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World News

Bush tells Americans to ready for war; demands Taliban hand over bin Laden

A grim and determined U.S. President George W. Bush told Americans Sept. 20 to prepare for a protracted war. Bush ordered Afghanistan's Taliban rulers to hand over terror suspect Osama bin Laden immediately or face the wrath of U.S. forces.

Bush issued the warning as the U.S. military stepped up its deployment of air, sea and ground forces to areas within striking distance of Afghanistan.

"The demands are not open to negotiation or discussion. The Taliban must act, and act immediately. They will hand over the terrorists or they will share their fate," he said in a televised address to Congress.

He also demanded the closure of all training camps of the al-Qaeda network run by bin Laden, the chief suspect in the airborne Sept. 11 suicide attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon.

His remarks came after Afghanistan's leading Islamic clerics issued an edict urging the Taliban to persuade bin Laden to leave the country voluntarily. The edict stopped far short of U.S. demands that he be handed over.

Bush's speech and the deployment of military forces spelled out the U.S. response.

Ground troops were given deployment orders Sept. 20, as bombers and fighter jets were sent to bases in the Gulf and the Indian Ocean.

Bush said evidence gathered since the attacks "all points" to bin Laden and his al-Qaeda network.

FBI agents in Chicago said they arrested Nabil al-Marabh, who could be a link between the men who conducted the Sept. 11 attacks and bin Laden.

Shukan ST: Sept. 28, 2001

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