The Attack: Latest Developments
Speaking to reporters during a visit to the Pentagon, Bush put Afghanistan's radical Islamic Taliban government, which offers Saudi-born bin Laden its protection, on notice that it would also be held accountable for last Tuesday's attacks on New York's World Trade Center and the Pentagon.
Asked if he wanted to see death for bin Laden, considered by Washington the prime suspect in the Sept. 11 siege, the president said: "I want justice. And there's an old poster out West that says, 'Wanted: Dead or Alive.' "
"We are going to find those evildoers, those barbaric people who attacked our country," said Bush, "and we're going to hold them accountable, and we're going to hold the people who house them accountable, the people who think they can provide them safe havens will be held accountable, the people who feed them will be held accountable, and the Taliban must take my statement seriously."
Senior Pakistani officials failed to persuade the Taliban's reclusive leader, Mullah Mohammad Omar, to hand over bin Laden. The Pakistan-based Afghan Islamic Press quoted Taliban spokesman Abdul Hai Mutamaen as saying that over three hours of talks between the sides had not resolved the issue.
Reuters reports that Afghanistan moved weapons, including Russian Scud missiles, near the border with Pakistan, a nuclear power.
Islamabad has reinforced its own frontier, with troops fanning out along the length of the porous 870-mile frontier. Tens of thousands of Afghans fled several major cities and headed for the borders with Pakistan and Iran.