WASHINGTON, Oct. 2 (UPI) -- NATO and British Prime Minister Tony Blair separately injected fresh resolve Monday into the U.S.-led war against terrorism, making it clear they stood with the United States and would do all necessary to defeat those responsible for the Sept. 11 terror attacks.
The shows of support came amid reports the aircraft carrier USS Kitty Hawk left port in Japan and was believed on its way to South West Asia as part of a U.S. military buildup.
In Brussels, Belgium, NATO for the first time invoked its mutual defense clause -- an attack on one from the outside is an attack on all -- after being given evidence by the United States on the attacks and those Washington believes responsible.
"It is clear that all roads lead to al Qaida and pinpoint Osama bin Laden as being involved," Secretary-General George Robertson said.
Military actions by the organization's 19 members, however, would be determined by U.S. needs.
In the English resort city of Brighton, meanwhile, Blair rebutted those who urge no retaliation for the Sept. 11 massacres and issued what literally was a call to arms.
"Let there be no moral ambiguity, there is nothing that can justify the events of Sept. 11," he said at the annual Labor Party conference.
Terrorists on Sept. 11 hijacked four commercial airliners in the United States, crashing two into the twin towers of New York's World Trade Center and a third into the Pentagon, just outside Washington. The fourth plane crashed into a field in Pennsylvania after passengers were believed to have attempted to regain control of the aircraft.
Confirmed dead in New York are more than 330, more than 5,600 people are still missing. The death toll from the Pentagon is 189, including those aboard the plane that struck it.
Blair on Tuesday warned Afghanistan's extremist Taliban regime, which "aided and abetted" bin Laden and his terrorism group, that failure to turn him over to proper authorities would result in a fight it would lose.
"We are not the ones who waged war on innocent people," he said. "We seek the guilty. ... Our way of life is a great deal stronger and will last a great deal longer" than the fanatics responsible for terrorism.
In priming the British public for what is believed impending military action against bin Laden and the Taliban, Blair made the point of highlighting the Taliban's link to drugs. Ninety percent of heroin on British streets comes from the Taliban's Afghanistan, he said. The Taliban is "a regime founded on fear and funded by the drug trade."
Blair's statements and NATO's actions come amid growing expectancy of an imminent military attack by the United States and allies against terrorist camps in Afghanistan.
President George W. Bush on Tuesday made it clear the initiative and timetable of the looming conflict would not be determined by bin Laden and his allies.
"... There is no timetable for the Taliban, just like there are no negotiations (on turning over bin Laden)," he said. "I have said that the Taliban must turn over al Qaida organization living within Afghanistan, and must destroy terrorist camps.
"They must do so, otherwise there will be a consequence. There are no negotiations, there's no calendar. We'll act on our own time, and we'll do it in a manner that not only secures the United States as best as possible, but makes the freedom in the world more likely to exist in the future."
Bush's comments came during a photo opportunity at the White House with House Speaker Dennis Hastert, R-Ill.; House Minority Leader Richard Gephardt, D-Mo.; Senate Leader Tom Daschle, D-S.D.; and Minority Leader Trent Lott, R-Miss.
The meeting was to brief the legislators on progress in the fight against terrorism, including the freezing of financial assets of terrorist groups and to press them on anti-terrorism measures now before Congress, including provisions for broadening wire-tapping rules.
The meeting also dealt with economic stimulus measures to boost the economy, hard hit by the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.
Bush said Washington's Ronald Reagan National Airport would reopen Thursday.
"I say that America ought to be on alert, but we need to get back to business," Bush said.
"Americans know their government is doing everything they can to disrupt any terrorist activity that may occur. ... Americans also realize that in order to fight terrorism, they're going to go about their lives in a normal way."
U.S. Attorney General John Ashcroft warned earlier in the week new terrorist attacks in the United States were possible.
In other developments Tuesday:
-- The aircraft carrier USS Kitty Hawk left Japan for the Gulf region. It carried none of its 75 combat aircraft, but they were expected to rendezvous later with the ship. The United States is believed to have three other aircraft carriers within striking distance of Afghanistan. Information on movements of troops, aircraft and ships, however, is being closely guarded by the military as a security precaution.
-- U.S. plans for a new Middle East peace offensive were sidetracked by the Sept. 11 terror attacks, a senior U.S. official was quoted in reports Tuesday. The plan, if it had been successful, would have included the creation of a Palestinian state.
-- In Paris, a suspected Muslim extremist believed a key leader in a plot to bomb the U.S. Embassy in Paris was questioned by a French anti-terrorism judge. Djamel Begal, 35, was flown to France from Dubai overnight Saturday following a series of confessions to authorities.
Since the Sept. 11 atrocities, authorities in England, France and Germany have detained a number of people suspected of terrorist links or activities.
Meanwhile, efforts by Pakistan, which has had a longstanding relationship with the Taliban, on getting Afghanistan to surrender bin Laden have come up empty.
A senior Taliban official who spoke to United Press International on condition of anonymity said the regime had even lifted the communication restrictions it had placed on bin Laden, providing him with telephone, fax and other communication facilities.
"Yes, this is right. We have once again allowed Osama bin Laden to restore his external contacts through telephone, fax or any other means," the official said.
Sunday the Taliban ambassador to Pakistan -- the only country to recognize its rule -- said the regime was keeping bin Laden in a secret location for his safety.
In a defiant message Monday, the Taliban's so-called supreme leader, Mullah Mohammed Omar, reiterated his refusal to hand over the Saudi exile and warned the deposed king, his new allies and the United States to stay away from Afghanistan, threatening them with the same fate that befell the leaders of the Communist-backed government, whose president, Najibullah was hanged from a lamppost.
"Those in the past were called communists (now they) will be called democrats. And will be killed under this name... God willing, I believe neither the United States can do anything, nor the pro-Americans. They will only disgrace themselves. They will only drown themselves and turn themselves into targets like the communists did," the reclusive one-eyed leader said in a radio broadcast from his headquarters in Khandahar monitored by the British Broadcasting Corp.
On Tuesday, the Taliban's ambassador in Pakistan, Abdul Salam Zaeef, sounded a more plaintive tone.
"We are the first country to condemn this incident that happened in America, we are the first country to condemn terror and terrorist activity, but we need evidence, we need the proof which is the goodwill for solving problems.
"We call all the people, all the countries to come to negotiations ... we're part of the world, we're part of the world. We're happy to help with any action that is peaceful.
He said bin Laden was in Afghanistan, but he did not know where.