Vice President Dick Cheney says he is confident Osama bin Laden and his followers played a significant role in the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon. He says the United States will go after both the bin Laden organization and its supporters. Mr. Cheney says they will feel the "full wrath" of the United States.
The vice president says the United States is aggressively seeking Osama bin Laden. One day after President Bush called the Saudi-born militant a prime suspect, Mr. Cheney underscored America's determination to find him and bring him to justice. "Even if it takes a long time, I am convinced that, eventually, we will prevail," the vice president said.
During an appearance on NBC's Meet the Press program Sunday, the vice president said the United States will not just go after terrorist organizations, but their supporters as well.
"If you have got a nation out there now that has provided a base, training facilities, a sanctuary - as has been true, for example, in this case probably with Afghanistan - then they have to understand, and others like them around the world have to understand, that, if you provide sanctuary to terrorists, you face the full wrath of the United States of America," he said.
The hour-long interview was conducted at Camp David, the presidential retreat in the Maryland mountains. President Bush has been meeting with top aides at Camp David since Saturday morning.
Those talks have been described by some as "a war council." Mr. Cheney said it was the first chance for all the members of the national security team to sit down together with the president, at length and in seclusion, to plot long-term strategy.
In his radio address Saturday, President Bush urged patience on the part of the American public, noting the war on terrorism will be long and difficult. In his Sunday morning appearance on national television, the vice president continued that theme. "This is going to be the kind of work that will probably take years, because the focus has to be not just on any one individual," he said. "The problem here is terrorism."
Mr. Cheney said, while Osama bin Laden is a prime suspect, his capture will not end the terrorist threat. He said, the United States must take down a whole worldwide network of terrorist organizations.