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Bush Wants Osama bin Laden Brought to Justice - 2001-09-18


President Bush is vowing to bring accused terrorist mastermind Osama bin Laden to justice, as U.S. law enforcement officials press ahead with their investigation of the devastating attacks in New York and Washington that he's suspected of masterminding.

Mr. Bush has invoked the spirit of posters in the American old West calling for the capture of suspected criminals with the words "Wanted: Dead or Alive." He is also warning that the United States will hunt down other terrorists in the world.

At least two people have been arrested in connection with the September 11th terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, and arrest warrants have been issued for several others.

Hundreds of U.S. Marshals have been dispatched to help the FBI as it tracks the nearly 50,000 potential leads in the case. U.S. authorities have detained 49 people in connection with the attacks, and are seeking more than 100 others for questioning.

U.S. Attorney General John Ashcroft, meantime, is urging Congress to quickly pass sweeping new anti-terrorism laws. He says the measures would increase the government's authority to conduct electronic surveillance of suspected terrorists, and trace and seize the assets of terrorist groups.

The nation's top law enforcement official also announced that federal agents will begin boarding commercial airliners to guard against hijackings.

U.S. authorities are also trying to cope with a growing backlash against people of Middle Eastern descent living in the United States. FBI Director Robert Mueller said his agency is investigating 40 "hate crimes," many of which have been directed against Muslim mosques and community centers. President Bush visited U.S. Muslim leaders at the Islamic Center in Washington Monday and, in televised comments, urged Americans not to harass Arab-Americans.

Secretary of State Colin Powell said the United States bears no ill will toward the people of Afghanistan, but stressed that it will punish that country's Taleban authorities unless they expel Osama bin Laden.

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