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Bush: Bin Laden is Prime Suspect - 2001-09-15

President Bush says suspected terrorist Osama bin Laden is a prime suspect in Tuesday's attack on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon. The president made the comment at a meeting with his national security team Saturday to plan a "comprehensive assault" on terrorism.

President Bush says he is planning a series of decisive actions against terrorist organizations responsible for the worst attack on American soil. At the top of that list is Saudi dissident Osama bin Laden. "There is no question that he is what we would call a prime suspect," said Mr. Bush. "And if he thinks he can hide and run from the United States and our allies, he will be sorely mistaken."

President Bush told men and women in America's armed forces to "get ready" because the United States will do "whatever it takes to win this war." "There is a desire by the American people," he said, "to not seek only revenge but to win a war against barbaric behavior, people who hate freedom and hate what we stand for."

Mr. Bush said America's response will be "sweeping, sustained, and effective." He asked the American people for patience because the conflict will not be short. He asked for resolve because the conflict will not be easy.