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US rejects Osama's truce offer

"Al-Qaeda was unlikely ever to sit down and sign a truce," Vice President Dick Cheney said adding, "I think you have to destroy them."

india Updated: Jan 21, 2006 17:10 IST
Press Trust of India
Press Trust of India

Rebuffing Al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden's offer of a truce, the US has said it does not negotiate with terrorists and vowed to intensify efforts to track him down.

US Vice President Dick Cheney brushed aside the offer, terming it as a ploy. "I'm not sure what he's offering by way of a truce. I don't think anybody would believe him ... It sounds to me like it's some kind of a ploy but again not having seen the entire text or validated the tape and the timing of it, I'm reluctant to draw any conclusions" Cheney told Fox TV network.

"Al-Qaeda was unlikely ever to sit down and sign a truce," he said adding, "I think you have to destroy them. It is the only way with them".

The White House made it clear that there would be no let up in the war on terror. "We do not negotiate with terrorists. We put them out of business," spokesman Scott McClellan said.

"The Al-Qaeda leaders and the terorist are on the run. They are under a lot of pressure," he said. The spokesman said, "We must act on all fronts and use every tool within our disposal to defeat the terrorists and keep them carrying out their attacks".

The Central Intelligence Agency identified the voice speaking on an audiotape aired by al-Jazeera television as that of Bin Laden. It was the Al-Qaeda leader's first public communication to the outside world in more than a year, his last one being in December 2004.

In the tape, Laden warns that his men are preparing new attacks against the US but offers Americans a truce. President George W Bush was told about the Bin Laden audiotape after an appearance in Sterling, Virginia where he spoke on the economy.

The terror alert in the country has remained unchanged. The Department of Homeland Security does not seem to have any plans to raise the national terror alert level which is currently at "yellow" or the mid point of a five step process on the risk scale, officials said. Since the terror attacks of September 11, 2001, the nation has been placed on a "high alert" status, or at the orange level seven times. The White House has said that if there is any "actionable intelligence" the administration would act on it.

First Published: Jan 20, 2006 04:54 IST