Albright Offers $2M Bombings Reward
WASHINGTON (AP) _ Secretary of State Madeleine Albright offered a $2 million reward Monday in the U.S. Embassy bombings. President Clinton said the nation must not ``start running away from this kind of conduct.″
Albright plans to fly to Germany before dawn on Wednesday, visit with wounded Americans and Kenyans in a hospital and then fly home Thursday with the bodies of 11 American victims. The 12th is being buried in Kenya.
Clinton, speaking at a health care event in Louisville, Ky., implied terrorist attacks on Americans are inevitable, but said the United States would not surrender its big-pwoer role.
``The more open the world becomes, the more vulnerable people become to those who are organized and have weapons, information technology and the ability to move,″ Clinton said. ``We must be strong in dealing with this. We must not be deterred by the threat of other action.″
Expressing resolve, the president added: ``There is no way out if we start running away from this kind of conduct. We have to build a civilized, open world for the 21st century.″
The White House announced that Clinton would return early from a three-day trip to Kentucky, Illinois and California to discuss the bombings with his national security advisers on Wednesday.
Albright, addressing some 700 State Department employes, lashed ``the cowards that committed this act″ and vowed America ``will not be intimidated″ by bomb throwers.
She also pledged that the terrorists who set off deadly bombs at the U.S. Embassies in Kenya and Tanzania, killing at least 210 people and injuring more than 5,000, would be caught and punished. ``Our nation’s memory is long and our reach is far.″
Still, more than three days after the attacks in Nairobi and Dar es Salaam, there was no word of a breakthrough nor was any group identified as being responsible for the attack.
About a dozen people were detained in Nairobi, but Assistant Secretary of State Susan Rice told reporters ``don’t attach too much importance to it.″ She said they had not been formally charged, but were picked up in the hope they could provide useful information.
Other officials said some of the 12 were Iraqi, some Sudanese.
Iraq and Sudan are listed annually by the State Department as sponsors of terrorism. The Clinton administration is sharply at odds with Iraqi President Saddam Hussein while Sudan is ruled by fundamentalist Islamists who are fighting a civil war against Christians and other anti-government elements.
Albright, in posting the $2 million reward for information leading to convictions in the bombings, said security has its limits.
``You can’t do your job if you are not available,″ she said in vowing to maintain a vigorous U.S. presence all over the world. ``If we have a bunker mentality and are complete isolated we cannot do our job,″ she said, ``We have to remember who we are. We have to stand tall.″
``There was a lot of emotion in the room,″ a foreign service officer told a reporter later. ``People here had lots of friends who were lost.″
The officer, who declined to be identified, said he and his wife had worked at the U.S. Embassy in Nairobi.
``My wife said we were going to honor the Americans who died, but who is going to remember the Kenyans,″ he said. Some of the victims had been guests at their wedding, he added sorrowfully.
A senior U.S. official who listened to Albright said ``the dilemma is how do you reach those who do such things and still stay within the rule of law?″
The FBI said more than 100 agents, bomb technicians, laboratory examiners and language specialists had arrived in East Africa and begun working with local authorities.
Drawn from several domestic field offices and overseas assignments, the FBI contingent established joint investigative teams with Kenyan and Tanzanian investigators assigned by Duncan Wachira, commissioner of police in Kenya, and Adadi Rajabu, director of criminal investigations in Tanzania.