September 10, 2001 08:18 AM

The United States pressed Pakistan on Thursday to close its border with Afghanistan and to cut off funds for terrorist groups, a senior White House official told the Associated Press. The appeal coincided with Secretary of State Colin Powell’s identifying Osama bin Laden as a key suspect in this week’s terror attacks. Powell also was promised cooperation by Pakistan’s President, General Pervez Musharraf. Bin Laden operates in Afghanistan with sanctuary provided by the Taliban, a fundamentalist Muslim group that controls most of the country. The U.S. also asked Pakistan for permission to fly over its territory in the event of military action, said the White House official. When the Bush administration is certain who sent suicidal hijackers on their mission, Powell said at a press conference, “We will go after that group, that network and those that have harbored, supported and aided that network, to rip that network up.” Also on Thursday, a unified Congress moved to provide both the dollars — some $40 billion — and the authority for President Bush to deal with the national crisis growing out of Tuesday’s attacks. The emergency spending, also aimed at improving aviation security, is expected to also win quick passage by the Senate.

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