Briefing by Fran Townsend, Assistant to President Bush for counterterrorism and Homeland Security Via Conference Call

WASHINGTON, Oct. 9 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The following is a transcript of a press briefing via conference call by Fran Townsend , Assistant to the President for Counterterrorism and Homeland Security: 10:36 A.M. EDT MR. STANZEL...


MS. TOWNSEND: The threat each country faces is -- while there are common threads to it, are unique. And so each country, obviously, is focused on what their unique priority is. And naturally there will be periods of time where that means that they are less focused on how we can cooperate with one another and help one another than they are on dealing with their own domestic threat. We look to work with our allies, whether it's strengthening counterterrorism laws, strengthening criminal regimes, strengthening border security.

The way I describe this is, homeland security, I think, in some ways around the world has become -- it's heard as a uniquely American concept. And I tell my allies around the world, it's not. The homeland security, the ability of a foreign government to have homeland security for their homeland makes us safer, to the extent they're able to secure their borders and stop the financial flows to bad guys. All that helps not only the foreign country be secure, but helps us be secure. And frankly, it's also a matter of helping them to build their own organic capability in foreign countries, so that we don't have to -- we have less of a threat from transnational actors. That's a long-term goal, and so I think it's a matter of building long-term international capability.

Q Right. Are you satisfied -- you mentioned the financial angle, are you satisfied that countries, Pakistan for instance, are trying to stop the flow of money to terrorists, and that the U.N. is properly doing its role in terms of having a sort of a global front in designating and enforcing those?

MS. TOWNSEND: Well, there have been many designations. We've seen countries throughout the Middle East , for example, institute cash courier laws and restrictions. We know from looking at intelligence that all of those activities do inhibit the flow of money across borders, but again this is another area -- am I totally satisfied? No. Is there more that needs to be done? Absolutely.

Q Thanks.

MS. TOWNSEND: Thanks.

END 11:15 A.M. EDT

SOURCE White House Press Office