Mubarak On Terror Fight

America's chief ally in the Arab world, President Hosni Mubarak of Egypt, now accepts that Osama bin Laden is a legitimate target.

"According to the statements coming from bin Laden for quite a long time, I think he is, maybe behind all this," said Mubarak.

Asked if he would support any U.S. effort to go after bin Laden in Afghanistan, he said, "For sure, we'll support. The United States will never do this unless they're sure that bin Laden is behind this."

But Mubarak still has reservations about committing Egyptian troops to a military coalition.

"The word coalition is a very sensitive one, because to send the forces, one needs several steps in a country like Egypt. We have to prepare the people, get permission from the Parliament."

But President Bush has said to the world, "Either you are with us or you are with the terrorists." Doesn't that indicate that he wants a definitive answer?

"All the countries all over the world without exception, will work with him against terrorists. Not a single country is convinced to support terrorism," Mubarak said.

Egypt has suffered from terrorism for years, and Egyptian fundamentalists may have been involved in the World Trade Center attacks, but Mubarak says he has crushed the movement in Egypt.

"Egyptian Islamic Jihad are not staying in Egypt, they are with bin Laden, not with us. And some of them are sentenced to death, punishment, by the court. So in our country, Islamic Jihad is not existing now. The Islamic Jihad is now in London, in Europe, with Bin Laden," he said.

One of Mubarak's complaints is that Egyptian terrorists have been given political asylum in Britain and elsewhere.

"I would to ask the human rights now, what happened in the World Trade Center, is it fair? You are looking at the human rights of those who killed over 6,000 people and destroyed the whole thing," he said.

Mubarak's foreign minister travels to Washington Tuesday with a message of support. The administration will want to know just much help Egypt can give.



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  • CBSNews.com staff CBSNews.com staff

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