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Rumsfeld Says Taliban Knows Bin Laden's Whereabouts

By Jim Garamone
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, Sept. 24, 2001 -- Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld doesn't buy the idea that Taliban leaders in Afghanistan don't know where Osama bin Laden and the Al Qaeda are.

Appearing on the CBS TV show Face the Nation, Rumsfeld said, "It is just not believable that the Taliban do not know where the network can be located and found, and either turned over or expelled."

Rumsfeld said he is not convinced that the Al Qaeda network acted alone. "There is no way in the world that a network can function as effectively over such a long period of time, with such excellent finances, and false passports, and all of the intelligence information they had to have, without them being fostered and facilitated and assisted and financed by states, and by businesses, and by nongovernmental organizations, and by corporations," he said. "It is a large network."

Rumsfeld said the U.S. military is positioning forces around the world. "This is not an Afghan problem," he said. "This is a worldwide problem of terrorist networks. And let there be no doubt about it, the Al Qaeda network is in at least 60 countries, and they are just one of many networks.

DoD is just one aspect of the U.S. offensive against these terror networks, Rumsfeld said. The Department of Treasury, the State Department and the Central Intelligence Agency have important roles, too. The United States is going after their political, and diplomatic, and financial interests, he said.

He said support from around the world is needed to stop the terrorists. "It's going to take people providing scraps of information that are going to enable us to do the job we need to do to stop countries from helping these people," he said.

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