LORD ROBERTSON: This morning, the United States briefed the North Atlantic Council on the results of the investigation into who was responsible for the horrific terrorist attacks which took place on 11 September.
The briefing was given by Ambassador Frank Taylor, the United States Department of State Coordinator for Counter-terrorism.
This morning’s briefing follows those offered by United States Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage and United States Deputy Secretary of Defense Paul Wolfowitz, and illustrates the commitment of the United States to maintain close cooperation with Allies.
Today’s was classified briefing and so I cannot give you all the details. Briefings are also being given directly by the United States to the Allies in their capitals.
The briefing addressed the events of 11 September themselves, the results of the investigation so far, what is known about Osama bin Laden and the Al-Qaida organisation and their involvement in the attacks and in previous terrorist activity, and the links between Al-Qaida and the Taleban regime in Afghanistan.
The facts are clear and compelling. The information presented points conclusively to an Al-Qaida role in the 11 September attacks.
We know that the individuals who carried out these attacks were part of the world-wide terrorist network of Al-Qaida, headed by Osama bin Laden and his key lieutenants and protected by the Taleban.
On the basis of this briefing, it has now been determined that the attack against the United States on 11 September was directed from abroad and shall therefore be regarded as an action covered by Article 5 of the Washington Treaty, which states that an armed attack on one or more of the Allies in Europe or North America shall be considered an attack against them all.
I want to reiterate that the United States of America can rely on the full support of its 18 NATO Allies in the campaign against terrorism.