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U.S. Department of State

                         THE WHITE HOUSE

                  Office of the Press Secretary
               (Martha's Vineyard, Massachusetts) 
For Immediate Release                            August 20, 1998     

                  Edgartown Elementary School                     

                Martha's Vineyard, Massachusetts                  

1:55 P.M. EDT
             THE PRESIDENT:  Good afternoon.  Today I ordered our 
Armed Forces to strike at terrorist-related facilities in 
Afghanistan and Sudan because of the threat they present to our 
national security.  
             I have said many times that terrorism is one of the 
greatest dangers we face in this new global era.  We saw its 
twisted mentality at work last week in the embassy bombings in 
Nairobi and Dar es Salaam, which took the lives of innocent 
Americans and Africans and injured thousands more.  Today we have 
struck back.
             The United States launched an attack this morning on 
one of the most active terrorist bases in the world.  It is 
located in Afghanistan and operated by groups affiliated with 
Osama bin Laden, a network not sponsored by any state, but as 
dangerous as any we face.  We also struck a chemical 
weapons-related facility in Sudan.  Our target was the 
terrorists' base of operation and infrastructure.  Our objective 
was to damage their capacity to strike at Americans and other 
innocent people.
             I ordered this action for four reasons:  First, 
because we have convincing evidence these groups played the key 
role in the embassy bombings in Kenya and Tanzania.  Second, 
because these groups have executed terrorist attacks against 
Americans in the past.  Third, because we have compelling 
information that they were planning additional terrorist attacks 
against our citizens and others with the inevitable collateral 
casualties we saw so tragically in Africa.  And, fourth, because 
they are seeking to acquire chemical weapons and other dangerous 
             Terrorists must have no doubt that, in the face of 
their threats, America will protect its citizens and will 

continue to lead the world's fight for peace, freedom and 

             Now I am returning to Washington to be briefed by my 
National Security team on the latest information.  I will provide 
you with a more detailed statement later this afternoon from the 
White House.  
             Thank you very much.