'You are either with us or against us'
WASHINGTON (CNN) -- President Bush said Tuesday that there was no room for neutrality in the war against terrorism.
In a joint news conference with French President Jacques Chirac, Bush said coalition partners would be called upon to back up their support with action. He said he would deliver that message in his speech Saturday to the United Nations.
"A coalition partner must do more than just express sympathy, a coalition partner must perform," Bush said. "That means different things for different nations. Some nations don't want to contribute troops and we understand that. Other nations can contribute intelligence-sharing. ... But all nations, if they want to fight terror, must do something."
Bush said he would not point out any specific countries in his speech.
"Over time it's going to be important for nations to know they will be held accountable for inactivity," he said. "You're either with us or against us in the fight against terror." (Full story)
Bush said threats by Osama bin Laden to use weapons of mass destruction must be taken seriously. "This is an evil man that we're dealing with, and I wouldn't put it past him to develop evil weapons to try to harm civilization as we know it," Bush said. " And that's why we must prevail, and that's why we must win."
Bush said bin Laden has threatened in the past to use such weapons, but said there is no evidence bin Laden or his al Qaeda terrorist organization possesses such weaponry. (Full story)
Meanwhile, the opposition Northern Alliance said Tuesday it had captured the Afghan town of Kisindeh and the Zari district, just south of Mazar-e Sharif, a northern city whose location near trade routes to Kabul makes it a strategic site. U.S. bombs had hit Taliban front lines north of Kabul overnight into Tuesday.
The Alliance claimed that 400 Taliban soldiers, including five commanders, had defected, and that it had captured two tanks and two anti-aircraft guns, and 10 Taliban troops in the Zari action. The claims could not be independently verified.
U.S. Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld would not comment on the Northern Alliance's claims, and cautioned against measuring the campaign's progress too simply.
"It is not going to be a steady march forward across a front," he told reporters in Washington. "It is going to be probes and pushes and successes and steps back. That is the nature of it." (Full story)
Several explosions were reported Tuesday night near the city of Bagram. A CNN cameraman saw at least five explosions near the Taliban front lines, about three miles outside the city. Bagram is about 25 miles north of Kabul.
Pentagon officials said U.S. forces are delivering ammunition, weapons, and supplies including food, water and blankets to the opposition forces. They did not say what kind of weapons were being delivered.
Bombs fell Tuesday evening southwest of Kandahar. Arab-language TV station Al-Jazeera reported B-52 and C-130 strikes in the mountains southwest of the city, where they said the Taliban are believed to be operating. CNN's Kamal Hyder reported hearing a loud propeller aircraft and at least one helicopter flying over the city in the direction of the Kandahar airport.
The FBI Tuesday withdrew a warning issued last week that said terrorists might target a major bridge in a Western state. It said the information that prompted the alert was investigated and was deemed not credible. (Full story)
The FBI received unexpectedly sharp criticism during a Senate hearing Tuesday on its handling of the anthrax sent in the U.S. mail. Tim Caruso, FBI deputy assistant director for counterterrorism, said investigators had not found the source of the anthrax. "I know it's an unsatisfactory answer and unsatisfying to us as well," Caruso said. (Full story)
Pentagon officials Tuesday denied reports that a U.S. helicopter was shot down in southwestern Pakistan. Some Pakistani officials said a helicopter crashed Sunday night as it was returning to Dalbandin air base. (Full story)
German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder Tuesday offered as many as 3,900 German troops for the U.S. war on terrorism, backing up Germany's pledge of solidarity with the United States. He said Germany was not asked to supply air or ground forces in Afghanistan. (Full story)
President Bush plans to identify two financial networks believed to be significant sources of support for the al Qaeda organization, CNN has learned. Authorities plan to take action to shut down the operations both in the United States, and overseas.
The U.S. government has announced it is hiring more security employees on a temporary basis to improve oversight of screening checkpoints run by private contractors at airports. In a press release, the Federal Aviation Administration said the move would put more federal security workers on the job at airports in time for the Thanksgiving holiday. (Full story)
A leading Afghan opposition figure told CNN Tuesday he is in the country to organize resistance to the ruling Taliban after an incident last week in which U.S. forces came to his aid. U.S. forces helped Hamid Karzai, a Pashtun tribal leader, leave Afghanistan for Pakistan after an apparent fire-fight with Taliban forces. (Full story)
In London, Britain's foreign secretary says capturing or killing a "psychotic" Osama bin Laden will not prevent his al Qaeda network from launching fresh terrorist attacks. The Saudi-born dissident, suspected by the West of being responsible for the September 11 attacks in the U.S., "will get caught in the end," Jack Straw said in a newspaper interview published on Tuesday. (Full story)
As part of its psychological warfare against the Taliban, the U.S. military is dropping leaflets over Afghanistan showing a picture of Taliban leader Mullah Mohammed Omar in a set of crosshairs. The leaflet also shows a close-up photograph of the license tag from Omar's personal vehicle, also set against crosshairs. An unmanned drone has been tracking Omar and took the photographs, Pentagon sources said. (View leaflet)
The U.S. military has reportedly bombed Taliban front lines with 15,000-pound bombs called BLU-82 "daisy cutters," which are believed to be the world's largest conventional bombs, The Associated Press reported. The bomb creates a mist of ammonium nitrate and aluminum, which ignites in an explosion that incinerates everything within up to 600 yards, the news service reported.
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