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Bush Continues to Plan War Against Terrorism - 2001-09-29

President Bush says the United States will act "deliberately and decisively" in its fight against terrorism. The president made the comments in his weekly radio talk Saturday and also discussed the anti-terrorism campaign with his national security team.

The president asked Americans for patience as his administration plans its war against terrorism on many fronts. Mr. Bush reviewed actions in the past week to freeze terrorist bank accounts, increase intelligence gathering, and improve airline security. "Our war on terror will be much broader than the battlefields and beacheads of the past," the president said. "This war will be fought wherever terrorists hide, or run, or plan. Some victories will be won outside of public view, in tragedies avoided and threats eliminated. Other victories will be clear to all. Our weapons are military and diplomatic, financial and legal. And in this struggle, our greatest advantages are the patience and resolve of the American people. We did not seek this conflict, but we will win it."

The president Saturday also had a video telephone meeting with members of his national security team.

In the weekly radio address, Mr. Bush said he is continuing to build an international coalition against terrorism that is not directed against the people of Afghanistan. Mr. Bush says the threat comes from Afghanistan's Taleban leadership who he says are harboring the prime suspects in the terrorist attacks in New York and Washington, Saudi dissident Osama bin Laden and his al-Qaida organization.

"America is grateful to the nations that have cut off diplomatic ties with the Taleban regime in Afghanistan which is sheltering terrorists," Mr. Bush said. "The United States respects the people of Afghanistan and we are their largest provider of humanitarian aid. But we condemn the Taleban, and welcome the support of other nations in isolating that regime."

Mr. Bush's coalition-building this past week included meetings with the officials from Canada, Japan, Belgium, and Jordan. He also visited Chicago's O'Hare airport where he outlined a series of measures to increase airport security, including federal authority over all bag and passenger screening.

The president announced a $500 million plan to strengthen cockpit doors, place cameras in the cabin so pilots can see what is happening behind them, and allow officials on the ground to land a plane by remote control if the cockpit is taken over by terrorists. Until these measures are in place, Mr. Bush asked state governors to station as many as 4,000 National Guardsmen at airport security checkpoints.