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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Bush Wants bin Laden Dead or Alive

ReutersAn Indian woman beating a picture of Osama bin Laden with her shoe Monday during a demonstration in New Delhi. People across India were outraged by the U.S. attacks.
WASHINGTON/NEW YORK -- U.S. President George W. Bush said Monday that the United States wanted Osama bin Laden "dead or alive" for last week's attacks, but Afghanistan's Islamic rulers refused to give him up.

Speaking to reporters during a visit to the Pentagon, Bush put Afghanistan's radical Islamic Taliban government, which offers Saudi-born bin Laden its protection, on notice that it would also be held accountable for last Tuesday's attacks.

Asked if he wanted to see the death of bin Laden, Bush said: "I want justice. And there's an old poster out West that says, ?Wanted: Dead or Alive.'"

"We are going to find those evildoers, those barbaric people who attacked our country, and we're going to hold them accountable, and we're going to hold the people who house them accountable, the people who think they can provide them safe havens will be held accountable, the people who feed them will be held accountable, and the Taliban must take my statement seriously," Bush said.

In Afghanistan, Taliban rulers refused to hand over bin Laden to a Pakistani delegation, saying a council of senior Islamic clerics would decide bin Laden's fate Tuesday.

"The Shura meeting of clerics in Kabul tomorrow will fully discuss and make a decision on the latest situation arising out of a possible attack by the United States and Osama bin Laden," Taliban spokesman Abdul Hai Mutamaen told the Afghan Islamic Press.

"The decision and edict of the clerics ... is important and compulsory and the government will implement it fully," he said.

Taliban leaders, meanwhile, moved weapons, including Russian Skud missiles, near the border with Pakistan.

On vacation in the Black Sea resort of Sochi, President Vladimir Putin called up the presidents of Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Turkmenistan in volatile Central Asia, as well as the presidents of Ukraine and Azerbaijan to discuss jointly fighting international terrorism, the presidential press service said.

Putin and the other presidents "discussed the situation developing in the Central Asian region and in the world as a whole as a consequence of the terrorist attacks on the United States," the press service said.

Azeri President Heidar Aliyev's press service said Putin proposed relocating next week's summit of prime ministers from the Commonwealth of Independent States from Turkmenistan's capital Ashgabat to Moscow because of the attacks.

Security Council chief Vladimir Rushailo flew to Central Asia on Monday for talks on possible U.S. retaliatory strikes on Afghanistan.

Interior Minister Boris Gryzlov, during a visit to Finland, said Russia was prepared to supply the United States with intelligence on where certain terrorist bases are located and "the whereabouts of certain people." He did not elaborate.

In New York, rescue workers labored for a seventh day over the ruins of the towers in the heart of New York's financial district.

The body of a male air crew member was found bound hand and foot, a police source said. Earlier, the body of a flight attendant was found with her hands bound.

Away from the site, thousands of posters of those missing covered bus shelters, telephone booths and subway walls. One had a telephone number and a photograph of a smiling toddler playing with her father. It read: "Have you seen my Daddy? Jason Jacobs."

The latest toll of missing people in New York is 4,957, with 190 more confirmed dead.

Another 188 died at the Pentagon and 45 in the crash of a hijacked plane in Pennsylvania.

The FBI has 4,000 agents tracking 40,000 leads.

U.S. officials said two more "material witnesses" had been taken into custody, joining two others already detained.

A further 25 people were taken into custody on alleged immigration violations and were being questioned. The FBI was seeking more than 100 others for questioning.

Back in Washington, Bush planned a meeting with his top economic advisers later Monday to discuss the U.S. economy.

In particular, he wanted to discuss the airline industry, which has been battered since the attacks.

In another complication generated by the attacks, Bush was to visit an Islamic center to try to put an end to rising anti-Moslem sentiment in the United States generated by suspicions that radical Moslems carried out the attacks.

Bush urged Americans to get back to their daily routines as he shook hands and offered words of encouragement to employees showing up for their morning coffee at a cafeteria in the Old Executive Office Building next door to the White House.

Despite the grim circumstances Bush was jovial with the employees, telling one, "Have a cup of coffee on me," and posing for a picture with a woman and her ham sandwich.

"I'm here to remind people the best way to fight terrorism is to not let terrorism intimidate America," Bush said.

n?After Tuesday's attacks, Bush gave the military orders to intercept and shoot down any commercial airliners that refused instructions to turn away from Washington, Cheney said Sunday.

"I wholeheartedly concurred in the decision he made, that if the plane would not divert, if they wouldn't pay any attention to instructions to move away from the city, as a last resort our pilots were authorized to take them out," Cheney said on NBC's "Meet the Press."

Bush acknowledged later that he gave the order.

(Reuters, AP)