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America Under Attack: How To Get At Osama bin Laden

Aired September 14, 2001 - 02:31   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
COLLEEN MCEDWARDS, CNN ANCHOR: Well, much of the anger you've been hearing, and perhaps, feeling, is being directed against the militant leader Osama bin Laden. Making matters more difficult, U.S. officials say that more than one terrorist group may have been involved in these attacks.

And as CNN's David Ensor reports, getting at bin Laden bay prove to be very difficult.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

DAVID ENSOR, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The nation is angry about thousands of innocent deaths. U.S. officials say the evidence so far points to Osama bin Laden's group, and the Bush administration is talking tough.

COLIN POWELL, U.S. SECRETARY OF STATE: We will go after that group, that network, and those who have harbored, supported and aided that network to rip the network up, and when we are through with that network, we will continue with a global assault against terrorism in general.

ENSOR: But if it is bin Laden, how to get at him and his top Lieutenants. Some argue for giving Afghanistan's Taliban government an ultimatum: Turn him over, or else.

PETER BERGEN, CNN TERRORISM ANALYST: We know where your ministries are, we know where your houses are, we're simply going to obliterate them from the face of the planet.

WILLIAM ODOM, FORMER NSA DIRECTOR: Bouncing that rubble with a lot of B-52 loads of bombs, I don't think is going to change Afghanistan all that much.

ENSOR: No, say most analysts in and out of government. If you want to roll up bin Laden and Al Quieda it is going to take more than bombs, it will take ground troops.

JOHN MCCAIN, U.S. SENATOR: In order for us to preserve American and our way of life, we're going to have to sacrifice American treasure, and unfortunately in some cases, perhaps some American blood.

ENSOR: It is not just a question of grabbing or killing one man, or even 20. There are a dozen or more training camps, U.S. Intelligence says, producing more terrorists, dedicated to killing Americans.

M.J. GOHEL, SECURITY AND TERRORISM ANALYST: Revenge alone is not an answer. There has to be a complete eradication and elimination of all the training camps.

ENSOR: And much of bin Laden's base of support is in neighboring Pakistan, through which money from around the Arab world is funneled to the Al Quieda coffers. It is a treacherous and dangerous area, indeed.

ODOM: If you move in ground troops and you're willing to occupy countries for long periods of time, you do change things significantly for terrorists. I'm not sure this country's ready to do that, even if it does have a fit of passion right now. And I'm not -- it may or may not make sense to do that in it's larger interests.

ENSOR (on camera): Bottom line, U.S. forces might be able to get bin Laden, but that alone would not stop the terror. Administration officials saying they will do nothing precipitous, knowing this one is going to be very, very difficult. David Ensor, CNN, Washington.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

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