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America Strikes Back: U.S. and British Militaries Attack Afghanistan

Aired October 7, 2001 - 20:00   ET


JUDY WOODRUFF, CNN ANCHOR: Hello, I'm Judy Woodruff in Washington. This is "America Strikes Back," CNN's continuing coverage of the anti-terrorism coalition's strikes inside Afghanistan.

The United States and British military attack against the al Qaeda network and the Taliban militia began just after nightfall Sunday in Afghanistan. Flashes of light and antiaircraft fire were seen outside Kabul. The ministry of defense building in Kabul reportedly was hit. A senior Taliban official told CNN that the command system and radar system at the Kandahar Airport also had been destroyed.

In addition to Kabul and Kandahar, other targets were Jalalabad in the east and a number of towns in the north. Intelligence sources with the opposition Northern Alliance report that at least seven different locations were struck.

President Bush returned to the White House about two hours before announcing that the attacks had started. When he addressed the nation at 1:00 p.m. Eastern, the president emphasized Afghanistan's Taliban rulers are the targets of the attacks, not the Afghan people.


GEORGE W. BUSH, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: More than two weeks ago, I gave Taliban leaders a series of clear and specific demands: Close terrorist training camps, hand over leaders of the al Qaeda network and return all foreign nationals, including American citizens unjustly detained in your country. None of these demands were met, and now the Taliban will pay a price.


WOODRUFF: Several hours after President Bush spoke, an Arab TV news network broadcast a videotaped interview with Osama bin Laden. While it's not clear when the interview was conducted, bin Laden hailed the -- actually, it was more of a statement than an interview -- but he hailed the September 11 attacks on the United States, saying God is giving the Americans, quote, "what they deserve." He thanked God that America is, in his words, again, "filled with fear from the north, south, east and west." And bin Laden characterized the global alliance against terrorism as a war against Islam.


OSAMA BIN LADEN (through translator): I say these events have split the whole world into two camps -- camp of belief and a camp of disbelief. So that every Muslim should come out to fight for his religion. The winds of change has been blowing now. And to America, I say to it and its nation, I swear by God, you -- America shall never enjoy nor those who live in America will never enjoy peace unless we enjoy it in Palestine and before all the disbelievers leave the -- our holy land.


WOODRUFF: Despite a quick Taliban claim that its forces shot down one of the attacking aircraft, U.S. Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld told reporters a few hours ago that at that point no U.S. aircraft had been hit.

The strike was carried out by 15 U.S. land-based bombers, as well as 25 strike aircraft, plus U.S. and British ships and submarines firing cruise missiles. Among the arsenal were B-2 stealth bombers from Whiteman Air Force Base in Missouri, with satellite-guided munitions. U.S. B-1 and B-52 bombers from the British base on Diego Garcia in the Indian Ocean also took part in the raids. Both aircraft used precision guided munitions and more conventional, so called "dumb bombs."

Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld says the attacks will continue, but he warned there is no silver bullet and no single thing that will make the threat of terrorism disappear.


DONALD RUMSFELD, DEFENSE SECRETARY: The only way to deal with these terrorist threats is to go at them where they exist. You cannot defend at every place at every time against every conceivable, imaginable, even unimaginable terrorist attack. And the only way to deal with it is to take the battle where they are, and to root them out, and to starve them out by seeing that those countries and those organizations and those non-governmental organizations and those individuals that are supporting and hiring -- harboring and facilitating these networks stop doing it, and find that there's a penalty for doing it.


WOODRUFF: Joining me now from Capitol Hill, House minority leader Dick Gephardt. He learned of the impending attacks last night in a telephone call from President Bush.

Mr. Gephardt, the president called you about 7:00 Eastern time, you were at an Orioles game in Baltimore. What did he say?

REP. RICHARD GEPHARDT (D), HOUSE MINORITY LEADER: Well, he said that these attacks would take place. We have had conversations with him about it before and his people. He said he would give a speech to the country this afternoon, which he did, and I told him we were praying for him and our troops. And we knew that this would have to be over time a success, and we believe it will be.

WOODRUFF: What is your sense of how it is going so far?

GEPHARDT: Well, this is the first stage, Judy, of a long campaign. As Don Rumsfeld has said and the president has said, this is just the first step of many steps. There are also political, diplomatic and financial steps that we're taking. And a lot of the military effort will have to be very focused, very surgical and including paramilitary and other kinds of covert efforts to get at the folks who have been perpetrating this violence.

This is a very complicated foe, and it is going to take a very complicated, long-run response to get this done.

WOODRUFF: Any doubt in your mind that U.S. ground troops will be involved?

