May 17, 2000  

The Associated Press

President Clinton today accused the terror network allegedly operated by 
Saudi fugitive Osama bin Laden of plotting to harm Americans gathered for 
millennium celebrations.

``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,'' Clinton 
said in commencement remarks to 184 cadets at the Coast Guard Academy.

``We learned the plot was linked to terrorist camps in Afghanistan and the 
organization created by Osama bin Laden, the man responsible for the 1998 
bombings at our embassies in Tanzania and Kenya, which cost the lives of 
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 said, 
``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 people 
charged in a federal indictment with conspiracy to kill Americans in the 
embassy bombing cases. Six are in custody in the United States and three 

Clinton was making the point that the new Coast Guard graduates will face a 
range of threats to America's security, from terrorism to smuggling to the 
spread of disease.

``Today and for the forseeable tomorrows we and especially you will face a 
fateful struggle between forces of integration and harmony and the forces of 
disintegration and chaos,'' Clinton said.

``Technology can be a servant of either side, or, ironically, both,'' he said.

By tradition, the president speaks at graduation ceremonies for one of the 
four service academies each year. He last spoke to Coast Guard cadets in 1996.

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 service 
obligation with a tour of duty aboard a Coast Guard cutter.

Clinton cited the ``Love Bug'' computer virus as powerful proof of the new 
kinds of threats to American security in an increasingly smaller, faster and 
more computerized world, the White House says.

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