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Fact Sheet

Retaliation: Bin Laden not sole focus

President Bush has called the terrorist attacks on the United States an act of war, and Congress has authorized the use of force against those responsible.  


President Bush warned that the war against terrorism won't be waged solely against Osama bin Laden and his organization, al Qaeda "This is a war not against a specific individual, nor will it be a war against solely one organization," he said. "It is a war against terrorist activities."


The Pentagon ordered more than 100 aircraft, including combat aircraft, to bases in the Persian Gulf region. The deployment includes F-15 and F-16 fighter jets and B-1 bombers. A U.S. aircraft carrier battle group also has left for the Mediterranean Sea. The Pentagon said the move of the USS Roosevelt and the 26th Marine Expeditionary Unit is a regularly scheduled deployment and includes about 15,000 sailors and Marines.

Pakistani leader Gen. Pervez Musharraf said that the U.S. decision to go after suspected terrorist Osama bin Laden does not target Islam or the people of Afghanistan. The attacks and Pakistan's decision to help the U.S. find the terrorists behind the attacks has put the country in its worst crisis since its last war, with neighboring India, in 1971. Full story

Meanwhile, leading Islamic clerics within Afghanistan's ruling Taliban are meeting in Kabul to decide whether to extradite alleged terrorist mastermind Osama bin Laden. The meeting of the Grand Islamic Council could take several days. Full story


Whom will the United States retaliate against?

  •  Summary

  •  Update

  •  Key questions

  •  Who's who

  •  Impact

What form will the retaliation take? Click here for more.

Will the retaliation include an immediate response and a long-term plan to root out terrorists?

Is the United States willing to violate the sovereignty of other nations to get at terrorist networks?

How will retaliation affect Americans at home and abroad?

Will the United States seek military support from NATO?


George W. Bush: U.S. president

Osama bin Laden: A wealthy Saudi expatriate living in Afghanistan who U.S. authorities cite as one of the primary suspects in masterminding the attacks. Click here for more.

Colin Powell: U.S. secretary of state. A former Army general, Powell also served as chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff during the 1991 Persian Gulf War. Click here for more.

Condoleezza Rice: U.S. national security adviser. Click here for more.

Gen. Richard B. Myers: chairman-designate of the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff. Click here for more.

Saudi exile Osama bin Laden is considered a prime suspect in the September 11 attacks.  

Donald Rumsfeld: U.S. secretary of defense. Click here for more.

George Tenet: CIA director. Click here for more.

Lt. Gen. Michael V. Hayden: Director of the U.S. National Security Agency, responsible for gathering intelligence on terrorist cells.

Gen. Pervez Musharraf: The military ruler of Pakistan, one of three countries that officially recognizes the Taliban, the ruling militia of Afghanistan harboring bin Laden. The others are Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.

Mullah Mohammed Omar: The Muslim cleric who leads Afghanistan's ruling Taliban. Taliban officials say they have played host to bin Laden but do not allow him to engage in terrorist activities. Click here for more.


The attacks on the nation's landmarks of power and security signal the start of a protracted battle on terrorism that could permanently alter core U.S. military and diplomatic strategies.

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