GEPHARDT: Well, in a very limited way, again, I think small groups, paramilitary, trying to find these people -- this is not going to be the Persian Gulf War, this is not going to be Bosnia or Kosovo. It's not going to be big ground troop invasions into Afghanistan. That's what they'd like us to do, that's what we won't do. But it will be a different kind of warfare for a very different kind of war, and a different kind of challenge than we have ever faced.

WOODRUFF: To what extent is the Democratic Party onboard in supporting what the Bush administration is doing?

GEPHARDT: I think Democrats are onboard with Republicans. I think we are really all Americans, we want to prevent further attacks. That's what this is about. This is not revenge. We are not after people in Afghanistan. We are not after certainly Islamic people and religion.

We are trying to prevent further attacks. These are fanatic extremists, they are not true to the beliefs of Islam and the Muslim religions, and we have got to root them out, bring them to justice, and then carry out long-term programs, both here and abroad, that will diminish the army of terrorists, not increase it. That's why this has to be done carefully and in a new way.

WOODRUFF: Congressman Gephardt, does the president and in essence the administration have a blank check to do whatever it needs to do to make, to carry out this military campaign successfully, from the Congress I mean?

GEPHARDT: Well, Judy, there is never a blank check for anybody in our country. You have to act responsibly, you have to check with everybody. And that's been done throughout. We have had lots of open communication. We agree with the strategy that's being implemented now. And we hope and believe it will continue to be a wise and intelligent strategy.

We need it to be. We need to be unified. We need to have resolve. We need to work together. The whole country has been threatened. Our people have been threatened in a way that probably never been before, and we have got to stick together and work together to do the right things to bring this to an end.

WOODRUFF: To what extent are you concerned about civilian casualties?

GEPHARDT: Well, you are always worried about follow-on attacks. We have got to be vigilant. We've got to be careful. We are at a high security level now here and across the country. That's the way it ought to be.

But at the same token, we have got to resume normal life. People can't go into their homes, and you know, not go out and work and go to school and all the things that we do. If we do that, we will really be giving in to the thing that the terrorist really wanted to achieve, which is scaring us all to death. We can't do that. It's almost our patriotic duty to resume normal life, be careful, do good things for security, which we're doing with law enforcement, and I think we can avoid further attacks.

WOODRUFF: And I'm glad you addressed the question of security here in the U.S. in the event of a retaliation. What I also want to ask you about are civilian casualties in Afghanistan.

GEPHARDT: Oh, I understand. I don't think that there is going to be that. I think the military is trying very hard to not have collateral damage. And as you know, we are simultaneously introducing food supplies into the country. A lot of people are starving there, a lot of people have had difficulties for a long time. That will be added by this, I'm sure.

We have got to tell the people of Afghanistan, this is not against them, it's not against Islam, it's against the fanatical extremists who have practiced their hatred not only here but across the world in the last years.

WOODRUFF: And finally, how hard will it be to keep this coalition together?

GEPHARDT: Well, I think we can do it. It will be difficult. It's going to take a lot of work on the part of our country, our administration, our people, but we have got a lot of good friends -- Britain, France, Canada, Australia. And many countries in the Middle East that are really in a very tough position, but they have stood up with us in this coalition.

It's like anything in teamwork. You have to work with the team, it's me to we every day, try to pull together everybody in an unified effort, not only here but abroad. I think can do this. I think we have to do it. I think we will do it.

WOODRUFF: All right. House minority leader Dick Gephardt joining us from the United States Capitol, thank you very much.

GEPHARDT: Thank you.

WOODRUFF: Well, I will be back at the bottom of the hour with another update, but right now let's go to my colleague Greta Van Susteren -- Greta.


We have seen pictures of him before, but today was the first time many of us have heard Osama bin Laden's voice, and through a translator heard him threaten the U.S. In a minute, we will take a closer look at who Osama bin Laden is and what makes him hate the U.S. so much.


VAN SUSTEREN: He swears that neither America nor those who live in it will know security. Why does Osama bin Laden hate America so much? Joining me here in Washington our CNN terrorism analyst Peter Bergen and Georgetown University professor Rob Sobhani.

Rob, first to you, why does he hate the U.S. so much?

ROB SOBHANI, GEORGETOWN UNIVERSITY: Greta, I think Osama bin Laden gets his legitimacy and power from being anti-American. Saddam Hussein did this very effectively in 1990s. By being the only Arab leader in the Muslim world to stand up to America, he portrayed himself as the champion, and therefore gained legitimacy in the eyes of the Arab world, and that's exactly what Osama bin Laden is doing today.

VAN SUSTEREN: Peter, he released a statement today which seemed to coincide with the attack on Afghanistan today, or the Taliban, was that done before or after the strikes, do you think?

