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Bush Says Brief on Al Qaeda Threat Was Not Specific

President Bush said on Sunday that the intelligence briefing he received on Al Qaeda one month before the Sept. 11 strike contained no specific “indication of a terrorist attack” on American soil. He also defended the adequacy of his response to the warnings that terrorists in the United States might be planning hijackings. Mr. Bush, in his first public remarks since the release of his top-secret briefing Saturday evening, played down the urgency of the information he was given at his ranch 36 days before terrorists flew airplanes into the World Trade Center, the Pentagon and a field in Pennsylvania. In doing so, Mr. Bush echoed the testimony last week by his national security adviser, Condoleezza Rice, before the commission investigating the attacks, which had pushed for the release of the briefing. “I am satisfied that I never saw any intelligence that indicated there was going to be an attack on America — at a time and a place, an attack,” Mr. Bush said after attending Easter services in Fort Hood, Tex. “Of course we knew that America was hated by Osama bin Laden. That was obvious. The question was, who was going to attack us, when and where, and with what.” Full Story

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