy, like other conspiracies, the main cause, it seems to me, is the radicalization and extremism of those involved. We hear reports of a video having been found. We also hear reports about influences, and so on. Mr. Clarke yesterday mentioned about surveillance of aspirations, and so on. But we hear nothing about what the government is doing about radicalization and extremism here.

SEC. REID: We have been very actively engaged in discussing with members of the Muslim community some of the threats, the common threats to all of us. For instance, over last summer, my predecessor and several of the ministers in the Home Office, with other ministers, were engaged actively in visiting communities, largely Muslim communities, throughout the United Kingdom. That is already planned for this summer, and was before any of these instances grew up, including my own minister, Tony McNulty (sp), and myself will be engaged in this.

We developed, as part of the 12-point plan the prime minister outlined in the week of 7/7, nine of those areas have been acted upon and done, two have been decided against, and one is outstanding. So there has been action in that area as well.

And where it is required, we have taken the necessary action to identify or deport those who are not working in a sense of bringing together and fostering common cause in this country but are trying to stir up hatreds between the communities.

And I note, for instance, that 36 foreign nationals have been excluded since last August on the grounds of unacceptable behavior, and five cases are, at the moment, under consideration for deportation on new grounds. So both in terms of constructive engagement and dialogue with all sections of our community, and identifying and removing those who are trying to create discord between communities or among British citizens, we are quite actively engaged.


Q Libby Wiener, ITV News. Home Secretary, most people, I think, round the country have been truly shocked by the scale of this plot. How would you describe the threat facing Britain today? Are we in a situation of a national emergency? And if so, who is actually in charge? Is it you?

SEC. REID: As far as the scale of the threat of international terrorism, it is an immense threat to this country. And I said some days ago that the struggle to combat international terrorism at home and abroad will be one that is long and wide and deep. It will require our security services and our police to be ever vigilant, to be financed and resourced so that they can meet that. But while that will be a necessary condition of combatting international terrorism, it is not a sufficient condition to meet it. This has to be fought both at home and abroad by addressing the political questions, which are sometimes used as an excuse to fuel it; social conditions, here and on the world stage; aid, trade, diplomacy, finance and every other means at our disposal, to address the underlying excuses or sometimes the causes, as well as the effect of international terrorism itself.

So it is a long and wide and deep struggle in which we are engaged, and it will only ultimately won — be won by the common purpose of all sections of our community.

Q But are you in charge of the battle at the moment?

SEC. REID: The person who’s in charge in the absence of the prime minister is deputy prime minister, and under him, I am the minister charged with the security apparatus and the security effort. I have been engaged in speaking to both the prime minister and the deputy prime minister as well as my colleagues in the past couple of days, and indeed, as you would expect, I discussed matters with the deputy prime minister this morning again. He’s playing a particular role in this, but this is absolutely the same conventional arrangements that always apply in such circumstances, and that is that the home secretary is charged with the security of the country reporting in this case to the deputy prime minister and the prime minister.


Q Lisa Shepherd (sp) —

Q (Off mike) — Telegraph.

SEC. REID: Hold on. Hold on. (Inaudible.)

Q Lisa Shepherd (sp), BBC News. We’ve heard that you’ve come to an arrangement with the prime minister that you will stay in the country as long as he is away. Does that not indicate that in fact that it’s you that’s in charge of the government at the moment?

SEC. REID: I didn’t make my polity arrangements on any other basis than I do any other year. The only thing that is true is firstly that the home secretary’s charged with security matters. That is part of my responsibility. And secondly, that when the prime minister left and indeed when the Transport secretary was sitting on the island of Mull, we had no idea that we would take action imminently. This is something that we have been looking at for a fairly long period of time, but it was only in the last few days when it became obvious, indeed in the last 24 hours, when it became obvious that we had to take action imminently.

Q Home Secretary, a prominent Muslim — (name inaudible) — BBC Television. A prominent Muslim MP was on the radio this morning saying that perhaps that Muslim leaders ought to be doing more to combat the radicalization —

SEC. REID: Who was this?

Q I think it was Mr. — (off mike) — from — (off mike) —

SEC. REID: Yeah.

Q — suggesting that Muslim leaders on the ground should be doing more to combat the radicalization of the Muslims. Would you concur with that?

SEC. REID: I think all of us, all of us from every community, should have a common purpose in combatting those who in word or deed would be encouraging any form of terrorism. The dividing line is not between one religion and another or one civilization and another.

It is between the evil of terrorism and all civilized behavior, and in this country, everyone should adhere — and I think the vast majority of people do adhere — to the values which we espouse, which are tolerance of each other in our religious, cultural, ethnic and social views and a common commitment to resolving problems through democratic discussion and dialogue.

Now, those are two of the very fundamental British values, and I think they are subscribed to by the whole community. And if they are, we have a common enemy and those who would destroy that democracy, that freedom and that tolerance.