PETER BERGEN, CNN TERRORISM EXPERT: Well, my impression is that tape was made sometime between September 11 and today. Obviously, it referred to the strikes. Bin Laden himself mentioned the large buildings that were attacked, but it must have been made somewhere in a remote location of Afghanistan, and then had to transfer to al- Jazeera television, that would have taken some time. So, my impression is, that would have been made in the last several days, perhaps.

VAN SUSTEREN: Peter, what's the strategy of releasing this?

BERGEN: There have been multiple releases of tapes from bin Laden in the recent -- in about the last year or so. One thing is, he well understands how Western media operates. We all need pictures to explain the story, it's a way of getting his message out in a sort of unmediated fashion. CNN and other news organizations have played that tape, and it's a very effective way for him to get his message out.

VAN SUSTEREN: Rob, do you think it's a good strategy with his followers? Is he gaining more momentum?

SOBHANI: I think the timing, from the perspective of Osama bin Laden, is excellent. What he is trying to do is pit the United States against the Muslim world -- he, as the vanguard of the Muslim world against the United States. Today, he personally attacked President Bush. If you look at his comments, it's very, very clear he's including the Palestinian issue into this. What he is trying to do is create excitement, create fans, more fans for himself in the Arab street, in the Arab-Muslim world.

VAN SUSTEREN: How many fans, though, does he have, Rob? We have seen so many refugees leave the country of Afghanistan. How big are the numbers?

SOBHANI: Greta, you touched on something very important. He has no fans among the people of Afghanistan. And that's where we need to start the process of dehumanizing Osama bin Laden and taking the message that the people of Afghanistan have, which is get out of our country, get out of our lives.

We need to start mobilizing Afghans to start burning the effigy of Osama bin Laden. Project that into the Muslim world, because we need to start dehumanizing this guy, because dead or alive, we do not need a martyr.

VAN SUSTEREN: But Peter, he does have some allies at least in Afghanistan, he has some protection. You have been there, Peter. About how many people does he have around him that are protecting him?

BERGEN: Well, we know that in the immediate group around him, there is a group of people that has sworn allegiance to him, and that's at least several hundred. There has been a group of about 400 men fighting alongside the Taliban, the sort of conventional forces. So, you are looking at a group the range of between several hundred and the low thousands of people who are, let's say, his committed followers.

VAN SUSTEREN: Do we have any idea how big the Taliban is, though, Peter? I mean, to get the sort of sense of the numbers.

BERGEN: Western diplomats in Pakistan estimate the Taliban to be somewhere between 20,000 and 40,000 men. The Taliban themselves have said that they can recruit more people at this moment. I think that may be wishful thinking on their part.

VAN SUSTEREN: Peter, before we saw the speech by bin Laden today, we saw someone else speak. Who was that, and why is he important?

BERGEN: The gentlemen that we saw along bin Laden is Ayman al Zawahiri, who plays a critical role in al Qaeda, bin Laden's organization. Ayman al Zawahiri is about 10 years older than bin Laden, has been involved in terrorism since 1973, when he founded Egypt's Jihad Group. He is widely regarded both by American intelligence and by Middle Eastern sources of various descriptions and people familiar with the organization as really bin Laden's brain.

And I thought it was very significant today that he actually led off that tape, and in a way he has kind of come out into the public with this tape. And we are going to hear a lot more of Ayman al Zawahiri in the coming days. VAN SUSTEREN: Rob, al Zawahiri has been rather quiet, or at least seemingly so, in the background. Do you find it significant that he appeared on this tape with bin Laden?

SOBHANI: Possibly coming out as a successor to bin Laden. Maybe bin Laden figures that if indeed his days are numbered, he will want to have his lieutenant known to the Arab world. And this might be the beginning of the rein of Mr. al Zawahiri.

VAN SUSTEREN: And Peter, now what is next for bin Laden, do you think?

BERGEN: Well, bin Laden has had a lot of time to think out what his responses are. Clearly, September 11 was not something that was a surprise to him. We know that I think for two reasons. First of all, we have this tape which has been shown which implies that he thought out possible responses in the sense that he knew this tape would get a wide showing.

Secondly, with the death of Ahmed Shah Massoud, the assassination by probably by bin Laden's men two days before the World Trade Center attacks. It's clear that bin Laden had a plan. By eliminating Massoud, that was the most effective leader of the Northern Alliance who has now joined forces with the American-led coalition.

So, I think bin Laden has had a lot of time to think out his responses. The question, what they are exactly, that remains to be seen. But I can say that we know that the group has Stinger missiles, the most effective handheld anti-aircraft missile in the world, and the group has experimented in the kind of low-key kind of way, or amateur kind of way with chemical weapons and made attempts to buy nuclear material.

I'm not suggesting those have been weaponized, but I am saying that this is a man who is on the record as saying that he is seeking to acquire chemical, nuclear and biological weapons, and his words have been the best road map to his actual actions in the past, Greta.

