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Bush: It's important to stay afraid...and under control -- the police state loves you

Reuters | July 9, 2005
By Caren Bohan

WASHINGTON - President Bush praised the resilience of Londoners on Saturday after the deadly bombings there and pledged to "stay on the offense" in the war on terrorism as he urged Americans to remain on alert.

"In this dark hour, the people of Great Britain can know that the American people stand with them," Bush said in his weekly radio address.

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"This week, there is great suffering in the city of London. Yet the British people are resilient, and they have faced brutal enemies before," he added.

British authorities have said the attacks bear the hallmarks of Osama bin Laden's al Qaeda network, the Islamic militant group behind the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks on New York and Washington.

The subway and bus bombings, which killed more than 50 people, occurred as British Prime Minister Tony Blair hosted the Group of Eight leaders summit in Gleneagles, Scotland.

Delivering the Democratic radio address, Senate Democratic Leader Harry Reid of Nevada said the United States needs to find Osama bin Laden and also do more to secure America's railways and other infrastructure.

"We need to bring to justice those responsible -- and thus bring greater justice to the world," Reid said.

"We need to finally bring Osama bin Laden to account for his crimes," he said. "And we need to get much more serious about protecting America from attack -- about securing our roads and rails, our borders and bridges, our seaports and airports, our nuclear and chemical plants."

Democrats have long pushed for spending more money on security for domestic transit other than airlines, but Republicans have resisted.

After returning from the summit on Friday, Bush visited the British Embassy in Washington and signed a book of condolence and laid a wreath in front of the ambassador's residence.

Bush said the London attacks were a reminder of the "evil" of the Sept. 11 attacks and underscored that the United States and its allies were fighting a "global war on terror."

"We will stay on the offense, fighting the terrorists abroad so we do not have to face them at home," Bush said.

The U.S. president warned Americans to stay vigilant.

"While we have no specific credible information suggesting an imminent attack in the United States, in light of the bombings in London, we have raised the threat level from elevated to high for our passenger rail, subway, and bus systems," Bush said.

"I urge all Americans to remain alert, and to report any suspicious activity to your local authorities," he said.

Late on Friday, U.S. security officials forced a flight from Paris to Chicago with 291 passengers on board to return to France while they checked the list of passengers, without giving a reason.

Bush plans to visit the FBI training academy at Quantico, Virginia, on Monday to deliver a speech discussing the London attacks, said White House spokesman Scott McClellan.

"I expect he will talk about the strategy for winning the war on terrorism," McClellan said. "He'll talk about (how) in the short term, it's taking the fight to the enemy abroad and in the long term it's spreading freedom and democracy to defeat the extremist ideology of hatred and oppression."

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