Mr. LAUTENBERG. Mr. President, on March 5, 1993, I delivered remarks on the bombing of the World Trade Center in New York and the threat international terrorism poses to Americans. As part of my statement, I asked unanimous consent that a letter to Secretary of State Christopher be printed in the Record. The letter laid out a series of recommendations for the State Department for including HAMAS and other violent Islamic fundamentalist organizations in its annual report on terrorism.
Unfortunately, a page of that letter, signed by many of my colleagues, was inadvertently deleted. I now ask unanimous consent that a complete version of the letter to Secretary Christopher be printed in the Record.
I also ask unanimous consent that the State Department's response to the letter be included in the Record. The State Department responded by saying that:
Violent activities of HAMAS during 1992 will be included within the report in the context of the annual report on international terrorism and as a part of our report on the violence of the Intifada which is increasingly associated with HAMAS.
I commend the State Department for this action.
There being no objection, the material was ordered to be printed in the Record, as follows:
U.S. Department of State,
Washington, DC, March 12, 1993.
Hon. Frank R. Lautenberg,
Dear Senator Lautenberg: Thank you for the letter from you and your colleagues to the Secretary urging the inclusion of information on HAMAS in the Department's annual report, Patterns of Global Terrorism, to be published in April 1993. I have been asked to respond on the Secretary's behalf.
I want to assure you that evident activities of HAMAS during 1992 will be included within the report in the context of the annual report on international terrorism and as part of our report on the violence of the Intifada which is increasingly associated with HAMAS.
With regard to fund raising activities in the United States, the Department's report deals with international terrorism as the Justice Department has the responsibility for countering terrorist activities inside the United States. The report will describe, to the extent that can be done in an unclassified publication, the support HAMAS and other fundamentalist groups engaging in terrorism violence overseas receive from government and non-government sources in the Middle East. As you know, HAMAS has emerged only relatively recently as a group involved in terrorism.
We appreciate your words of support for our counter-terrorism policy, including for our continuing efforts to discourage other countries from directly or indirectly providing support to terrorist groups.
With best wishes,
ROBERT A. BRADTKE,
Acting Assistant Secretary,
Washington, DC, February 26, 1993.
Hon. Warren Christopher,
Secretary of State, Department of State, Washington, DC.
Dear Secretary Christopher: Enclosed is a letter I have circulated in the Senate expressing support for your reported decision to include the activities of Hamas in the State Department's annual report on terrorist organizations.
The letter also urges the State Department to include the activities of other violent Islamic fundamentalist organizations in the Middle East and recommends that the report address a number of specific issues.
I hope the State Department's report will respond to the issues we have addressed in this letter. I look forward to working with you in the future on this and other issues of mutual interest.
Frank R. Lautenberg.
Washington, DC, February 25, 1993.
Hon. Warren Christopher,
Secretary of State, Department of State, Washington, DC.
Dear Secretary Christopher: We are writing to express our support for your reported decision to include the activities of Hamas in the State Department's annual report on terrorist organizations. We also believe the State Department report should include the activities of other extremist Islamic fundamentalist groups, also supported by Iran, which use violent tactics and have increased in strength in the Middle East in the last year.
It is important to obtain a better understanding of Hamas, which opposes the Middle East peace process, and other violent Islamic fundamentalist groups, which are destabilizing forces in the region. When the report is issued in April we believe it should address a number of important issues.
First, in light of recent news reports that fund-raising for Hamas may be taking place in the United States, we believe the report should include a thorough review of the organization's activities and operations--including fund-raising--in the United States. Such review should be carried out by the appropriate domestic law enforcement agencies.
Second, we believe the report should include information on the level of financial assistance and other support Hamas and other violent Islamic fundamentalist organizations receive from foreign governments, particularly Iran.
Third, we believe the report should include information on the level of assistance and support provided to Hamas and other violent Islamic fundamentalist organizations by non-governmental organizations and individuals in foreign countries, such as Jordan, Iran, Syria, Saudi Arabia, and Sudan.
Fourth, we believe the report should include an analysis of the location of the command and control of Hamas and other violent fundamentalist Islamic organizations, and an overview of military and training operations both inside Israel and elsewhere in the Middle East.
Finally, we would appreciate receiving supplementary reports on Hamas and other violent Islamic fundamentalist organizations. It is important for the Congress and the public to have a fuller understanding of these newly emerging groups which support violence and terrorism.
The militant Islamic Hamas, which supports violent tactics, is a dangerously destabilizing force in the Middle East. It is clear that this group rejects the peace process and supports violence. The Hamas covenant reads `. . .There is no solution to the Palestinian problem except by Jihad. The initiatives, proposals, and International Conferences are but a waste of time, an exercise in futility.'
Additionally, the group is irrevocably opposed to Israel's existence. Numerous Israelis have been brutally killed by Hamas terrorists and the group claims responsibility for the recent kidnapping and murder of Moshe Toledano, a civilian border patrolman. When Hamas recently took responsibility for the brutal killing of two Israeli soldiers, Hamas issued a statement saying `. . . Hamas and its armed wing `Izz-al-din al-Qassam will continue to wage a merciless war until the total liberation of all the land of Palestine'.
Israel is not the only country that is threatened by the increasing support from militant Islamic fundamentalist groups similar to Hamas which use terrorist tactics. Violent fundamentalist Islamic organizations are a destabilizing force throughout the Middle East. In the last year, these groups have grown in strength in the region, particularly in Egypt, Algeria, and Tunisia. Like Hamas, these groups are supported by Iran, are committed to overthrowing governments across the region, and raise the specter of destabilization in the region.
We believe that including Hamas and similar Islamic fundamentalist groups that use violent tactics in the annual report on terrorist organizations is a useful step which will provide a greater understanding of the problems these groups pose in the Middle East. Ultimately, other governments and their citizens must be discouraged from providing financial support for organizations which foster terrorist activities. We encourage you to work toward that end. The United States and the international community must be vigilant in efforts to rid the world of terrorism.
We look forward to working with you on this vital matter, and appreciate your attention to this request.
Charles E. Grassley, Edward M. Kennedy, John D. Rockefeller, Conrad Burns, Alfonse D'Amato, Larry Pressler, Slade Gorton, Arlen Specter, Phil Gramm, Frank R. Lautenberg, Christopher Dodd, Paul Simon, Herb Kohl, Patty Murray, Russell Feingold, Dale Bumpers, Daniel Inouye, Tom Harkin.
Connie Mack, Bob Smith, Malcolm Wallop, Dan Coats, Don Nickles, Bob Packwood, Jesse Helms, Orrin Hatch, Ernest Hollings, Kent Conrad, Dennis DeConcini, Barbara Mikulski, Daniel Akaka, Daniel Moynihan, Richard Bryan, Harry Reid, Claiborne Pell, Carl Levin, Paul Sarbanes, Donald W. Riegle.
Carol Moseley-Braun, Joseph Lieberman, John Danforth, Dirk Kempthorne, Larry Craig, Charles Robb, Richard Shelby, Harris Wofford, Christopher Bond, Bennett Johnston, Barbara Boxer, Howard Metzenbaum, Dianne Feinstein, Hank Brown, Mitch McConnell, John McCain, Robert Kerrey, Richard Lugar, Bill Bradley.