Updated: 03-Oct-2001 Week of 1-7 October 2001

2 Oct. 2001

Invocation of Article 5 confirmed

Frank Taylor, the US Ambassador at Large and Co-ordinator for Counter-terrorism briefed the North Atlantic Council - NATO's top decision-making body- on 2 October on the results of investigations into the 11 September terrorist attacks against the United States. As a result of the information he provided to the Council, it has been clearly determined that the individuals who carried out the attacks belonged to the world-wide terrorist network of Al-Qaida, headed by Osama bin Laden and protected by the Taleban regime in Afghanistan.

At a special press conference, NATO Secretary General Lord Robertson announced that since it had been determined that the attacks had been directed from abroad, they were regarded as an action covered by Article 5 of the Washington Treaty (1). When the Alliance invoked the principle of Article 5 of the Washington Treaty on 12 September, it stated that it needed to know whether such actions had been conducted from abroad before the Article could become fully operative. This has now been determined, but Lord Robertson explained that, at present, it was premature to speculate on what military action would be taken by the Alliance, be it individually or collectively.

Additional information:
  • Webmodule on NATO and the Scourge of Terrorism
    • What is Article 5 of the North Atlantic Treaty?
    • Opening statement of the press conference by the Secretary General of NATO, Lord Robertson after the briefing by Mr. Francis X. Taylor, US Ambassador at Large and Co-ordinator for Counter-terrorism, to the North Atlantic Council on the most recent developments following the terrorist attacks of 11th September (.MP3/2.015Kb)
  • The North Atlantic Treaty
  1. This article states that an armed attack against one or more of the Allies in Europe or North America shall be considered as an attack against all.