Afghanistan’s Taliban rulers today refused to hand over Osama bin Laden and warned that U.S. attempts to apprehend him by force could plunge the whole region into crisis.
The announcement came hours after President George W. Bush demanded that Afghanistan immediately deliver bin Ladenand shut down every terrorist training camp in the country, or face military attack by the United States.
The Taliban ambassador to Pakistan, Abdul Salam Zaeef, called for an investigation by the United Nations into theattacks, saying: "Our position on this is that if America has proof, we are ready for the trial of Osama bin Laden inlight of the evidence."
Zaeef also said he was sorry people died in the suicide jet attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon lastweek, but appealed to the United States not to endanger innocent people in a military retaliation, and said thatPresident Bush’s ultimatum poses great danger for Muslims.
President Bush delivered the ultimatum in a nationally televised speech to a joint session of Congress. He warnedthat the war would include the deployment of ground troops, and would likely involve the loss of American lives.
- President George W. Bush, addressing a joint session of Congress, 9/20/01.
But many New Yorkers are saying "not in my name." Rita Lasar and Judy Keane both lost loved ones in the World TradeCenter attacks Rita her brother and Judy her husband–yet they are raising their voices to call for peace, even asthe Bush Administration says it will seek vengeance on their behalf.
- Rita Lasar, sister of victim who died in the attack on the World Trade Center.
- Judy Keane, wife of victim who died in the attack on the World Trade Center.