President Bush has expressed solidarity with Britain after Thursday's deadly bombings in London, and renewed resolve to aggressively and unflinchingly prosecute the war on terrorism.
|President Bush speaking at the FBI's main training center |
Speaking at the FBI's main training center on a military facility near Washington, President Bush offered condolences to the families touched by last week's terrorist attacks. "Americans know what it is like to be attacked on our own soil. Our hearts go out to the many innocent people in London who suffered terrible injuries. And we pray for the families mourning the loss of loved ones. In this difficult hour, the people of Great Britain can know the American people stand with you," he said.
Mr. Bush described the bombings as an attack on the civilized world, and said they serve as a poignant and urgent reminder of why terrorists must be rooted out. "These attacks were barbaric. And they provide a clear window into the evil we face. We do not know who committed the attacks in London, but we do know that terrorists celebrate the suffering of the innocent. We do know that terrorists murder in the name of a totalitarian ideology that hates freedom, rejects tolerance, and despises all dissent," he said.
The president said the London attacks show that there can be no guarantees in preventing terrorism. He detailed security measures undertaken in the United States since the attacks of September 11, 2001, as well as efforts to reform and improve America's intelligence capability.
Mr. Bush also called for renewal of measures that enhance the ability of U.S. authorities to collect information and detain potential terrorist suspects. Some key measures, known collectively as the Patriot Act, are due to expire at the end of the year.
The act has been controversial because some groups say it curtails civil rights.
Above all, President Bush said the United States will continue to confront terrorists abroad while working to promote democracy and freedom in the Middle East and beyond. Mr. Bush said progress is being made in Iraq. He said a democratic and free Iraq will serve as a shining example for the rest of the region - and a severe blow to the terrorists. "There will be tough fighting ahead. There will be difficult moments along the path to victory. The terrorists know they cannot defeat us on the battlefield. They only way the terrorists can win is if we lose our nerve. That is not going to happen on my watch," he said.
Aside from the recent carnage in London, violence in Iraq has claimed more than 50 lives during the past two days.