VAN SUSTEREN: All right, Rob, what do you think the strategy going to be with bin Laden?

SOBHANI: Whatever the strategy is, I think the strikes today, Greta, are the beginning of the end for Osama bin Laden. I think the people of Afghanistan now realize that the United States is going in to liberate Afghanistan. And that's the key word. We are going in to liberate, and I think the people of Afghanistan, the Northern Alliance, will unite under Mohamed Zahir Shah, and eventually, sooner rather than later, we will see the end of the Taliban and the beginning of a new era for Afghanistan.

VAN SUSTEREN: All right. Peter Bergen, Rob Sobhani, thank you very much for joining me this evening.

U.S. military is doing two things at once: Attacking the Taliban and providing humanitarian relief to Afghanistan's refugees. We will look at that an assignment when we come back. (COMMERCIAL BREAK)

VAN SUSTEREN: This is a war unlike any other. There is no big army to fight, just a group of shadowy terrorists in the mountains of Afghanistan and the Taliban militia that has been running the country. How does the U.S. military lead a global alliance against them? Joining me is CNN military analyst, retired Air Force Major General Don Shepperd. General, thank you for joining me this evening.

I want to talk about the Tomahawk cruise missile. I just want to find out how big this is. How long are these things?

MAJ. GEN. DONALD SHEPPERD (RET), CNN MILITARY ANALYST: Not real big. Think of an oxygen cylinder about 20 inches in diameter. Think of that coming out of a tube, wings spring out of it, the motor igniting, and it's on its way like a model airplane, a model airplane that weighs about 3,000 pounds.

VAN SUSTEREN: How far can you send those things?

SHEPPERD: Well, you can send -- the maximum range is probably in the neighborhood of around 1,000 miles. So, you can get way offshore, you can launch them from submarines, you can launch them from surface ships, you can also launch them from aircraft.


SHEPPERD: Well, it's subsonic. The exact speed is classified, but it's subsonic, and so it can be shot down. So that's one of the reasons it goes in low altitude, and also night is a protection for it. You saw during the Gulf War the Iraqi shooting at it all the time, and the Afghans will be doing the same thing.

VAN SUSTEREN: How fast can it actually go, though? The speed?

SHEPPERD: Well, when I say subsonic, probably top speed is around 400, 450 miles an hour would be top speed, from that standpoint.

VAN SUSTEREN: What is the advantage of the cruise missile?

SHEPPERD: The advantage of the cruise missile is that there is no person there, so you are not risking a pilot. And the other thing is, it's very small, it's hard to see on the radar, has a very small what we call cross section, and it also is very hard to hit when you are shooting at it, because it operates at low altitude. So, it makes a formidable weapon.

VAN SUSTEREN: How do you actually guide it?

SHEPPERD: Well, there are several ways. One is what we call scene matching. You take pictures from satellites, and then it matches the satellite picture to where it is on the ground. Another one is what we call INS, or inertia navigational system, gyro, self- contained. And another one is with global positioning systems. All three are ways they can do it, and they are improving that all the time, which improves the accuracy.


SHEPPERD: Figure $1 million a pop is probably good. Now, the actual purchase price is around 600,000, but when you put in everything probably around $1 million is what you're looking at. Expensive.

VAN SUSTEREN: When you put in everything, what are you -- what are the accessories we get with it?

SHEPPERD: Yeah, when we talk about support, we talk about the gasoline, the people, the storage, maintaining it -- all the trail that goes with it. So, it's not just purchasing the weapon itself, there is a lot of other things included in it as well.

VAN SUSTEREN: How powerful? What can it do when it strikes something?

SHEPPERD: Well, think of about 1,000-pound warhead and also the capability to change the warhead to submunitions, or small cluster bombs that can be dumped out of it. So, you can send it in level, and you can dump cluster bombs to get personnel in the open, if that's what you're after, or you can also put a warhead about 1,000 pound -- and now there are some larger warheads coming as well -- and it goes up and it dives into the target. That's kind of the thought process that you use.

VAN SUSTEREN: When do you decide whether or not you are going to use a cluster bomb or not?

SHEPPERD: Well, it depends on the target you are after. If you are after troops in the open, if you are after buildings that will burn, that type of thing, if you are after stuff that fragmentation will work, then that's when you use the cluster bomb. If you looking at blowing something up or digging a deep hole or going after something that's buried in the ground, you want the large warhead.

VAN SUSTEREN: How many did the U.S. use today?

SHEPPERD: Fifty is what we heard reported from the Pentagon, so you can think about $50 million.

VAN SUSTEREN: How many does the U.S. actually have, do you know that?

SHEPPERD: I don't know how many they have, but it would be in the hundreds. We won't run out, and they can be manufactured now very quickly if we need more.

