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Bush: 10 'Serious Al-Qaida Plots' Thwarted Since 2001

President Bush says the United States and its allies have disrupted 10 serious plots by the al-Qaida network since the terrorists' September 11 attacks in 2001 on New York and Washington.

White House officials say al-Qaida had planned to hijack passenger jets and use them for a series of September 11-style attacks in 2002 and 2003. Targets in the United States would have included the city of Los Angeles, and Mr. Bush's aides say al-Qaida also intended to stage major attacks in Britain, the Persian Gulf region and Pakistan.

The president discussed the terrorist plots during a speech Thursday, aimed at bolstering support in this country for the war in Iraq. Mr. Bush says operations in Iraq are part of efforts to stop extremists who are trying "to establish a radical Islamic empire that spans from Spain to Indonesia."

Mr. Bush says the terrorists that the United States and its allies are confronting are involved not only in suicide bombings and other "isolated acts of madness." They are spurred on, he says, by a philosophy comparable to Soviet communism and Nazi fascism.