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U.S. 'Will Hunt Down And Punish' Terrorists, Bush Says

By Gerry J. Gilmore
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, Sept. 11, 2001 – President George W. Bush said today that the United States would find those responsible for apparent terrorist attacks against the World Trade Center in New York City and the Pentagon in Washington.

"Make no mistake, the United States will hunt down and punish those responsible for these cowardly acts," Bush said from an undisclosed location outside of Washington.

Between 9 and 10 a.m., two apparently hijacked commercial aircraft hit both World Trade Center towers in New York City, while a third airliner crashed into an outside wall of the Pentagon. Both 100-story trade center buildings collapsed within two hours. A fourth airliner, also believed to have been hijacked, crashed near Pittsburgh in the same timeframe.

"I've been in regular contact with the vice president, secretary of defense, the national security team, and my Cabinet," Bush added. "We have taken all appropriate security precautions to protect the American people. Our military at home and around the world is on high alert status, and we have taken the necessary security cautions to continue the functions of your government."

Bush said he has conferred with congressional and world leaders "to assure them that we will do whatever is necessary to protect America and Americans."

He also asked the American people to say a prayer for the victims and their families.

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