PORTLAND, Ore. , Aug. 13 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The following are remarks prepared for delivery by Attorney General Michael B. Mukasey :
Good morning. I'd like to thank Karin Immergut for arranging this conference and for inviting me to be here. I know that putting together a conference like this one is a great deal of work, but of course it's nothing compared to the work her office, and all of you, put in every day to fulfill our joint mission of keeping America safe from another terrorist attack.
That goal cannot be achieved by the federal government alone, by any state government alone, or by any local police force alone. The key to protecting the American people is our network of prevention, and all of you are vital parts of that network.
We've seen examples of serious threats throughout the United States and other countries -- in cities and towns large and small. The September 11 attacks were directed at New York and Washington, D.C. , but before the attacks the hijackers were dispersed throughout the country, in places as far apart and as different as San Diego and Maine . This should remind us all that state and local governments throughout this country must stay vigilant in their efforts to detect terrorist threats in their communities.
But, I don't really need to remind you of this because Oregon has been, unfortunately, no stranger to terrorist plots. Remember the case of the "Portland Seven," from 2002. One of the first law enforcement officers to become suspicious of some of the suspects in that case was a sheriff's deputy in Skamania County. Those arrests demonstrated, very vividly, that in this fight, we need all the eyes and ears we can get.
Remember also that last year Earnest James Ujaama pleaded guilty to charges related to his attempts to set up a jihad training camp in Bly, Oregon . Ujaama's arrest ultimately helped us unravel that plot and led to the indictment and arrests of other terrorists in faraway places, such as Abu Hamza al-Masri in the United Kingdom ; Oussama Abdullah Kassir in Prague, Czech Republic ; and, Haroon Rashid Aswat in Zambia . The Ujaama case is a clear example that, number one, what might originally appear to be a local threat can often lead to much, much more; and that, number two, the importance of working together, and sharing information cannot be overstated.
Indeed, in many ways, that's why you are all gathered here today -- federal, state, local, and private sector partners -- because any one of you may play a part in preventing the next attack. Any one of you can find the evidence; or spot the suspicious person; or fix the vulnerability that means the next attack won't succeed. It's what you do every day; and before I go any further, I want to thank you for that.
In addition to the need for cooperation, we all understand the importance of long-term strategies to keep America safe. So I would like to talk to you today about what I see as some necessary steps as we begin the transition from this Administration to the next. This will be the first such transition since September 11, 2001 . We know that those who helped perpetrate the outrage committed against us that day, and those who support and sympathize with their cause, will be watching our country during this time of transition. I am committed to making sure that we provide no cause for hope for those who seek to harm us--that, on January 21st , their analysis will be that our national defense remains strong and that we remain prepared.
Ensuring a smooth transition will require not only serious thought about the big picture, but also a dedicated focus on the details that make up that big picture. We must ensure that all of our country's security measures are attuned to the increased threat we face during this time of transition, and that we respond and adjust appropriately.