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Bush Tells World - 2001-09-21


President Bush has warned the world it must choose sides in the war against global terrorism.

Mr. Bush told a joint session of Congress and an international television audience that countries that do not side with the United States will be considered a hostile regime. He also issued non-negotiable demands for Afghanistan's ruling Taleban movement to surrender suspected terrorist leader Osama bin Laden and close all terrorist training camps within the country's borders.

The president said either Mr. bin Laden will be brought to justice, or justice will be brought to the exiled Saudi fugitive.

Mr. Bush outlined a plan to pursue international terrorist groups, starting with Osama bin Laden's Al-Qaeda network. Mr. Bush compared the terrorist network to the organized criminal network known as the Mafia, saying thousands of terrorists are hiding in more than 60 countries.

The president also made clear that Muslims and Arabs in general are not considered enemies of the United States. Mr. Bush said the terrorists were traitors to the Islamic faith who were trying to hijack their religion to further their criminal goals.

The president made his speech Thursday, nine days after terrorist attacks on New York City and Washington. The speech was greeted with enthusiastic support from virtually all members of Congress. Leaders in the two major U-S political parties have pledged a national unity government to help the president manage the crisis.

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