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11/15/02 - LATEST BIN LADEN TAPE - 2002-11-15

An audio tape apparently recorded by al-Qaida leader Osama bin Laden was recently broadcast by the Arabic satellite television station al-Jazeera. On the tape, a voice believed to be that of the Saudi-born bin Laden praises a series of terrorist attacks carried out this year: the bombing of a synagogue in Tunisia, the shooting of U.S. Marines in Kuwait, the bombing of an oil tanker off the coast of Yemen, the truck bombings of nightclubs in Bali, Indonesia, and the seizure of a theater in Moscow, Russia. These attacks caused the deaths of hundreds of people from many countries. On the tape, the voice purported to be bin Laden’s appears to take responsibility for the Bali bombings, which killed more than one-hundred-ninety people.

President George W. Bush said that regardless of who made the tape, it reminds the world that the war on terrorism is far from over. Mr. Bush is not the only world leader warning against complacency. British Prime Minister Tony Blair said that the attacks in Bali, Moscow, and off the coast of Yemen showed that today's terrorists know no bounds “of geography, of inhumanity, or of scale.” They are, he said, “looking for ever more dramatic and devastating outrages to inflict upon the people they claim to be their enemy.”

Perhaps the greatest threat, Mr. Blair said, is the link between terrorists and states that are developing weapons of mass destruction. “States which are failed, which repress their people brutally, in which notions of democracy and the rule of law are alien, share the same absence of rational boundaries to their actions as the terrorists,” Prime Minister Blair said.

The U.S.-led anti-terrorism campaign launched following the September 11th, 2001, attacks in New York and Washington is continuing to make great progress. The al-Qaida terrorist network has not only lost the safe haven it once enjoyed in Afghanistan, but a number of its top leaders have been killed or arrested.

The anti-terrorism campaign has advanced through unprecedented international cooperation to tighten security and disrupt terrorist networks. This cooperation will continue, protecting all the world’s people.

As President Bush said: “It doesn’t matter how long it takes, we’ll find [the terrorists] and bring them to justice.”