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Just a 'matter of time' for bin Laden to face justice: Bush

AFP | October 3 2006

US President George W. Bush said it was only a "matter of time" until the elusive Al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden faces justice.

"I'm just telling you we're dismantling Al-Qaeda one person at a time. We're on the hunt," Bush said at a congressional campaign event here.

"And it's just a matter of time before Osama bin Laden gets the justice he deserves," he said.

Bush spoke in Reno, Nevada, to support a Republican candidate running for Congress, weeks before the November 7 elections and amid stepped-up criticism of the Iraq war following the release of an intelligence document saying the conflict helped recruit terrorists.

Democrats have seized on the report to contradict Bush's longstanding claim that the March 2003 US-led invasion of Iraq has made the world safer.

The US leader struck back at critics of the war, saying it was a "central front in the war on terror."

"Success in Iraq will help make this country more secure. Failure in Iraq will mean that we will have left behind a treacherous world for children and our grandchildren," Bush said.

"But if you don't take my word, take the word of Osama bin Laden, or Mr. (Ayman) Zawahiri, about the importance of Iraq. The number one and two of Al-Qaeda have made it clear that Iraq is a central front in the war on terror," he said.

"And their ambitions are to drive the United States out of Iraq," Bush said.

"They want us to leave so they can a safe haven from which to plot and plan new attacks against the Unites States of America," he said.

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