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Bush Offers Condolences, Help Over Bombing in Talk with Kenyan President


President Bush has called Kenyan President Daniel arap Moi to discuss last week's terrorist attacks in Mombasa. The two will meet in person at the White House later this week.

White House Spokesman Ari Fleischer says President Bush wanted to offer his condolences to the Kenyan people. He says Mr. Bush offered U.S. help as Kenya investigates the tragedy.

"The leaders shared their commitment to bring to justice those responsible for the attacks. The president expressed his appreciation for the cooperation President Moi and the Kenyan government in the global fight against terrorism," he said.

President Moi meets with President Bush on Thursday, and the Mombasa attacks have added a new urgency to their discussions.

The first attack, a car bombing last Thursday outside an Israeli-owned hotel, took sixteen lives. A short time later, attackers launched two shoulder-fired missiles at an Israel jumbo jet leaving Mombasa. Both missiles narrowly missed their target.

During a session with reporters, Mr. Fleischer was asked if there is firm evidence linking the al-Qaida terrorist network to the attacks. "Well, we are looking into it. There is nothing conclusive to report. There are suspicions that al-Qaida is involved. I cannot go beyond that; it remains the beginning of an investigative process," he said.

Meanwhile, some leading members of the U.S. Congress are urging the White House to take stronger action to protect American planes from surface-to-air missiles.

Mr. Fleischer said the cheap, portable missiles used by the attackers in Mombasa were developed decades ago and aviation officials have long been aware of the threat. However, he stressed the Bush administration has no specific, credible evidence indicating terrorists plan to use them in the United States.

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