Accessibility links

Bush: 'Most Wanted' List Will Expose Face of Terrorism - 2001-10-10

President Bush has unveiled a new "most wanted" list of terrorists. He told employees of the Federal Bureau of Investigation the goal is to publicize the names and faces of the 22 "most wanted" terrorists in the world.

The FBI has been keeping a "most wanted list" of criminal suspects for decades. Investigators see it as an important law enforcement tool, and a way to focus public attention.

Now, the Bush administration is taking the idea a step further by releasing a list of 22 "most wanted" terrorists. President Bush says terrorism has "a face" and it is being exposed to the world.

"Terrorists try to operate in the shadows. They try to hide. But we are going to shine the light of justice on them," the president said. "We list their names. We publicize their pictures. We rob them of their secrecy."

The list includes Osama bin Laden, the President's prime suspect in the September 11 attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon. Two of his deputies and several other members of his al-Qaida organization are also among the "most wanted terrorists"

All 22 men on the list have been indicated for specific acts of terrorism. Osama bin Laden, for example, is listed because of his indictment in connection the 1998 bombings of the U.S. embassies in Kenya and Tanzania.

President Bush says these 22 individuals do not account for all the terrorist activity in the world. But he says they are the most dangerous.

"They must be found. They will be stopped. And they will be punished," President Bush said. The FBI is publicizing their names. The State Department is offering rewards for information leading to their capture.

Secretary of State Colin Powell says an existing rewards program has already achieved big results in about two dozen cases.

"One of the most powerful tools that we have for tracking down terrorists abroad is the State Department's 'Rewards for Justice' program," Secretary Powell explained. "This program offers rewards of up to $5 million for information that thwarts a terrorist attack on American, or other interests, or brings a terrorist to justice."

Mr. Powell says the reward program puts potential informants in every place where a terrorist might try to hide. He says the State Department is "getting the word out" by distributing leaflets and putting out details on the Internet.