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Clinton 'profoundly outraged' by Amtrak sabotage


October 10, 1995
Web posted at: 2:20 p.m. EDT

From Senior White House Correspondent Wolf Blitzer 

WASHINGTON (CNN) -- President Clinton said Tuesday the Amtrak derailment in Arizona was "a case of sabotage" and he is "profoundly outraged" by it. He promised the government "will get to the bottom" of the case and punish those involved "regardless of their motive."

The president, visibly angry at a photo opportunity in the White House Roosevelt Room, said he will have more to say about the incident when he learns more about it. Clinton was joined by several leading business leaders -- including Ted Turner, Gerald Levin, and Michael Eisner -- who came to the White House to cooperate with the administration's effort to promote high technology in United States schools.

"We believe it was a case of sabotage and I am profoundly outraged by it," Clinton said. "I want to make it clear we will do everything we can with the federal government to catch whoever was responsible. I am determined that we will make sure that in the United States we will have the tools, the means we need to keep the American people safe. We will get to the bottom of this. We will punish those who are responsible. We will not tolerate acts of cowardice like this in the United States regardless of the motive. And when I know more about it I will be glad to comment more about it."

White House press secretary Mike McCurry later said that the president was getting regular updates on the investigation from his chief of staff, Leon Panetta. McCurry said that while there is no doubt the wreck resulted from an act of sabotage, law enforcement authorities have not concluded it was an act of terrorism. "We haven't made any conclusions," McCurry said, cautioning reporters to do likewise while the investigation continues. He says the FBI is on the scene, taking part in the investigation.

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AP contributed to this report.