Our nation's successes in driving the terrorists from their bases, cutting them off from their money, disrupting their communications, and capturing many of their leaders have forced the terrorists to change. At the same time, because the terrorists may no longer receive orders from a central hub, identifying them may be a greater challenge.
Our job may be more difficult in that sense, but we in the FBI--and I know in the NYPD--are firmly committed to the task. Today's threat is just as likely to come from our own streets as it is from people who are sent from overseas.
Because today's threat may be funded by street crime, the importance of local law enforcement has risen exponentially.
We have shown the terrorists that they cannot frighten the governments of free people into changing their course, so they will try to frighten free people into changing their governments. When political change is driven by fear and violence--even in a democracy--no one is truly free.
One extremely important note: In this challenging time in our history, the FBI will be measured not only by our ability to protect the nation from terrorism. We will also be measured--as we should be--by our commitment to protecting the rights and freedoms we enjoy as Americans.
If we accomplish the first goal, but fail in the second, it will indeed be a pyrrhic victory.
I want to close in keeping with the theme today: Our greatest weapon against terrorism is unity. That unity is built on information sharing and coordination among our partners in the law enforcement and intelligence communities. It is built on effective outreach to the public as our eyes and ears.
Jim Fox had the wisdom to understand that concept way back in 1993. Today, it is more important than ever before. You are our partners in the fight against crime and terrorism. Together, we will protect our citizens, our cities, and our country. Together, we will prevail.