TIME FOR TOUGH ACTION ON TERRORISM--THE UNITED STATES MUST NEVER YIELD TO TERRORIST THREATS -- HON. TOM LANTOS (Extension of Remarks - August 05, 1995)
HON. TOM LANTOS
in the House of Representatives
FRIDAY, AUGUST 4, 1995
- Mr. LANTOS. Mr. Speaker, earlier this week our Government barred the entry into the United States of Musa Mohammed Abu Marzuq, a senior official of the Islamic Palestinian extremist terrorist organization, Hamas. Abu Marzuq is chief of Hamas' political bureau where he is responsible for coordinating international aspects of Hamas' terrorist activities, and in particular, fund raising efforts and the
- training of Hamas' operatives--activities that are critical to Hamas' vicious terrorist campaign against Israel, against those who support Israel, and against Palestinians who do not follow Hamas' violent line. Hamas has viciously opposed the efforts of the PLO to work with Israel in bringing peace and ending violence.
- Mr. Speaker, I welcome the action of our Department of State in barring the entry into our country of Abu Marzuq. I raised this issue earlier this week in a hearing of the International Relations Committee and repeated my concern to the Assistant Secretary of State for Near Eastern Affairs that our Government must move decisively against all those individuals who are involved in terrorist activities of any kind. We have no obligation to admit such individuals who support, encourage, and engage in terrorism. Furthermore, I urge the administration and the courts to comply with the request by the Government of Israel for the extradition to Israel of Abu Marzuq. The Israeli Government has evidence of the involvement of this Hamas leader in terrorist activities, and it would be most appropriate that he be returned to Israel to stand trial in an Israeli court of justice to determine his guilt or innocence of these heinous crimes.
- Mr. Speaker, it is an absolute and unmitigated outrage that the vicious, unprincipled leaders of Hamas have threatened President Clinton and the United States if the extradition of Abu Marzuq is carried out. In a letter published in an Arab-language newspaper in Israel earlier this week, Hamas published an open letter to President Clinton with intolerable and offensive threats: `If your government decides to hand Abu Marzuq to the Israeli authorities, we would consider this a hostile act against all Arabs and Muslims. You will bear the consequences of such an act.' The letter threatened that the extradition would unleash `a wave of anger and retaliation throughout the Arab and Islamic world.' A leader of another militant group, Islamic Jihad, said the United States would `pay dearly' for detaining or extraditing Abu Marzuq.
- The United States must never, under any circumstances, yield to such blatant, mind-boggling terrorist threats. Our foreign policy must be based on principled decisions and respect for the rule of law. Our actions at home and abroad must never be influenced by timidity or trepidation in the face of blatant threats by terrorist thugs. To yield to such treats will only encourage every other international terrorist group to issue an carry out such threats. Our policy must always be to stand up against intimidation.
- Mr. Speaker, the detention of Abu Marzuq only serves to highlight the continuing danger of international terrorists. The Oklahoma City bombing a few months ago highlighted the danger we face from domestic terrorists and anti-Government militias, but we must not let that tragedy and the necessity of dealing with terrorism at home obscure the need to deal with international terrorism.
- I urge my colleagues to move quickly to bring to the floor of the House the Comprehensive Antiterrorism Act, which has been developed with the cooperation and full support of the Department of Justice. If that legislation had been enacted, dealing with the detention of Abu Marzuq and extraditing him to Israel would probably be an easier task.
- Mr. Speaker, there is absolutely no reason for further delay. We have dealt with all kinds of issues in the House of Representatives in recent days, but none have the urgency and immediate importance of taking action to improve the ability of our law enforcement officials to deal with international terrorism. I urge that the Comprehensive Antiterrorism Act be brought to the floor and that we move quickly to improve our ability to deal decisively with the scourge of terrorism, both within our borders and beyond.