President Bush has urged Americans to go about their daily lives as his administration prepares for an all-out war on terrorism. Mr. Bush is back at the White House after conferring with his national security team at Camp David - the Presidential retreat in the Maryland mountains.
The President is urging Americans to go back to work and get on with their lives. But he acknowledges things are far from normal in the aftermath of the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon. He said, "We have been warned there are evil people in this world. We have been warned so vividly. And we will be alert."
President Bush says the terrorist attacks have affected the U.S. economy, and people will have to work extra hard. He says his administration also has a tough job to do. "We will rid the world of the evil doers," he said. "We will call together freedom loving people to fight terrorism."
Mr. Bush says he is finding international support. He makes specific mention of southwest Asia, where reputed terrorist mastermind Osama bin Laden is thought to be in hiding.
The Saudi-born militant has denied any role in the attacks on New York and Washington. But President Bush says he does not believe it. "No question. He is the prime suspect. No question about that," he said.
Osama bin Laden is believed to be in Afghanistan, where he has the support of the ruling Taleban movement. Pakistan is one of the few countries that recognizes the Taleban.
And President Bush says he is pleased with the cooperation he is receiving from Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf. "The leader of Pakistan," he said, "has been very cooperative. He has agreed with our requests to aid our nation, to hunt down, to find, to smoke out of their holes the terrorist organization that is a prime suspect and I am pleased with his response."
Mr. Bush says he is also pleased with the response he has received from Saudi Arabia and India. He spoke to Indian Prime Minister Vajpayee on Sunday, Pakistan's leader Saturday, and Saudi Arabia's Crown Prince Abdullah last week.
President Bush says they all understand his determination to track down those responsible for the terrorist attacks. "This administration," he said, "along with those friends of ours who are willing to stand with us all the way through, will do what it takes to rout terrorism out of the world."
Speaking to reporters on the White House lawn, the President also confirmed that he had to make a difficult decision in the early hours of last Tuesday's crisis. Immediately after hijacked planes hit the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, Mr. Bush ordered military jets to shoot down any commercial aircraft headed for Washington that refused to change course. According to Vice President Dick Cheney, the shoot down authority was never used but was totally justified.