Tags: World | Leaders | Rally | Support | U.S.

World Leaders Rally to Support U.S.

Tuesday, 11 September 2001 12:00 AM

The human casualty list was climbing steadily into the hundreds. There were fears that many more might have died in the fall of the two proud towers of the World Trade Center in New York City, and the plunge of another hijacked airliner into the southwestern face of the Pentagon near Washington.

But a potential further casualty looked like the American and perhaps even the global economy. The Paris and Frankfurt stock exchanges suffered their sharpest falls in history, the dollar began to plunge on world markets, and the oil price jumped above $30 once more.

The U.S. Federal Reserve, with support from the Bank of England and Bank of Japan, promised to make available whatever liquidity was required to keep the world economy afloat even as Europe's financial markets followed the U.S. by suspending trading.

"This is a declaration of war against the entire civilized world," said German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder.

British Prime Minister Tony Blair said, "This mass terrorism is the new evil in our world today."

Palestinian Authority Chairman Yasser Arafat condemned the attacks, but there were scenes of joyful celebration in the West Bank cities of Nablus, Tul Karm, Bethlehem and the Balata refugee camp, according to Israeli and Middle Eastern media reports.

"I feel I am in a dream. I never believed that one day the United States would come to pay a price for its support to Israel," Mustafa, a 24-year-old Palestinian gunman, told reporters from the Israeli daily Ha'aretz.

There were no authoritative claims of blame for the attacks, although suspicions quickly turned to the Islamic militant Osama bin Laden, living under the protection of the Islamic fundamentalist Taliban movement of Afghanistan.

"Both the FBI and the intelligence community believes this carries bin Laden's signature," said U.S. Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, a senior member of the Senate Intelligence Committee.

U.S. security officials believe bin Laden was the mastermind behind the 1993 attack on the World Trade Center, behind the bombing of the U.S. Embassies in Kenya and Tanzania in 1998, and behind last year's attack on the warship USS Cole in Yemen.

A recent videotape featuring bin Laden has been circulating in the Middle East, calling for new attacks on the United States and boasting that "the victory of Yemen will continue."

Apparently alarmed at the prospect of American vengeance, the Taliban ambassador to Pakistan, Mullah Abdul Salaam Sa'eed, expressed condolences to America and said, "We want to tell the American children that the Taliban feels your pain."

The Taliban foreign minister, Wakil Ahmed Mutawakil, said bin Laden was not responsible for the attacks.

Copyright 2001 by United Press International.

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The human casualty list was climbing steadily into the hundreds. There werefears that many more might have died in the fall of the two proud towers of the World Trade Center in New York City, and the plunge of another hijacked airliner into the southwestern face of the...
World,Leaders,Rally,Support,U.S.
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2001-00-11
Tuesday, 11 September 2001 12:00 AM
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