VAN SUSTEREN: What do you mean quickly? How fast can the U.S. make a cruise missile?

SHEPPERD: This is something we deal with all the time. As far as -- from when you start to when the missile is finished, it's probably in the neighborhood of three to four months if you look at a single missile. But we can gear up quickly to have our industrial partners, and we have already done that. When this kicked off, we went to all of us manufacturing partners for spare parts and everything that we are using, and they are gearing up to rapidly contract and rapidly produce for us. So, we can keep up with it.

VAN SUSTEREN: OK, say, three to four months, with all that partnership, what can you get that three or four months period down to?

SHEPPERD: My guess is you can probably get it down to a couple of months.

VAN SUSTEREN: And in terms of -- we used these in the Gulf War, the United States used these in the Gulf War. Have they changed in 10 years?

SHEPPERD: They have changed. The guidance systems have changed, the weapons have changed. We've got bigger warheads available to them, so it's much more accurate and it's also longer range. We learned a lot from the Gulf War.

VAN SUSTEREN: Any disadvantage to these?

SHEPPERD: Well, the disadvantage is the accuracy. It's not as accurate as a laser-guided weapon. And of course, you have malfunctions in these, so the disadvantage would be -- if you really wanted to be sure and hit something, you would use a global positioning system, a GPS-guided weapon, or a laser-guided weapon, which would be more accurate.

But you are talking in the neighborhood of a very few feet with 1,000 pound bomb. So, they are very accurate. They are very accurate.

VAN SUSTEREN: All right. General Don Shepperd, thanks very much for joining me this evening.

SHEPPERD: My pleasure.

VAN SUSTEREN: In a minute, the new security concerns now that the U.S. has attacked the terrorists. CNN's coverage continues in just a minute.


VAN SUSTEREN: If you're just joining us, it has now been about eight hours since we learned of the U.S.-led strikes against the Taliban militia and other terrorist targets in Afghanistan.

For the very latest, let's go to Judy Woodruff.

WOODRUFF: Greta, the attacks began just after dark in Afghanistan. It was about 8:45 p.m. local time there. The Pentagon has released pictures of jets and cruise missiles being launched. The strike aircraft were based on two U.S. aircraft carriers: The USS Carl Vinson and the USS Enterprise. The cruise missiles were fired by four surface ships and by two submarines. British ships and 15 U.S. land- based bombers also took part in the attacks.

There were flashes of light and anti-aircraft fire seen outside Kabul, the capital city. The Ministry of Defense building in Kabul reportedly was hit. A senior Taliban official told CNN that the command system and the radar system at the Kandahar Airport also had been destroyed.

In addition to Kabul and Kandahar, other targets were Jalalabad in the east and a number of towns in the north. Intelligence sources with the opposition Northern Alliance report at least seven different locations were hit.

President Bush announced the strike at 1:00 p.m. Eastern. It was about two hours after he returned to the White House from Camp David.


BUSH: On my orders, the United States military has began strikes against the al Qaeda terrorist training camps and military installations of the Taliban regime in Afghanistan. These carefully targeted actions are designed to disrupt the use of Afghanistan as a terrorist base of operations and to attack the military capability of the Taliban regime.

We are joined in this operation by our staunch friend, Great Britain. Other close friends, including Canada, Australia, Germany and France have pledged forces as the operation unfolds. More than 40 countries in the Middle East, Africa, Europe and across Asia have granted air transit or landing rights. Many more have shared intelligence. We are supported by the collective will of the world.

More than two weeks ago, I gave Taliban leaders a series of clear and specific demands: Close terrorist training camps, hand over leaders of the al Qaeda network and return all foreign nationals, including American citizens unjustly detained in your country. None of these demands were met, and now the Taliban will pay a price. By destroying camps and disrupting communications we will make it more difficult for the terror network to train new recruits and coordinate their evil plans.

Initially, the terrorists may burrow deeper into caves and other entrenched hiding places. Our military action is also designed to clear the way for sustained, comprehensive and relentless operations to drive them out and bring them to justice.

At the same time, the oppressed people of Afghanistan will know the generosity of America and their allies. As we strike military targets, we will also drop food, medicine and supplies to the starving and suffering men and women and children of Afghanistan.

The United States of America is a friend to the Afghan people. And we are the friends of almost a billion worldwide who practice the Islamic faith. The United States of America is an enemy of those who aid terrorists, and of the barbaric criminals who profane a great religion by committing murder in its name.


WOODRUFF: A few hours after the U.S. and British air strikes began, an Arab television news network broadcast a videotaped interview with Osama bin Laden. And while it's not clear when the interview was conducted, bin Laden praised the September 11 attacks on the United States, saying God is giving the Americans, quote, "what they deserve."


