BBC NEWS Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific Arabic Spanish Russian Chinese Welsh

 You are in: World: Americas
Front Page 
Middle East 
South Asia 
From Our Own Correspondent 
Letter From America 
UK Politics 
Talking Point 
In Depth 

Commonwealth Games 2002

BBC Sport

BBC Weather

Sunday, 23 September, 2001, 00:35 GMT 01:35 UK
Bush plots attack plans
F-14A Tomcat jet on carrier USS Enterprise
US operational plans remain under wraps
President George W Bush has been putting forward US plans for a military campaign against suspected terrorists involved in last week's attacks on New York and Washington.

Mr Bush spent Saturday consulting his top military advisers as US forces massed in the Gulf and Indian Ocean for a possible strike on Afghanistan.

US defence officials say more warplanes are being sent to bases or aircraft-carriers near Afghanistan, adding to the estimated 350 planes already in the region.

We are still the greatest nation on the face of the earth, and no terrorist will ever be able to decide our fate

President Bush, radio address to nation
Five thousand extra air national guard and air force reservists have been called up, bringing the total number to 15,000.

And in a separate move, Mr Bush ordered the freezing of assets in the US of various people and groups suspected of terrorist links.

Meanwhile, efforts to build a broad coalition of states willing to help fight terrorism are bearing fruit, with Turkey and other strategically important countries offering their help.

The BBC's World Affairs Editor John Simpson, who has been smuggled into and out of Afghanistan, says the Taleban have been fortifying hill posts in expectation of a land attack.

But as thousands of Afghans flee their homes the scene is one of emptiness and desolation, our correspondent says.

In other developments:

  • Two men are arrested in Belgium by police investigating attacks on US targets
  • Turkey opens its airspace to US transport aircraft involved in any military action and offers to train Afghan opposition fighters
  • 13 British warships pass through Suez Canal, heading for military manoeuvres in Oman
  • World Trade Center
    Work at the World Trade Center could go on for six months
    The UN comes under intense pressure to resume wheat imports to Afghanistan
  • Russian officials hold talks in Tajikistan with leaders of the anti-Taleban Northern Alliance
  • New York Mayor Rudolph Giuliani says it could take at least six months to clear the wreckage of the World Trade Center attack. Number of missing: 6,333
  • President Bush tells Americans the economy remains "fundamentally strong"
  • European finance ministers order an investigation into suspicious share-trading in the days before the attacks amid fears that huge profits were made from airline and insurance company losses.

President Bush is at his Camp David retreat and has discussed the crisis with his National Security Council via a video conference.

George Bush
Bush spoke by phone to the Russian president
US Secretary of State Colin Powell has said Washington will "act in concert with the rest of the civilised world" to hold to account all those supporting or harbouring terrorists.

Washington received the strong support of European Union leaders on Friday, who agreed that targeted US retaliation for the attacks would be "legitimate".

The United Arab Emirates said on Saturday it had cut diplomatic ties with the Taleban, after failing to persuade them to hand over Bin Laden.

Only two countries - Pakistan and Saudi Arabia - still recognise the Taleban. Pakistan said it had no plans to follow the example of the UAE.

Aircraft 'shot down'

The Taleban, who are sheltering Bin Laden and his supporters, say they have shot down an unmanned spy plane over northern Afghanistan.

But it is not yet clear to whom the aircraft belonged. One Taleban official said it was a helicopter belonging to opposition forces.

Despite reports of heavy fighting in the north, the BBC's Jacky Rowland, in territory held by the opposition Northern Alliance near Tajikistan, says she has seen only sporadic shooting.

The BBC's Paul Adams
"The Taleban has threatened to retaliate against anyone who offers support to the US"
The BBC's Tom Carver
"There are signs that diplomatic pressure is beginning to bear fruit"
Defence expert Thomas Withington
"Initially we'll see an air attack"
Bill Clinton's security chief Mara Rudman
explains the role of the National Security Council
See also:

22 Sep 01 | Middle East
UAE cuts ties with Taleban
21 Sep 01 | UK
Q & A: Airport security
20 Sep 01 | Europe
EU gears up to fight terrorism
17 Sep 01 | Europe
EU weighs response to US strikes
19 Sep 01 | Europe
EU acts on terrorism
18 Sep 01 | Asia-Pacific
China demands US attack evidence
16 Sep 01 | Americas
US prepares for war
Internet links:

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites

Links to more Americas stories are at the foot of the page.

E-mail this story to a friend

Links to more Americas stories