Bush warns of potential 'evil weapons'
WASHINGTON (CNN) -- Osama bin Laden is "an evil man" whose threats to use weapons of mass destruction should be taken seriously, President Bush said Tuesday.
"This is an evil man that we're dealing with, and I wouldn't put it past him to develop evil weapons to try to harm civilization as we know it," Bush said during a joint news conference with French President Jacques Chirac. "And that's ... why we work hard to keep our coalition bound together, and that's why we're going to keep relentless military pressure on him in Afghanistan.
"And that's why we must prevail, and that's why we must win."
Bush said bin Laden has threatened in the past to use chemical, biological and even nuclear weapons, but said there is no evidence bin Laden or his al Qaeda terrorist organization possesses such weaponry.
Earlier, at a speech delivered via satellite to Eastern European leaders at an antiterrorism conference in Warsaw, Poland, Bush said that bin Laden and his organization would be a threat to "every nation, and eventually civilization itself" if they had those weapons.
"We will not wait for the authors of mass murder to gain the weapons of mass destruction. We act now because we must lift this dark threat from our age and save generations to come," Bush said.
Later, White House Press Secretary Ari Fleischer conceded there was nothing particularly new about the threats posed by bin Laden, but said the president wanted to underscore the danger posed by Saudi recluse and his network.
"The president believes there is no lengths to which these people will go if they can get their hands on any type of weapon, weather they are biological, chemical, nuclear, and so the president thought it was important to discuss that," Fleischer said.
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