The Terrorist Attacks against the United States: Excerpts from Interviews with Foreign Minister Shimon Peres

September 11, 2001

Israel Television

FM Peres: President Bush defined it as an American tragedy. I would describe it as a tragedy for mankind. Every decent person in the world finds this heartbreaking and deeply painful. Clearly, it requires a more serious, concerted and comprehensive response against terrorism in every country.

We must be uncompromising against terrorism. We know of many countries that are centers of terrorism. We must not allow them to play with the lives of innocent people. We are in a situation in which we have traditional armies deployed against the type of enemy that no longer exists, and our modern armies are unable to cope with the new dangers emerging around the globe. We must formulate a totally new strategy.

We know of states that give sanctuary to terrorists. These states must be told that if they do not eliminate the terrorist infrastructure, they will be declared as states that sponsor terrorism, with all that this entails.

Q: In other words, you are saying that the free world under the leadership of the United States must take action against states that sponsor terrorism.

FM Peres: Exactly. In addition to the United States, we must enlist the help of Europe, Russia, India, China and all responsible countries, since this is a danger that threatens the entire globe.

IDF Radio

FM Peres: We have to grapple with the issue of terrorism, and tackle this problem on a comprehensive basis. Now the world is facing dangers that cannot be eliminated militarily. I am certain that we can deal with this issue in the appropriate manner, on both a strategic and a tactical level.

Terror knows no borders. It can strike at any place. Terrorism is elusive and deceptive as we all know. It has no mercy. Terrorism aims to strike indiscriminately at women and children.

This is the most loathsome terrorist attack that mankind has known. This murderous outrage was planned and orchestrated by masterminds, with financial assistance and a terrorist infrastructure. We know which states and people sponsor terrorism. We must tell each state that if it does not eliminate the terrorism root and branch, it will be declared a terrorist state.

The new war against international terrorism must monitor every step of the terrorists. It must follow the fund raising process, the place the terrorists come from, the weapons, the locations, their hiding places and all other kinds of information. There is a considerable amount of work involved, and it can be examined. It is also possible to intercept the terrorists. The problem with these people is that they are crazed fanatics who are prepared to commit suicide. We cannot stop the terrorists by shooting at them, since they are not afraid to die. They are also ready to kill as many people as possible. Therefore, we have to act against them the minute they are identified.

 Excerpts of interviews with FM Peres-11-Sep-2001
 Excerpts of interviews with FM Peres-11-Sep-2001
Radio Interview with Foreign Minister Shimon Peres on the Voice of Israel – Sept 12, 2001
 Excerpts of interviews with FM Peres-11-Sep-2001
Interview with FM Peres on CNN – Sept 11, 2001
 Excerpts of interviews with FM Peres-11-Sep-2001
Israel Reacts to Attacks on US – Sept 11, 2001