Increasing international terrorist activity has become a growing concern for Americans, and for the American Jewish community in particular, as Jewish communities in other countries have been targeted for attack and the terrorists responsible have links to extremist organizations in the Middle East. In the past year alone, we have witnessed terrorist attacks in Buenos Aires, London, Panama, and Israel; and, of course, the 1993 bombing of the World Trade Center in New York City stands out as the most severe terrorist attack on U.S. soil. These acts, and others of the past two decades clearly illumine the danger that terrorism poses to all in the international community.
The National Jewish Community Relations Advisory Council (NJCRAC) urges the United States, together with other nations, to enhance international cooperative efforts aimed at monitoring the activities of terrorist groups and counteracting terrorist activities. The NJCRAC calls upon the Justice Department to work with international police agencies in an effort aimed at enhancing the coordination of information gathering on and prosecution of terrorists and terrorist groups. Further, we urge the Justice Department to enhance its coordination with state and local law-enforcement authorities in these respects.
The NJCRAC supported important anti-terrorism provisions contained in the Omnibus Crime Bill, passed last August by the 103rd Congress, Those provisions included an outlawing of “material support to terrorists.”
The NJCRAC has welcomed President Clinton’s recent executive order that will block assets in the United States of terrorist organizations that threaten to disrupt the Middle East peace process and prohibit financial transactions with those groups.
However, much more needs to be done. The NJCRAC calls upon the 104th Congress to enact broad anti-terrorist legislation, consistent with constitutional safeguards.
The NJCRAC looks forward to working with the Administration and the Congress in developing a purposeful response to international terrorism.