(CNSNews.com) - Former Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu appeared before Congress on Thursday to urge leaders to destroy terrorist networks around the world, freeze their financial assets and reject alliances with all states that engage in terrorist activities.
Netanyahu urged quick action before the terrorists get nuclear weapons or engage in chemical or biological warfare against the U.S.
Terrorist operations could not survive without the support of sovereign states, said the former prime minister, who testified before the House Government Reform Committee.
"Take away all the state support, and the entire scaffolding of international terrorism will collapse into dust," he said.
Netanyahu urged the Congress to keep the American public resolved to eradicating terrorists, even in the face of American casualties.
"The international terrorist network is thus based on regimes in Iraq, in Iran, in Syria, in Afghanistan, Yasser Arafat's Palestinian Authority, and several other ... regimes, such as the Sudan," claimed Netanyahu, who called the arrangement a "terror network" that also includes agents in Egypt and Yemen.
Iraq and other Arab nations have denied any involvement in the attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, and U.S. officials have not said whether Iraq, long thought to be a haven for terrorists, is currently a military target.
President Bush has accused Iran, Syria and other U.S. rivals of aiding terrorism, and has said those nations risk retaliation by the American military if they do not help find those responsible for the September 11 attack on the U.S.
Earlier Thursday, Iran's foreign ministry refused a U.S. request to fly over its airspace to launch possible attacks on Afghanistan, where terrorist Osama bin Laden, the prime suspect in the attack, is believed to be in hiding.
The growth of the terrorist network was made possible by two developments in the last two decades, said Netanyahu; the Khomeni revolution that established the clerical state in Iran and the victory of the mujahideen over the Soviet Union in Afghanistan.
Afghanistan's ruling Taliban faction was an offshoot of the mujahideen and came to rule most of the country after repelling the Soviet invasion with the aid of the United States.
These events, Netanyahu said, encouraged Islamic militancy, that has as its goal the destruction of western culture and the installation of what he called an "extreme form of Islam."
"We have received a wake up call from hell," said Netanyahu, and we have a choice of whether to act or to hit a "collective snooze button."