International Terrorism

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 10:42 am on 4th October 2001.

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Photo of Jack Straw Jack Straw Foreign Secretary 10:42 am, 4th October 2001

With great respect, I am about to close my remarks.

I and others have said before in the House that the world changed on 11 September, but we should make it clear to our citizens that our way of life has not changed. We are all more vigilant, and so we should remain. We are seeking a step change in the response to international terrorism in order that we can better protect and enjoy our way of life and the way of life of peaceful peoples throughout the world. Combating the threat of terrorism is the first priority for our society and for the whole of the global community.

On the evidence that we saw in the United States on 11 September, it is obvious that this terrible organisation, these evil people, will strike again if they are given the chance, but I say to the people of the United Kingdom that we have no specific knowledge of any specific threat against this country or our nationals and we are deploying all the tools at our disposal—military, intelligence, police, economic, diplomatic and political—to ensure that those people do not get the chance.

As President Bush has made clear, in the fight against terrorism, against that evil, we face a long, hard struggle. Holding Osama bin Laden, al-Qaeda and those who harbour them to account will be just the first step, but we will win, because we are defending the values of humanity and the rule of law and civilisation, which are shared by east as well as west, by Muslims as well as those of other faiths and by the great majority of the nations and peoples of the world. 11.7 am