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Saturday, 15 September, 2001, 23:34 GMT 00:34 UK
Bush says US is at war
The Statue of Liberty silhouetted against Manhatten
Days after the attack, smoke still rises over New York landmarks
President George W Bush has told the American people: "We are at war" - and confirmed that he views Saudi dissident Osama Bin Laden as the main enemy.

I will not settle for a token act. Our response must be sweeping, sustained and effective

President Bush

"If he thinks he can hide from the United States and our allies, he will be sorely mistaken," the president warned.

Speaking to journalists at the presidential Camp David retreat, he said "a group of barbarians have declared war on the American people".

Mr Bush has finished meeting his top advisers to decide how the US should respond to Tuesday's suicide plane attacks on New York and Washington in which thousands were killed.

Today we mourn, tomorrow we avenge

Placard displayed by Washington mourner
The talks - which involved Secretary of State Colin Powell, Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld and National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice - followed the authorisation by Congress of "all necessary and appropriate force" in retaliation for the attacks.

No details of their discussions have been released.

But the first signs of preparation are emerging, as the Pentagon ordered vast quantities of aircraft fuel to be sent to a base in Spain and the Diago Garcia staging post in the Indian ocean.

Mr Bush has already declared a national emergency and given the military the authority it needs to call up 50,000 reservists.

In other developments:

  • A second arrest warrant for a material witness in the hijackings inquiry is issued by state prosecutors in New York
  • The FBI makes its first "significant" arrest in the worldwide investigation into the attacks
  • Two other men are detained in Texas after flying west from the East Coast on the day of the attacks
  • Afghanistan's ruling Taleban - host to Osama Bin Laden - say they will attack any neighbour that assists the US in striking against their country
  • Pakistan agrees to comply with all United Nations resolutions in combating terrorism after America requests assistance in any military strike against Afghanistan
  • Parts of downtown Manhattan reopen for the first time since Tuesday's attacks as salvage work continues where the World Trade Center stood continues
  • The Empire State Building - now New York's tallest building - reopens, but is closed hours later after a bomb scare
  • Non-American airlines resume flights to the US

'Broad and sustained campaign'

President Bush used his weekly radio address to the nation on Saturday to say the National Security Council was using the weekend to "plan a comprehensive assault on terrorism".

"This is a conflict without battlefields or beachheads, a conflict with opponents who believe they are invisible. Yet they are mistaken," he warned.

"Those who make war against the United States have chosen their own destruction."

Planning for a military option to attack targets in Afghanistan - where Mr Bin Laden's bases are located - is going ahead.

However, officials have cautioned that other groups may also have been involved in Tuesday's attacks.

The United States and the West have gone to extremes in using force, and they have now realized that force has not achieved what they wanted

Saddam Hussein
On Saturday, Iraqi President Saddam Hussein advised the US to use wisdom, not force, in retaliation for the attacks on New York and Washington.

He is the only world leader to have publicly sided with the attackers, commenting that the "American cowboy is reaping the fruits of his crimes against humanity".

Homeland defence

The Pentagon has said the first 35,000 reservists to be called up would be for "homeland defence" - to protect US cities.

Osama Bin Laden
New funds could be used to strike at Osama Bin Laden
They will include 13,000 airmen, 10,000 army soldiers, 7,500 marines, 3,000 navy personnel and 2,000 coastguard troops.

The $40bn emergency package agreed by Congress is double the amount originally requested by President Bush.

The Senate cut through debate and usual parliamentary procedures to rush the money through.

Half of the fund is expected to go to those directly affected - primarily in New York and the Washington area.

Money has also been earmarked for the costs of the rescue mission, reconstruction and improved security.

But the the funds can be used to "counter, investigate or prosecute domestic or international terrorism" and for "supporting national security".

Material witness

The unnamed man detained by the FBI on Friday was arrested as a material witness, New York City Police Commissioner Bernard Kerik told a news conference.

This allows investigators to hold him without charge.

George Bush at the World Trade Center
Bush: Perpetrators will hear from US
A law enforcement source said he was the same person who was detained a day earlier at Kennedy International Airport after showing a false pilot's licence.

Officials say two other men detained in Texas, are also believed to have important information about the network behind Tuesday's attacks.

They left the East Coast on the day of the attacks, and have now been flown to New York by the FBI.

Mr Bush travelled to Camp David for Saturday's security council meeting after making his first visit to New York on Friday since Tuesday's attacks.

In his radio speech he praised the "amazing spirit of sacrifice and patriotism" he witnessed in New York and thanked Congress for the remarkable unity it has shown in supporting him.

The BBC's Stephen Sackur
"The US military response will be sweeping and sustained"
Caspar Weinberger, former US Secretary of Defense
"I think [Bush] has done extraordinarily well"
The BBC's Ben McCarthy
speaks to volunteers about the chances of finding anyone alive
See also:

14 Sep 01 | Americas
America's invisible enemy
13 Sep 01 | Americas
Allies boost US confidence
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