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America's New War: Rumsfeld Says Terrorism is a Problem Worldwide

Aired September 24, 2001 - 05:34   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.
LEON HARRIS, CNN ANCHOR: Here now the latest developments in America's New War.

U.S. officials are in Islamabad today to outline the help the U.S. is seeking from Pakistan in the war against terrorism. The delegation is also going to sign papers lifting 1998 sanctions against Pakistan for nuclear testing.

CAROL LIN, CNN ANCHOR: President Bush will put a financial squeeze on suspected terrorist groups today. He plans to identify terrorist groups around the world then sign an executive order freezing their U.S. assets.

HARRIS: And Yankee Stadium became an outdoor cathedral yesterday, Sunday, when an interfaith prayer service for the victims of the World Trade Center attack was held there. A Baptist minister told the crowd we'll get through this because we are the United States of America.

LIN: And the United States of America on the hunt now for suspected terrorists, in particular, Osama bin Laden. Conflicting reports as to whether anybody knows exactly where he is.

CNN's Mark Potter standing by at the Pentagon with more intelligence information.

Morning, Mark.

MARK POTTER, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Good morning, Carol.

Well, U.S. officials spent the weekend once again preparing the public for a sustained campaign against terrorism. The Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld said that terrorism is not just an Afghan problem but is a problem worldwide. The al Qaeda network of Osama bin Laden, for example, he says, is in some 60 countries and it's not just the only network. U.S. officials continue to demand of the Taliban leaders that Osama bin Laden be handed over. They've been unsuccessful so far, and the Defense Secretary calls laughable their claim that the leader and his associates can no longer be found.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

DONALD RUMSFELD, DEFENSE SECRETARY: They're hardy, tough people. They have networks throughout the country and it is just not believable that the Taliban do not know where the network can be located and found and either turned over or expelled.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

POTTER: Now as we enter a new week, more U.S. military deployments overseas are anticipated. Last week we saw the deployment of military personnel, B-1 and B-52 Bombers as well as the USS Theodore Roosevelt carrier battle group which is based in Norfolk, Virginia. Secretary Rumsfeld said U.S. troops are being positioned around the world.

Pentagon officials also expect the activation of more National Guard and reserve members for what they are calling homeland defense missions around the U.S. The Secretary says victory in the campaign against terrorism will be measured by the reduction of fear.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

RUMSFELD: The ultimate victory in this war is when everyone who wants to can do what every one of us did today and that is get up, let your children go to school, go out of the house and not in fear, stand here on a sidewalk and not worry about a truck bomb driving into us and be able to be free in speech and thought and activity and behavior and that's victory.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

POTTER: Now at the Pentagon building here itself in Washington, D.C., which you can see here this morning, security remains tight as the search for remains continues. So far, 68 victims have been positively identified from the site where the attack occurred two weeks ago. A total of 189 people are listed as dead or missing here.

And finally, the site that you are looking at right here has now been turned over to the FBI which is preserving it now as a giant crime scene. Agents are in there gathering evidence.

Carol, back to you.

LIN: Mark, evidence also that the United States is gathering evidence overseas in this war against terrorism, a report about a U.S. spy plane or a surveillance plane missing. The Taliban claiming that they shot it down. Is there any clarification there?

POTTER: Well, the clarification we got on that came from the Secretary Defense Rumsfeld on a talk show over the weekend. He conceded that a spy plane had been lost, but he said there was no evidence that it had actually been shot down. He said sometimes they just lose control of these things and that's all that he would say.

LIN: And this is an unmanned drone, right?

POTTER: Exactly,...

LIN: All right, not a manned plane? POTTER: ... unmanned.

LIN: All right. Thank you very much. Mark Potter reporting live from the Pentagon.

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