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Bush Says CIA Interrogations Helped Uncover Al Qaida Plots

  • VOA News

President Bush is repeating his message that a controversial CIA program to question terrorists in secret overseas locations has helped make the nation safer.

In his weekly Saturday radio address, the president repeated messages that he delivered in a series of terrorism speeches earlier this week. Those speeches came before Monday's anniversary of the September 11th, 2001 attacks on the United States and important mid-term elections in November.

Mr. Bush said today that information from suspected terrorists in CIA custody helped uncover al Qaida plots to get biological weapons, attack a U.S. Marine base in Djibouti, and hijack planes and fly them into Heathrow Airport in London.

In the opposition response, Democratic Congressman Sherrod Brown (of the midwestern state of Ohio) refuted the president's statements. He said that five years after the attacks, the nation is actually less safe than it was before.

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Brown said Iraq has become a training ground for terrorists and a recruiting tool for al Qaida and other terrorist organizations.

Other Democrats have accused Mr. Bush of emphasizing anti-terror efforts lately to distract from the increasingly unpopular war in Iraq.

On Monday, President Bush will make an evening address to the nation to commemorate the fifth anniversary of the attacks.

A presidential spokesman says Mr. Bush's Monday speech will be non-political and will focus on what the September 11th attacks have meant to the nation. On Sunday and Monday, the president is scheduled to visit the sites of the attacks in New York City, Shanksville, Pennsylvania, and the Pentagon in Washington.

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