Bush Notes Progress in War on Terrorism
Despite evidence that Osama bin Laden is alive and plotting new attacks, President Bush on Saturday claimed great progress in the war on terrorism, touting thousands of arrests and vowing that “no terrorist will escape” the global manhunt.
“Our war against terrorists and their supporters is advancing on all fronts,” Bush said in his weekly radio address, a day after U.S. government sources reported the capture of a high-ranking Al Qaeda leader, who was not immediately identified.
The White House’s aggressive defense of its anti-terrorism campaign followed Democratic charges that Bush had little to show for his efforts to dismantle Al Qaeda and an ominous FBI warning that Bin Laden’s militant network may be plotting “spectacular” new attacks.
The Arabic satellite station Al Jazeera reported Saturday that it received a six-page document from Al Qaeda threatening terrorist attacks unless Americans stop supporting Israel and other governments that “oppress” Muslims. The station said it believed the document was genuine because it arrived in the same manner as past communications from Al Qaeda.
Meanwhile, in Kuwait, police arrested a senior member of Al Qaeda who was helping to plan a car bomb attack on a Yemeni hotel frequented by Americans, according to Al-Anba, a usually authoritative Kuwaiti newspaper. The suspect is a 21-year-old Kuwaiti identified only by the initials “M.F.”
Roughly half of the top two dozen Al Qaeda leaders have been killed or captured since the Sept. 11 attacks, although the whereabouts of Bin Laden remain unknown.
This month, an unmanned CIA aircraft fired a missile at a car in Yemen and killed six suspected Al Qaeda members. Suspected senior Al Qaeda leaders Abu Zubeida and Ramzi Binalshibh were caught in separate operations in Pakistan.
“The best way to keep America safe from terrorism is to go after terrorists where they plan and hide,” Bush said.