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Monday, 24 September, 2001, 05:27 GMT 06:27 UK
US to produce Bin Laden evidence
Photos of Bin Laden and hijackers
Evidence of involvement needs to be convincing
The United States has said it is preparing to release evidence linking Saudi-born militant Osama Bin Laden with the attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon.

US Secretary of State Colin Powell said the government would in the next few days put before the world and the American people a "persuasive" case.

According to National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice, the document would be made available to America's allies but not to the Taleban, which she said was "not a government given to Western jurisprudence."


I think in the near future we will be able to put out a document that will describe quite clearly the evidence that we have linking Bin Laden to this attack

US Secretary of State Colin Powell
BBC Washington correspondent Paul Reynolds says such a document might help keep the international coalition together and seal off attempts by some of the Defence Department to include Iraq in the first phase of the war on terrorism.

But the evidence will have to be convincing, correspondents say, both for the coalition and for Americans who want to be sure that the right target has been found.

Click here for map showing military build-up

The statements came as Pakistan said it would re-consider breaking off diplomatic relations with the Taleban if firm evidence was found against Bin Laden.

In other developments:

  • Twelve days after the attacks, President Bush announces that official mourning is over and urges Americans to get back to their daily lives
  • The foreign ministers of six Arab Gulf states pledge "complete" support for fighting terrorism but give no details
  • Tens of thousands of New Yorkers take part in a prayer service for the victims of the attacks
  • The official number of missing after the World Trade Center attack rises to 6,453
  • All US cropdusting planes are grounded amid fears they could be used for chemical weapons attacks
  • US Predator spy drone
    US Predator spy drones are commonly used for low-level reconnaissance
    British Foreign Secretary Jack Straw is visiting Iran to publicise a British Government offer of 25m to help Afghanistan's neighbours deal with the refugee crisis and get Tehran's support for the anti-terrorism campaign
  • Afghanistan's exiled former king, Zahir Shah, says he is ready to return to "serve his people"
  • Pakistan and India welcome President Bush's decision to lift US sanctions against them imposed after their tit-for-tat nuclear tests in 1998

Phased strategy

Mr Powell outlined a phased strategy on terrorism, which begins with the targeting of Bin Laden's al-Qaida organisation in Afghanistan.

And he dismissed fears that American forces could get trapped in Afghanistan, saying the US military was aware of the history of foreign armies in Afghanistan.

Colin Powell
Powell: Dismissed fears of forces getting trapped
US and allied forces are expected to be ready midweek, and correspondents say strikes could coincide with the release of evidence linking Bin Laden to the attacks.

Earlier Defence Secretary Donald Rumsfeld confirmed that the US had lost an unmanned spy plane over Afghanistan following Taleban claims to have shot down a plane on Saturday.

But Pentagon officials were unable to verify a second, similar Taleban claim made on Sunday.

Bin Laden 'missing'

"I don't think we should even consider a large-scale war at this point," Mr Powell said on US television.

He was scornful of Taleban reports that Bin Laden - named as the chief suspect in the 11 September suicide attacks on the United States - had gone missing.

The US secretary of state dismissed concerns that Pakistan could be destabilised by its government's support for the US anti-terrorism campaign.

Mr Powell said Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf was supported by his military commanders and government.

"So I'm confident Pakistan will remain stable, and I have no concerns about their nuclear programme," he added.

A small US military team is currently in Islamabad for consultations with the government.

Pakistan has pledged full co-operation without spelling out what this means.

President Musharraf says he is waiting to find out the specifics of a US request for the use of airspace, and help with logistics and military intelligence.




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 WATCH/LISTEN
 ON THIS STORY
The BBC's Tom Carver in Washington
"President Bush is concentrating on the battles ahead"
The BBC's Humphrey Hawksley
outlines the military moves the US is expected to make
US Defence Secretary Donald Rumsfeld
"There are a lot of people in the Taleban who do not support al-Qaida"
See also:

24 Sep 01 | Americas
New York honours the dead
23 Sep 01 | Middle East
Gulf states back US
23 Sep 01 | Business
Sanctions boost for Pakistan economy
23 Sep 01 | Americas
US offers prayers for the dead
23 Sep 01 | Americas
Clinton ordered Bin Laden killing
22 Sep 01 | South Asia
Aid shortage adds to Afghan woes
22 Sep 01 | Middle East
UAE cuts ties with Taleban
16 Sep 01 | Americas
US prepares for war
23 Sep 01 | Americas
Flight passengers hailed as heroes
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