BIN LADEN (through translator): These days, the Israeli tanks enter Palestine in Jenin, Ramallah, Rafah, Beit Jala and other places of Islam, and we never hear anybody who talks about it and takes action. So when the assault came after 80 years against America, then the voice of appeasement has been loud, lamenting the victims of America. Those people have supported the butcher against the victim.


WOODRUFF: Again, we don't know when that was taped.

Today, Afghanistan's Taliban militia condemned the coalition attacks and claimed to have shot down one attacking plane. That claim was denied by Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld.

In addition to the Taliban, Iraq and Iran are criticizing the strikes in Afghanistan. There has been no public response from much of the Arab world, including Uzbekistan, Egypt, the United Arab Emirates or Saudi Arabia. Support for the strike has come from Pakistan, Israel, Canada, Germany, Spain, France, and of course, Great Britain. British Prime Minister Tony Blair went on television to speak to his countrymen.


TONY BLAIR, PRIME MINISTER OF GREAT BRITAIN: This of course is the moment of the utmost gravity for the world. None of the leaders involved in this action want war. None of our nations want it. We are a peaceful people. But we know that sometimes to safeguard peace we have to fight. Britain has learned that lesson many times before in our history. We only do it if the cause is just, but this cause is just.

The murder of almost 7,000 innocent people in America was an attack on our freedom, our way of life and an attack on civilized values the world over. We waited so that those responsible could be yielded out by those shielding them. That offer was refused. We have now no choice.

So we will act, and our determination in acting is total. We will not let up or rest until our objectives are met in full.


WOODRUFF: The Bush administration, meantime, is bracing for retaliatory terrorist attacks against American citizens or U.S. interest around the world after the U.S. military strikes against Afghanistan. In a newly-issued worldwide caution, the State Department said the strikes in Afghanistan may result in strong anti- American sentiment and retaliatory actions against U.S. citizens and interests. In particular, the Bush administration is closely watching Indonesia, Malaysia and the Philippines -- countries in Asia with large Muslim populations, where many Americans live.

Extra security measures also are being taken inside the United States. We are looking at a special command center that has been set up by the Washington, D.C. police. The FBI is calling on law enforcement agencies across the country to be at the, quote, "highest level of vigilance and to be prepared to respond to any act of terrorism or violence, should it become necessary."

In addition to Washington, officials in Baltimore and New York, to name just two cities, have ordered extra precautions. Without providing specifics, New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani told reporters that security in New York will be higher, but not quite as intense as it was in the days immediately after the September 11 attack on the World Trade Center.


MAYOR RUDY GIULIANI, NEW YORK CITY: There is a significant additional number of armed police officers, members of the National Guard, who will be guarding sensitive areas, areas that we think might be subject to attack.


WOODRUFF: And also, organizers of television's Emmy awards called off tonight's ceremony. The decision they said was not based on a specific threat. CBS President Les Moonves said the program was put off because this no longer seemed like a day to celebrate. No one is saying when or if the Emmys will be rescheduled.

And that's how the situation stands at this hour. Greta, back to you.

VAN SUSTEREN: Thank you, Judy.

Next, where the terrorism investigation stands. A panel "TIME" magazine correspondents join me when we continue our coverage, "America Strikes Back."


VAN SUSTEREN: As if attacking Osama bin Laden, feeding millions of hungry Afghan refugees and keeping together an international coalition were not enough, the White House also has to worry about domestic terrorism and the sour economy. Can the Bush administration juggle it all? Joining me from New York is "TIME" magazine foreign editor Lisa Beyer. Also in New York is "TIME" editor-at-large Michael Elliott. And in Florida is "TIME's" Miami bureau chief Tim Padgett.

Lisa, first to you. Osama bin Laden's taped statement today that we have played on the air, how will that be received from the Arab world?

LISA BEYER, "TIME" MAGAZINE: Well, I think it will be received fairly well by the Arab world. He makes some points that have a considerable amount of resonance in the Arab world. He basically cast the United States in the role of the aggressor, in the role of the party that started all of this by killing Iraqi children, by being responsible for Israel's policy and suppressing the Palestinians, and he talks about 80 years basically of humiliation on the part of the Arabs.

He seems to be back-dating this period to the period of colonialism after World War I when the Ottoman Empire broke up, and colonial powers France and England divided the Arab world into basically arbitrary countries and picked their favorite princes to lead them. And this continues to cause a great deal of resentment in a world that's used to thinking of itself as a power that's dominant and not the one that's being dominated.

VAN SUSTEREN: Michael, the statement by Osama bin Laden seemed to be a threat, a call for a holy war. Is this going to be received well, as Lisa suggests?

