Bush: ‘… until we tell them’
President Bush said U.S. troops might be used to carry out strikes outside Afghanistan as part of the administration’s expanding war against terrorism.
‘Strikes will be incredibly important, and there may be a need to use military troops elsewhere,’ Bush said in an interview for the ABC News program ‘20/20’. ‘And I just want the American people to know that we’re keeping all options on the table.’
Iraq has been singled out as a potential target in an expanded anti-terror campaign, but Bush made clear the United States and its allies were focused for now on the effort in Afghanistan to eliminate Taliban leaders and destroy Islamic militant Osama bin Laden’s al Qaeda network.
‘What people need to know is… we are going to do our job in Afghanistan first,’ Bush said. ‘Then we can find other areas… of opportunity to rout out terrorism.’
The president made the comments after freezing the assets of three groups that Washington says are linked to Hamas, the organization that took responsibility for weekend suicide bombings in Israel.
‘This war on terror is so unconventional that there will be strikes… that people may not see until we tell them that there‘s been a strike,’ Bush said.
(reuters online, 4 December 2001)