Striking Back: Latest Developments
Halfway around the world, America's prime suspect in the Sept. 11 terrorist attack, Osama bin Laden, urged Pakistani Muslims to fight "the American crusade."
In a statement broadcast Monday, bin Laden said that some Pakistanis died in the course of fighting America's plans to use Pakistan as a springboard in the battle against terrorism. "We hope that they are the first martyrs in Islam's battle in this era against the new crusade and Jewish campaign led by the big crusader Bush under the flag of the cross," he said of the dead. The statement was broadcast by Al-Jazeera, the Qatar satellite channel.
Bush, flanked by Secretary of State Colin Powell and Treasury Secretary Paul O'Neill, coupled his remarks about the financial network of terrorists with a fresh declaration about the financial state of America, saying that he was "concerned about the shock this had on the economy." But, he said, "The fundamentals for (economic) growth are strong," and he added defiantly, "We'll come out of this, and we'll come out of it strong."
The Washington Post and the New York Times reported on Monday that U.S. officials were looking at a deeper involvement in Afghanistan's internal affairs. The Post said officials were debating an overthrow of the Taliban, while The Times said that the White House favored building an internal coalition against bin Laden and the ruling Islamic purist forces, who control about 90% of the country.