MICHAEL ELLIOTT, "TIME" EDITOR-AT-LARGE: Well, it will be received well by those who in the last five, 10 years have regarded Osama bin Laden as an authentic voice of Islamic radicalism and have been prepared to follow him. That is a slice of the Middle East population. It's probably a larger slice than we are comfortable acknowledging, but obviously it's not an enormous slice, and there are millions and millions of people, from the Mediterranean to the Indian Ocean, who would have heard that and I suspect been repelled by some of the sentiments in it.

The task for the United States and its allies over the next six months is to reduce drastically the number of people who find the sentiments expressed by bin Laden in the tape that we saw today and to increase the number of people who are repelled by it and who want nothing to do with it.

That task is one that can't only be performed by means of Tomahawk missiles and special forces. It's also a task that has got to be undertaken by means of propaganda, by means of economic assistance, by means of cultural initiatives, possibly by means of religious initiatives, certainly by means of political initiatives.

So you know, one front of the war, a new front of the war opened today, but if we are going to shrink the pool of those who listened to that speech and supported it over the next six months is the other front, the non-military fronts that we have got to develop.

VAN SUSTEREN: Let me -- which brings in Tim. The non-military front -- the investigation sort of fuels the right to go forward with the military. What's the latest in the investigation front?

TIM PADGETT, "TIME" MIAMI BUREAU CHIEF: Well, I think the reason, one of the big reasons anyway that we started dropping bombs today was that the United States and its allies felt that they had finally connected enough operational and, more important, enough financial dots leading toward Osama bin Laden and the al Qaeda network.

For the past few weeks, we have been reporting quite a bit on the number of money wire transfers that the FBI has been detecting between the al Qaeda network and hijackers here in Florida and other parts of the United States, particularly the ring leader, Mohammed Atta, and a couple of days ago Doug Waller (ph) of our magazine reported that Atta and some of the other hijackers in late 1999 had actually met with Osama bin Laden's deputies, like Ayman al Zawahiri in Afghanistan, and that coincided of course with the Britain's report that Osama bin Laden had actually declared that he was going to be doing something like this on September 11.

So, they felt -- they felt that this was, you know, they had provided enough evidence even if it's not conclusive enough for a court, for example, or to appease the Taliban, they had connected enough dots and now it was time to start bombing.

VAN SUSTEREN: All right. We're going to take a break. My "TIME" magazine panel will return, as CNN's coverage of the strike against the Taliban continues.


VAN SUSTEREN: Welcome back. We are talking about America's strike against Afghanistan's Taliban and terrorists with a panel from "TIME" magazine. In New York is "TIME" magazine's foreign editor Lisa Beyer and "TIME" editor-at-large Michael Elliott. And in Florida is "TIME's" Miami bureau chief Tim Padgett.

Lisa, to you. The strategy that bin Laden seems to be using, which is to divide the world by his statement today, as well as to blame the U.S. That will work as long as he gets to his audience. How does his audience get information in the Middle East?

BEYER: Oh, well, I think the same way we do -- through you. Basically, this tape that we saw will be regarded all over the Middle East, as it's being seen all over the United States today.

VAN SUSTEREN: Michael, it seems like pretty savvy to use -- he is using PR in an effort to forward his case.

ELLIOTT: Yeah, and he has done for a few years, of course. I mean, videocassettes and audio cassettes of bin Laden have been in circulation before. I mean, he has never been reclusive in the sense of being an unbelievably tough get in terms of interviews. There have been plenty of interviews with him over the last five or six years, so there have been plenty of opportunities he's had to get his message out. And he has taken them.

VAN SUSTEREN: Tim, worldwide caution issued by U.S. State Department today. Is there some threat, or is there anything that any terrorism here in the United States that they are particularly paying attention to the potential for? PADGETT: I think you have to temper today's alert with the fact that the FBI itself has been saying for the past couple of weeks that they are really -- this dragnet that they threw out shortly after the attack really hasn't brought in a lot of what we call co-conspirators, either on the level of the hijackers or, more important, on the upper layer of the operational or financial directors. It really hasn't brought in a lot of people that they would think would still be plotting this kind of thing in the United States.

I think the terrorists learned something after 1993, the bombing of the World Trade Center then, which was don't leave a bunch of slobs sitting around Brooklyn still mixing bombs after you've made that attack. It seems like, you know, the cockroaches fled as soon as the kitchen lights were turned on, and there really aren't a lot of what the FBI would call co-conspirators around. But nevertheless, obviously the alert is warranted.

VAN SUSTEREN: Lisa, everyone seems to think that was rather sophisticated terrorism here on September 11 in the United States. Is bin Laden's overall approach, do you rate it as sophisticated, taking into account today's statement?

BEYER: You know, I think the thing to bear in mind here -- and it's a terrible thing to acknowledge -- but terrorism is pretty easy to pull off. This operation on September 11 required a certain amount of money, some patience, some very committed individuals, but it was not hard to pull of. And it's -- I think we have to be very much prepared for the next strike, because this is who these people are.

