Washington, Apr 13: US President George W Bush believes another 9/11 attack on the United Sates should be considered a reality, and warned that such an attack could originate from Pakistan.
Stating this in an interview to ABC TV, Bush said: “If another September 11 style attack is being planned, it probably is being plotted in Pakistan, and not Afghanistan." Bush said if the terrorists were planning such attacks, they would be routed out. “We"ve got plenty of firepower to take on Al Qaeda cells in Afghanistan," he said, although more US and NATO troops are headed to Afghanistan.
He also said that Washington had no intention of attacking Iran, but added that it was the responsibility of the U.S. to convince the world of Iran"s capacity to enrich its uranium capacities for a potentially threatening nuclear weapons program.
It was, therefore, in the interest of Washington to pressurize the Iranians to prevent them from enriching their uranium haul.
“I have always said that all options need to be on the table," Bush said, adding however, that his government"s priority was to solve the issue through diplomatic means.
He also agreed with Defense Secretary Robert Gates that there was no chance that the number of US troops in Iraq would shrink to 100,000 by year"s end.
Under the draw-downs announced thus far, US troop levels will decrease from 160,000 to 140,000 by the end of July.
He said the US is gaining knowledge about Iran"s activities in Iraq.
“We"re learning more about their habits and learning more about their routes, and make no mistake about it: We"ll protect our troops and civilians and Iraqis," Bush said.
Bush said the United States would bring Iran to justice if it continued to try to use agents or surrogates to infiltrate Iraq and harm US troops and Iraqi citizens. Asked to clarify “bring to justice," Bush replied: “It means capture or kill, is what that means."
President Bush also said his planned trip to the Olympics in China this summer was a message of support for US athletes - not a statement on the politics of the host country.
“I don"t view the Olympics as a political event. I view it as a sporting event," he said.
Bush said his decision to attend the Olympics was not affected by pleas from human rights activists who wanted world leaders to skip the opening ceremony to protest Beijing"s crackdown in Tibet.
The White House has not yet said whether he will attend the opening ceremony on August 8.
Critics of China say that Bush avoiding the opening ceremony would be a powerful sign of international anger over China"s violent response to demonstrating Buddhist monks in Tibet.