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Taliban Has Ability to Hand Over Bin Laden

Taliban Has Ability to Hand Over Bin Laden

Transcript: Interview with Secretary of State Colin L. Powell by Peter Jennings of ABC News. Source: Washington File (EUR507), U.S. Department of State, Washington D.C., September 21, 2001.

Secretary of State Colin Powell said September 20 that Afghanistan's ruling Taliban group has the power and the ability to find and turn over Osama bin Laden "once they realize it's in their interest to do so."

In an interview with ABC News anchorman Peter Jennings, Powell also said that bin Laden would still be attacking the interests of the United States and its friends even if there were no conflict between Israelis and Palestinians in the Middle East.

The secretary said the United States will "look at all of the tools at our disposal," including information warfare and financial warfare, in going after the al-Qaida network "all over the world."

Following is the transcript of Powell's interview: (begin transcript)

U.S. Department of State, Office of the Spokesman

Interview with Secretary of State Colin L. Powell by Peter Jennings of ABC News.

Mr Jennings: Mr. Secretary, given the history of Afghanistan, do you believe that attacking Afghanistan will do any good if the Taliban do not give up Osama bin Laden?

Secretary Powell: Well, I think what we have to do, Peter, is look at all of the tools at our disposal. Osama bin Laden and the al-Qaida organization is not just in Afghanistan; it's all over the world. So we're going to go after it all over the world. And the weapons we will use include information warfare, financial warfare.

With respect to Afghanistan, we know that they have had camps there; that's where he has lived for a number of years, and I am sure that our military planners are looking at what targets might be appropriate to the kind of campaign that we are planning on running.

Q: Do you believe that the Taliban has the authority and the power to give him up or expel him from the country?

A: Yes, I think they do. I mean, he is very close to the Taliban, and it's been something of a relationship of -- a very tightly intertwined relationship. But my understanding and my belief is that they have the power to find him, and all of his lieutenants, and turn them over once they realize it's in their interest to do so.

Q: Must Osama bin Laden be returned to the US justice system, or would the United States be satisfied to see him put on trial somewhere else?

A: I think that's a step or two down the road. I think that there are many ways he can brought to justice. US justice is one form. But there are other forms of justice, and there are other nations that might play a role. Let's see if we can get him out first.

Q: You have said that any nation which supports or harbors terrorists must be punished. Saudis have been involved in these acts in some cases and in financing these acts. What do you do about Saudi Arabia?

A: There's a difference between Saudis being involved, and the Saudi Government. The Saudi Government has been very supportive. And they have pledged full cooperation to root out terrorism. So we look forward to working closely with the Saudis.

Q: Do you believe that United States policy in the Middle East and further to the east, in Iran, Afghanistan, Pakistan, India has anything to do with the violence?

A: This is a man who has a hatred of western values and ideals, and he manifests that hatred against the United States of America. So if there was no Middle East peace problem right now and we had solved all of that, there would still be an Osama bin Laden and an al-Qaida attacking U.S. interests and our friends' interests.

Q: The Secretary of State a little while ago.

(end transcript)

 

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Directeur de la publication : Joël-François Dumont
Comité de rédaction : Jacques de Lestapis, Hugues Dumont, François de Vries (Bruxelles), Hans-Ulrich Helfer (Suisse), Michael Hellerforth (Allemagne).
Comité militaire : VAE Guy Labouérie (†), GAA François Mermet (2S), CF Patrice Théry (Asie).

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