|May 17, 2000
The Associated Press
President Clinton today accused the terror network allegedly operated
Saudi fugitive Osama bin Laden of plotting to harm Americans gathered
``Last December, working with Jordan, we shut down a plan to place large
bombs at locations where Americans might gather for New Year's Eve,''
said in commencement remarks to 184 cadets at the Coast Guard Academy.
``We learned the plot was linked to terrorist camps in Afghanistan and
organization created by Osama bin Laden, the man responsible for the
bombings at our embassies in Tanzania and Kenya, which cost the lives
Americans and hundreds of Africans,'' Clinton said.
Shortly after the plan was uncovered, a Customs agent in Seattle discovered
bombmaking materials being smuggled into the United States, Clinton
``the same material used by bin Laden in other places.''
It was the president's most extensive discussion of bin Laden's activities.
Bin Laden, a Saudi exile believed to be in Afghanistan, is among 17
charged in a federal indictment with conspiracy to kill Americans in
embassy bombing cases. Six are in custody in the United States and
Clinton was making the point that the new Coast Guard graduates will
range of threats to America's security, from terrorism to smuggling
spread of disease.
``Today and for the forseeable tomorrows we and especially you will
fateful struggle between forces of integration and harmony and the
disintegration and chaos,'' Clinton said.
``Technology can be a servant of either side, or, ironically, both,''
By tradition, the president speaks at graduation ceremonies for one
four service academies each year. He last spoke to Coast Guard cadets
After Clinton spoke, each cadet was presented with a bachelor of science
degree and a commission as an ensign. Ensigns begin their a five-year
obligation with a tour of duty aboard a Coast Guard cutter.
Clinton cited the ``Love Bug'' computer virus as powerful proof of the
kinds of threats to American security in an increasingly smaller, faster
more computerized world, the White House says.