May 22, 1998 FACT SHEET

THE WHITE HOUSE

Office of the Press Secretary
(Annapolis, Maryland)

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For Immediate Release
May 22, 1998


                                FACT SHEET

         COMBATING TERRORISM:  PRESIDENTIAL DECISION DIRECTIVE 62


Since he took office, President Clinton has made the fight against
terrorism a top national security objective.  The President has worked to
deepen our cooperation with our friends and allies abroad, strengthened law
enforcement's  counterterrorism tools and improved security on airplanes
and at airports.  These efforts have paid off as major terrorist attacks
have been foiled and more terrorists have been apprehended, tried and given
severe prison terms.

Yet America's unrivaled military superiority means that potential enemies --
whether nations or terrorist groups -- that choose to attack us will be more
likely to resort to terror instead of conventional military assault.
Moreover, easier access to sophisticated technology means that the
destructive power available to terrorists is greater than ever.
Adversaries may thus be tempted to use unconventional tools, such as
weapons of mass destruction, to target our cities and disrupt the
operations of our government.  They may try to attack our economy and
critical infrastructure using advanced computer technology.

President Clinton is determined that in the coming century, we will be
capable of deterring and preventing such terrorist attacks.  The President
is convinced that we must also have the ability to limit the damage and
manage the consequences should such an attack occur.

To meet these challenges, President Clinton signed Presidential Decision
Directive 62.  This Directive creates a new and more systematic approach to
fighting the terrorist threat of the next century.  It reinforces the
mission of the many U.S. agencies charged with roles in defeating
terrorism; it also codifies and clarifies their activities in the wide
range of U.S. counter-terrorism programs, from apprehension and prosecution
of terrorists to increasing transportation security, enhancing response
capabilities and protecting the computer-based systems that lie at the
heart of America's economy.  The Directive will help achieve the
President's goal of ensuring that we meet the threat of terrorism in the
21st century with the same rigor that we have met military threats in this
century.

The National Coordinator

To achieve this new level of integration in the fight against terror,
PDD-62 establishes the Office of the National Coordinator for Security,
Infrastructure Protection and Counter-Terrorism.  The National Coordinator
will oversee the broad variety of relevant polices and programs including
such areas as counter-terrorism, protection of critical infrastructure,
preparedness and consequence management for weapons of mass destruction.
The National Coordinator will work within the National Security Council,
report to the President through the Assistant to the President for National
Security Affairs and produce for him an annual Security Preparedness
Report.  The National Coordinator will also provide advice regarding
budgets for counter-terror programs and lead in the development of
guidelines that might be needed for crisis management.


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