Q But is there a responsibility from Muslim leaders on the ground to actually confront some of these —

SEC. REID: I think I’ve answered that by saying there’s a responsibility on all of us — all of us — to make sure we maximize the common purpose, common cause and common solidarity against those who would destroy the very values on which British society terms, democracy and freedom, are based. And that is something which, I think, everyone subscribes to, Nicholas.

SEC. ALEXANDER: The whole government understands the terrorists’ agenda is to divide communities against communities and to perpetuate and develop a sense of alienation and division.

Our understanding is fundamentally different, which is that what unites us with our fellow citizens is far more important, our common humanity, than that which divides us.

It is a profound philosophical difference with the terrorists, who believe that what divides us is more significant than what unites us, and in that sense certainly the government has a responsibility, but so, too, do your viewers. Indeed, every citizen of the United Kingdom has a responsibility in addressing this common challenge and rising to this common challenge together.

SEC. REID: Okay, we will — (inaudible) —

Q (Name inaudible) — with the Times.

SEC. REID: I better not alienate the Telegraph from our common cause.

Q (Dale Evans ?), Secretary, from the Telegraph.

SEC. REID: And then I’ll come to the Times.

Q Can I just ask you to clarify one of your earlier answers? And can I ask you a question? First of all, can you just — when you say that the operation was largely driven and conducted in the U.K., are you referring there to the police/security operation or the plot? And my question is, can you say whether the police informed you as to whether they’ve discovered any materials which would amount to explosive components?

SEC. REID: Well, on both operational aspects of those questions, ask the police on that.

What I meant was generally to say that there is an international dimension to most of our efforts to combat international terrorism, by definition. But that most of the work was driven and conducted here in the United Kingdom in addressing this particular area, this particular alleged plot. Beyond that, I’m not going to go. That’s a matter for the police.


Q Yes, this is to Mr. Alexander. It’s a two-part question. You’ve praised the —

SEC. REID: Why don’t we try and keep to one?

Q They come into each other. You’ve praised the traveling public for their attitude yesterday. But a lot of travelers are extremely angry at the way the airlines operated — websites went down, phones could not be engaged, people were left for hours in misery and no idea where they were going or whether they could go, despite the fact that emergency procedures must have been in place for a very long time before this operation came to fruition.

And the second part of the question is, what are you going to do now about the security of getting on an aircraft?

Are the restrictions which were announced yesterday going to be permanent? Because they will have a big effect on people.

SEC. REID: Douglas?

SEC. ALEXANDER: Well, let me address your first question, and then I’ll come on to your second, linked question.

It is inherent in the nature of the operation that was conducted yesterday that — rather like the balance of which the home secretary spoke, saying there needed to be the capacity to gather evidence and, on the other hand, retain foremost in our minds a recognition that the security of the British public was key — similarly, we face the challenge in the Department of Transport, which is, of course, as early as is possible, sharing the operational information with both the airlines and the airports, but on the other hand not prejudicing what was an ongoing police operation at that time.

Now, I’m afraid, notwithstanding the best efforts of the government, the airlines, the airport operators, we simply could not prejudice what was a live operation, which continues being taken forward by the police and others within the United Kingdom, by sharing at an earlier stage information which it was necessary to get to the airports.

So I do fully appreciate the deep frustration and misery that people will have felt yesterday when family holidays got cancelled, when people found themselves at airports for many, many hours unexpectedly. But I can assure you the efforts, not just on behalf of the government but significantly on the part of the airlines and the airport operators, was far beyond any contractual obligation. There was a genuine commitment and endeavor to try and ameliorate what was necessarily and inevitably a very difficult operational challenge faced at the U.K.’s airports.

On the second point that you’ve made, my department will in due course issue a new set of security requirements for U.K. airports. That will be based on an assessment of the threat, of course; also on the science and the technology, but also — and this is key — on an operational understanding of an airport environment. We need to be able to come up with a regime which not only addresses the threat and reflects the nature of that threat, which not only encompasses the science and technology, but is capable of functioning in an environment as pressurized and busy as somewhere like London’s Heathrow.

Q But do you have any proposals you are going to put to the committee — (off mike)?

SEC. ALEXANDER: Well, you’ll appreciate the immediate and pressing requirement, as of 2:30 yesterday morning, was to make sure that the difficulty encountered at the U.K.’s airport was minimized. Of course, alongside that immediate challenge, I and my officials have been working and are already discussing with the industry, when we move beyond the immediate level of threat that has been experienced to date, what the nature of that regime would be.

But I can’t prejudge those conversations. Indeed, it will be one of the subjects of discussion which, with the deputy prime minister and Home secretary, I will discuss with the Aviation secretary at the National Aviation Security Committee meeting this afternoon.

(Cross talk.)

SEC. REID: Yeah. Let’s just let somebody else in.

Yeah. Okay, you’ve been waiting a while.

