WASHINGTON/NEW YORK - President Bush on Saturday
vowed a ``sweeping, sustained and effective'' campaign against those
behind this week's terror attack on the United States, as rescue
workers sifted wreckage and lifted body parts from New York's World
Trade Center, where thousands remain entombed.
As winds of war strengthened, Bush for the first time singled
out Saudi-born militant Osama bin Laden, holed up in Afghanistan
under the protection of its radical Islamic government, as a prime
suspect behind the attacks. Bush warned bin Laden he would not be
able to hide from America's wrath.
Fearful Afghans began fleeing the country. Their hardline
Taliban rulers threatened to wage a holy war against anyone helping
Washington launch attacks on their country.
In his weekly radio address and in comments to reporters, Bush
stepped up his rhetoric to its highest pitch since Tuesday's
attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, which have
left hundreds confirmed dead and almost 5,000 people still
``Those who make war against the United States have chosen their
own destruction,'' Bush declared.
``We are planning a broad and sustained campaign to secure our
country and eradicate the evil of terrorism, and we are determined
to see this conflict through.
``I will not settle for a token act. Our response must be
sweeping, sustained and effective. ... You will be asked for your
patience, for the conflict will not be short. You will be asked for
resolve, for the conflict will not be easy. You will be asked for
your strength because the course to victory may be long,'' the
In brief additional remarks to reporters, Bush spoke for the
first time about bin Laden, the multi-millionaire who has devoted
his fortune to attacking U.S. targets in the name of a radical
anti-western, fundamentalist ideology.
Bush said: ``He is what we would call a prime suspect. If he
thinks he can hide from the United States, and our allies, he will
be sorely mistaken.
In New York, meanwhile, where the heart-breaking work of
excavating the wreckage continued, family members of those missing
were asked to bring in hairbrushes, toothbrushes or clothing of
their loved ones to help in DNA identification of body parts.
PAKISTAN ON BOARD
Stepping up diplomatic efforts to build an international
coalition for the forthcoming military onslaught, the United States
secured the crucial agreement of Pakistan, which borders
Afghanistan, to back its efforts.
The United States has sought from Pakistan permission for
military overflights and a closing of its border with Afghanistan,
among other items.
``We put before the Pakistan government a specific list of
things we would like cooperation on and they have agreed to all
those items. The Pakistan government was very forthcoming and we're
appreciative,'' said Secretary of State Colin Powell.
For its part, Pakistan said it would comply with United
Nations Security Council resolutions on the terror attacks. ``The
government will discharge its responsibilities under international
law,'' Foreign Minister Abdul Sattar said, adding that he did not
expect Pakistan to take part in military operations outside its
At ground zero in Manhattan, gray and brown clouds of smoke and
dust continued to billow from the rubble of what were once New
York's tallest buildings, and a stench rose from the site. The dust
from mountains of ash continued to drift up and down the island,
raising fears about air quality.
Almost four days after hijacked planes brought the massive
110-story skyscrapers crashing to the ground, the rescuers had made
only a small dent in their task of clearing the wreckage.
Bush's visit to the site Friday lifted morale among rescue
workers who greeted his speech with chants of ``USA! USA!''
Police Commissioner Bernard Kerik said the number of missing
had fallen to 4,717. He said 124 people were confirmed dead, 59 of
them identified, but did not explain why the figure was lower than
the 184 bodies reported on Thursday. No survivors have been found
At least 190 people are believed to have died when hijackers
crashed a third plane into the Pentagon near Washington. Forty five
more died in a fourth plane that crashed in Pennsylvania after
passengers fought with hijackers and foiled their plan to crash
into another landmark building.
India has also signaled it is ready to let the United States
use its military bases. India could provide a large base for any
military strike at Afghanistan, but U.S. jets would still have to
cross Pakistani airspace to reach Afghanistan.
Aides to bin Laden, accused of engineering attacks on U.S.
embassies in Africa in 1998 from his Afghanistan headquarters, this
week denied involvement in the carnage, which bin Laden described
as ``punishment from almighty Allah.''
U.S. TELLS OTHER NATIONS TO CHOOSE SIDES
Washington's message to other nations, including Arab and
Islamic states, is that they must choose sides. In the coming
storm, they are being told they must either back the United States
or risk diplomatic and economic isolation.
Congress late on Friday authorized Bush to use ``all necessary
and appropriate force'' against those responsible for Tuesday's
attacks. Bush, leading a national day of prayer and remembrance,
vowed ``to rid the world of evil.''
Meanwhile, the nation remained wrapped in mourning. Most
weekend sporting events were canceled, including Major League
baseball and National Football League play -- which never happened
throughout World War II or in response to the 1963 assassination of
President John F. Kennedy.
Commercial flights resumed, but at less than half their former
In New York, technicians planned to test trading and computer
systems in readiness for the planned reopening of the stock
exchange and financial markets on Monday. Analysts predicted great
volatility and said it was not certain the systems would hold up
under the pressure.
The FBI on Friday named 19 hijackers, including seven pilots,
who commandeered the four airliners used in Tuesday's terror
attacks, sought to question more than 100 people and made the first
arrest in the investigation, a witness said to have ``material''
information on the suicide attacks.
Search crews on Friday found the cockpit voice recorder of
United Airlines Flight 93 at the Pennsylvania crash site, an FBI
spokeswoman said. Officials had earlier found the flight data
recorder from the aircraft.
GREEN LIGHT FROM OUTRAGED CONGRESS
With one dissenting voice, an outraged U.S. House of
Representatives gave final congressional approval to a use-of-force
resolution that won unanimous Senate backing earlier in the day.
Short of a formal declaration of war, the measure gave Bush the
green light to strike both individuals and nations he determines
''planned, authorized, committed or aided the terrorist attacks.''
Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld activated 35,000 reservists
out of 50,000 authorized by Bush to provide ``strike-alert'' jet
fighter protection and perform other duties at domestic military
An FBI spokeswoman said the discovery by search crews of the
cockpit voice recorder in Pennsylvania raised the possibility
further details would be learned of the drama on board. She said
the device was located 25 feet (8 meters) below ground and had been
sent to Washington for review.
Pennsylvania's two U.S. senators said the doomed passengers of
the hijacked airliner that crashed near Pittsburgh could be awarded
America's highest civilian honors after apparently thwarting an
attack on a U.S. landmark.
Copyright © 2001 Reuters Limited