Tags: Rumsfeld: | Terrorists | Will | Use | Weapons | Mass | Destruction

Rumsfeld: Terrorists Will Use Weapons of Mass Destruction

Tuesday, 21 May 2002 12:00 AM

"Let there be no doubt, it is only a matter of time before terrorist states, armed with weapons of mass destruction, develop the capability to deliver those weapons to U.S. cities, giving them the ability to try to hold America hostage to nuclear blackmail," Rumsfeld told a Senate Appropriations subcommittee.

"They inevitably will get their hands on them, and they will not hesitate to use them."

Iraq, Iran, Syria, Libya and North Korea are developing such weapons of mass destruction and will supply them to terrorists, to which they already are linked, the defense secretary said.

Rumsfeld would not discuss specific terrorist threats. The government sees hundreds a day, and as many as 90 percent of them are designed to test the government's response.

"They jerk us around, try to jerk us around, and test us," he said.

Gen. Richard Myers, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said that though the war on terror has hurt al-Qaeda, the terrorist network remained a threat. "Just like a wounded animal is the most dangerous, they still pose a threat to our armed forces," Myers said.

Rumsfeld said Congress should restore a possible $800 million reduction to President Bush's budget request for missile defense.

The defense secretary traveled to the Hill to defend a massive budget for the Pentagon next year. The Pentagon wants $379 billion for next fiscal year, $48 billion more than this fiscal year. For this year, the Pentagon wants a "supplemental" $14 billion to fight the war. Rumsfeld said $19.4 billion of the Pentagon's funding request increase for next year would go to the war against terrorism.

Lawmakers expressed general support for the budget request but questioned Rumsfeld's decision to cut the Crusader Artillery System over the objections of some Army officials.

"It is a system that is wanted by a number of people, including the Army," Rumsfeld said. But he argued that the Crusader must be sacrificed to make room in the budget for more promising military technologies.

Copyright 2002 by United Press International.

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Let there be no doubt, it is only a matter of time before terrorist states, armed with weapons of mass destruction, develop the capability to deliver those weapons to U.S. cities, giving them the ability to try to hold America hostage to nuclear blackmail, Rumsfeld told a...
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2002-00-21
Tuesday, 21 May 2002 12:00 AM
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