And especially in our open society -- you know, it's interesting, Osama bin Laden's number one complaint is against us, but he has also got a huge complaint against the Saudi government. He doesn't attack the Saudi government, he doesn't go after Saudi targets, and part of the reason for that is that we, because of our freedoms, because of the openness of our society, we are a very, very soft target. It's very easy to commit a terrorist operation in this country.

And from that point of view, I think it's really all a question of the will of the al Qaeda network, and they have demonstrated that will.

VAN SUSTEREN: Michael, 30 seconds left, strategy, do you rate his current strategy as sophisticated?

ELLIOTT: Not particularly, because he succeeded in putting together in opposition to him an alliance of the most powerful military and economic nations in the world. And when they apply the military and economic and political power, you would expect to see the earth move.

VAN SUSTEREN: All right. Thanks to my "TIME" magazine panel, Lisa Beyer, Michael Elliott and Tim Padgett.

CNN's coverage, "America Strikes Back" will return in just a minute.


VAN SUSTEREN: You are looking at live pictures in Afghanistan as the sun arises, and I want to bring back Lisa Beyer into the discussion. Lisa, you lived in the Middle East for a number of years, where a lot of people live under the fear of terrorism. What life is going to be like here in the United States if we continue to live under fear of terrorism?

BEYER: Well, I think we're going to have to become much more vigilant. I lived in Jerusalem for nine years until a year ago, and there are all sorts of ways in which Israeli society sort of alters itself to cope with the fact that there's a constant threat of terrorism.

People are on their cell phones all the time, checking in with their loved ones to say, "I'm here, I'm going there, I will be here for 15 minutes, and then if you don't hear from me, call me back" or whatever. There is no such thing in Israel as an unattended package. If somebody leaves a bag behind, very soon someone will call the police, they will call in the bomb squad and they will blow the thing up. This is such a common site in Jerusalem, I probably ran into it, you know, on an average once a month. It doesn't even draw a crowd.

There is no such thing in Jerusalem or in Israel, for that matter, as a crowded place like a cinema or a shopping center that doesn't have a guard in front that checks everybody who comes in, makes sure they are not strapped with explosives, makes sure they don't have a bomb in their bag.

I think -- I'm not sure we have to go that far...

VAN SUSTEREN: You know, Lisa, as you outline this, I think I could live with all those things, you know, having packages not left unattended. I think what's I think is so different here -- and maybe there used to in Israel -- is not necessarily just the convenience, but the fear. How do people on a day-to-day basis live with the possibility that a bomb can go off? We are not used to that here in the United States.

BEYER: Right. And it's a very sad thing now that we have to get used to it.

It's a little bit like a village that lives next to a river that regularly floods. You do adjust to it, and it becomes something that is simply part of, you know, of your calculus of things. I know a lot of people, a lot of friends of mine have said that they don't want to feel fear, because they don't want to give the terrorists that much.

Well, you can't control your feelings. If you are fearful, then you are fearful. But I think the thing that you can do is you can control what you do with that feeling, and you can feel frightened, but then not allow it to determine your behavior, not allow it to panic you, not allow it to paralyze you, to continue -- in other words, to get on with your life.

VAN SUSTEREN: What's the view of America in the Middle East? BEYER: Well, it depends on who you are asking. I think that if you are looking at the Arab world, you could sort of divide the Arab world into concentric circles. In the white, hot core you'd have people like Osama bin Laden and his followers who just want to see us dead, basically. Outside of that, you would have a fairly wide group of people who would be radicalized -- not necessarily in an Islamic way, but radicalized and basically be a recruiting pool for that smaller group of people.

And then, on the outside of that, you would have ordinary people, ordinary, you know, family people, business people, many of whom, I think far more than most Americans are really psychologically prepared to understand -- on September 11, they wouldn't have cheered, they wouldn't have danced in the street, but they might have smiled. A lot of people sent congratulatory messages to one another, and they felt, well, it was a sorry thing that all those people had to die, but least American arrogance got knocked down a notch or two.

VAN SUSTEREN: And in the 10 seconds we have left, having American arrogance knocked down a notch or two, is the reputation on hold, is it now going to improve?

BEYER: America's reputation?


BEYER: Well, I think that we very much run the risk in any military operation against any part of the Islamic world of further inflaming opposition against us. I'm not suggesting that that's not a reason not to act. Of course, we have to act.

VAN SUSTEREN: And I'm sorry, I gave you the question, and now I have to cut you off. My thanks tonight to Lisa Beyer of "TIME" magazine.

I'm Greta Van Susteren in Washington. Israeli Foreign Minister Shimon Peres is among the guests next on "LARRY KING LIVE."




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