Department of the Treasury
September 14, 2001


Thank you all for coming today. I am joined here to day by Brad Buckles, Director of ATF; Chuck Winwood, Acting Commissioner of Customs; Mark Matthews, Director of IRS CI; and Larry Cockell, Deputy Director of the Secret Service.

I thought this would be a good opportunity to give the American people an update on the role being played by the Treasury law enforcement bureaus with respect to Tuesday's terrible tragedy. As many of you know, in addition to Treasury's involvement in the financial world, we also oversee 25 percent of all federal law enforcement officers operating through four primary law enforcement bureaus: ATF -- the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms; the U.S. Customs Service; the Criminal Investigations Unit of the IRS; and the U.S. Secret Service. Treasury has always been proud of our law enforcement bureaus and the excellent job that they do in each of their respective fields. I am pleased to report that they have continued to perform at the highest levels of competence and professionalism in light of the horrific circumstances of the past few days.

I know that Tuesday's attack has had a personal impact on Americans all over the globe and that is certainly true here at the Treasury Department. ATF, Customs, IRS CI and the Secret Service all had facilities at the World Trade Towers that were completely destroyed by Tuesday's terrorist actions. Our facilities are secondary however to the safety of Treasury personnel. The Treasury Department law enforcement bureaus had approximately 1,200 people housed in the World Trade Center complex. We are comforted by the fact that we have been able to safely account for most of these 1,200 people although we are still diligently searching for a few remaining members of our team.

In addition to our more traditional law enforcement role, Treasury is committed to fighting terrorism with every asset that we have available. I am pleased to announce that Treasury has established an inter-agency team dedicated to the disruption of terrorist fundraising. The team is designed to increase our ability to identify foreign terrorist groups, assess their sources and methods of fundraising, and provide information that will make clear to law enforcement officials how terrorist funds are moved. This team will ultimately be transformed into a permanent Foreign Terrorist Asset Tracking Center in the Treasury Department's Office of Foreign Asset Control (OFAC). This is an extraordinary effort that really illustrates the Treasury Department's creativity in developing new ways to combat terrorists.