SLUG: 2-299509 Powell / Iraq / Terror (S)
TITLE=Powell / Iraq / Terror (S)
INTRO: Secretary of State Colin Powell says he has seen a transcript of a new message, apparently from al-Qaida leader Osama bin Laden, speaking of a "partnership" between his terror organization and Iraq. He says it underscores the need to deal "once and for all" with Iraq and its weapons of mass destruction. V-O-A's David Gollust reports from the State Department.
TEXT: Mr. Powell says he has seen a transcript of a new tape, said to be of Osama bin Laden and soon to be broadcast on the al-Jazeera network, in which he speaks of solidarity with the "struggle" of the Iraqi people and says he is in "partnership" with Iraq. At a Senate Budget Committee hearing, Mr. Powell said the tape underscores the need to deal now with Iraq's weapons of mass destruction:
/// POWELL ACTUALITY ///
It is just a matter of time before a coincidence of interest between the Iraq regime and organizations such as al-Qaida will raise the likelihood that these kinds of weapons could fall into their hands. And it is that nexus, especially in the post 9-11 environment, that persuades us even more that this is the time to deal with this regime once and for all.
/// END ACT ///
Mr. Powell said the connections between terrorists and states developing weapons of mass destruction can no longer be "looked away from and ignored" the wake of the 2001 attacks against the United States. (Signed)
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