Q (Name inaudible) — Evening Standard. Are you able to say at all, there have been suggestions in the U.S. that five people are being sought still, whether — are you able to say anything about that, and what numbers might be critical players that are still being sought, and also, whether the ongoing operation is designed to thwart a potential Plan B of any sort that’s already been —

SEC. REID: I’m not going to comment on specific numbers. I will repeat what I said yesterday, because I chose my words quite carefully yesterday. I said that we think — that is, the police, the security service think — that we have apprehended the main suspects. But this is an ongoing operation. We are not in the least bit complacent. We will go where any further evidence takes us. We will take whatever further action is necessary. We will apprehend anyone else who appears to be linked or connected to this. We will maintain the highest state of vigilance at our airports, and we will continue with this operation.

And I’m not going to go beyond that, other than to say this is very much still an ongoing operation.

Q Home Secretary, can I — (name and affiliation inaudible). Can I pick up on a phrase that both you and the president of the U.S. have used in the last couple of days, which is liking the threat to fascists? I think you talked about fascist individuals in your Demos speech. And the president talked about the U.S. being under attack from fascist Islamists. When most people think of fascists, they think of Nazi Germany. Could you just expand a bit on the similarities you see between the people who are attacking us and Nazis, or fascists, as most people would think of them?

SEC. REID: Well, I’m not going to comment on anything about the present operations. But I think I’ve already said earlier on that the vast majority of British people, I believe, value very much the central values which act as the cement for our society, and they are toleration of others, they are freedom of expression and discussion, they are resolution of problems by democratic dialogue and they are the balance within our communities of rights and responsibilities.

I think that those who would seek to impose upon either us or anyone else dictatorial denial of basic freedoms, democracy and discussion pretty well fit the category which you referred to earlier.

Q (Name inaudible) — from the — (affiliation inaudible). You talked about the potential for other suspects to be out there and the possibility of, as my colleagues understand, there’s sort of a plan B. Can the British public really feel safe today at airports and other transport hubs? How can we be sure that there’s not someone out there with the potential to reek havoc?

SEC. REID: We can be sure there are people out there in the wider world as well as here who do want to reek havoc. The incidents of international terrorism is very much alive, and the struggle to defeat it will, as I have said already, be wide and deep and very long. So I don’t think Douglas or I have ever said to anybody that we can give 100 percent guarantee that terrorists will never get through. What we have said —

Q (Off mike) — I mean, why are the airports still open —

SEC. REID: Sorry?

Q — if there’s someone with the capacity as well as the desire?

SEC. REID: Because the purpose of terrorists is to terrorize; it is to bring to a halt and to deny us the very freedoms in which British society is based. And therefore, we have to do two things. One is to remain vigilant at the highest level of vigilance, preparation and the pursuit of those who would destroy our British freedoms, but at the same time, so far as is possible, to maintain business as usual in this country, which is precisely what the vast majority of people are to their eternal credit trying to do.

SEC. ALEXANDER: But let me also make absolutely clear that if we did not believe aircraft were safe, we would not let them fly. We have tried, tested in rigorous procedures, which we keep under constant review, to ensure the safety of the British traveling public, and as evidenced by the steps that we took in the wee small hours of yesterday morning, we do keep these measures under review, and we will take whatever steps are necessary to be able to assess the threat and respond to the threat in terms of the measures that we take.

SEC. REID: Okay. I’m going to take one more here, and then —

Q Joe Nelson (sp), Sky News.

You talked about a motivation for this being an attempt to deny us our basic freedoms. George Bush yesterday spoke about this envy of Americans’ love of freedom. Do you not think the actions may be warped, but the motivation might be something to do with world politics and a perception, perhaps, that Britain and America, who targeted, it would appear — (inaudible) — anger over the situation in the Middle East and what’s been happening elsewhere?

SEC. REID: Whatever the discordant motivations of people, the attempt to resolve problems by terrorism is doomed to failure. But it can bring enormous damage and enormous harm to millions of people, not least, not least to Muslims who are being massacred by terrorism as we speak, in Baghdad, in Kabul, and Basra, and elsewhere. That is the nature of this international terrorism, it ends up by murdering innocent civilians, women and children included, many of whom are Muslims.

So whatever it is claimed as justification for these acts of terrorism, they are not justified on any grounds.

In combatting international terror, however, it is not sufficient just to use military means or a security apparatus. That is a necessary condition of combatting it, but it isn’t sufficient. And that is why in addressing problems of impoverishment, of perceived injustice, of political problems left unresolved, that the British government has been so active. Tony Blair and Gordon Brown at the G-8 in terms of addressing problems of the aid and trade, and lack of education, impoverishment, and so on, this is all part of a seamless web of trying to address the many-faceted elements of world problems, which is necessary, ultimately, if we’re going to defeat terrorism. So it is a complex phenomena which requires a complex response. But one thing is certain, there is no justification for the massacre of innocent men, women and children. It is not on any grounds justified by — (word inaudible).

I think we’ll leave it there. Thank you very much indeed for coming today.

SEC. ALEXANDER: Thank you.

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