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CNN LIVE EVENT/SPECIAL

America Strikes Back: FBI Releases Terrorism Most Wanted List

Aired October 10, 2001 - 06:37   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.
CAROL LIN, CNN ANCHOR: There is going to be a new list coming out today by the FBI listing the most wanted on the terrorism list.

Kelly Wallace has more about this at the White House -- good morning, Kelly.

KELLY WALLACE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Good morning, Carol.

Exactly. There is going to be this new FBI terrorism most-wanted list. The goal here really two-fold: one, to step up pressure and seek the capture of suspected terrorists. But number 2, for President Bush to reiterate that this campaign against terrorism extends beyond one person, Osama bin Laden, and is focused on terrorists and all of those who harbor them.

Now, as for the list: The list will definitely include Osama bin Laden and his top associates in the al Qaeda organization. We understand about 20 names will be on the list, including other people believed to be responsible for other terrorist attacks in the past, such as the 1993 World Trade Center bombing, the 1996 Khobar Towers bombing, which left 19 members of the United States Air Force dead -- that was in Saudi Arabia -- and then the 1998 embassy bombings in East Africa.

Meantime, President Bush will start his day having breakfast with congressional leaders, and certainly a big topic of conversation is seeking a compromise over access to classified information -- this after yesterday President Bush publicly scolding lawmakers for leaks of sensitive information. The president very angry that some information got out after a classified briefing given to members of Congress, and he decided then to, from now on, restrict that information to just eight members of Congress: the four congressional leaders and the chairs and vice chairs of the House and Senate Intelligence Committees.

Well, as you might expect, that made many Democrats and Republicans very angry. They said Congress has -- must have access to this information in order to do its oversight role, especially during wartime. Well, some Democratic and Republican members came over and met with the president yesterday. Following that meeting, they seem to say that this problem -- disagreement could be worked out.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) SEN. JOSEPH BIDEN (D), DELAWARE: The president indicated that he understood fully a memo did not trump the law, and that he is planning on keeping the letter of the law, which means that the Foreign Relations -- the International Affairs Committee, the Foreign Relations Committee would be briefed.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

WALLACE: So, Carol, aides believe -- say that the president believes he made his point, but he wants to sit down with congressional leaders and discuss a compromise -- again, likely to allow that information to go to other committees, such as the Foreign Relations and Armed Services Committees.

But again, Carol, he wants to make sure that the leaders will enforce that this information remain secret -- Carol.

LIN: Kelly, a quick question about this terrorism most-wanted list; 20 names in all, 19 outside of Osama bin Laden. Is this an indication of where the administration would like to take its so- called war on terrorism into other countries outside of Afghanistan? And if so, would that mean military strikes elsewhere?

WALLACE: Well, you raise two good points. I think it's two -- there are two indications here. One, all week long, we have seen the White House really stepping away from even mentioning Osama bin Laden. This is very important. The White House wants to make it clear that this whole campaign is not just based on Osama bin Laden and also wants to make sure that the whole success and failure of this operation doesn't hinge on actually capturing bin Laden.

But number 2, you raised a very good point. You've heard the president say that he wants to go after terrorists all around the world and those organizations and states which harbor them. We saw the White House or the United States inform the United Nations on Monday that the U.S. reserves the right to strike out against organizations or other countries beyond Afghanistan.

So again, this is setting the stage for this broad campaign, but of course, holding that coalition together if the U.S. does decide to extend its campaign beyond Afghanistan will be very, very difficult indeed -- Carol.

LIN: All right. We'll see what more the president has to say today -- thank you very much -- Kelly Wallace reporting live.

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

CAROL LIN, CNN ANCHOR: There is going to be a new list coming out today by the FBI listing the most wanted on the terrorism list.

Kelly Wallace has more about this at the White House -- good morning, Kelly.

KELLY WALLACE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Good morning, Carol.

Exactly. There is going to be this new FBI terrorism most-wanted list. The goal here really two-fold: one, to step up pressure and seek the capture of suspected terrorists. But number 2, for President Bush to reiterate that this campaign against terrorism extends beyond one person, Osama bin Laden, and is focused on terrorists and all of those who harbor them.

Now, as for the list: The list will definitely include Osama bin Laden and his top associates in the al Qaeda organization. We understand about 20 names will be on the list, including other people believed to be responsible for other terrorist attacks in the past, such as the 1993 World Trade Center bombing, the 1996 Khobar Towers bombing, which left 19 members of the United States Air Force dead -- that was in Saudi Arabia -- and then the 1998 embassy bombings in East Africa.

Meantime, President Bush will start his day having breakfast with congressional leaders, and certainly a big topic of conversation is seeking a compromise over access to classified information>


 
 
 
 


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