THE WHITE HOUSE Office of the Press Secretary ________________________________________________________________________ For Immediate Release October 13, 2000 PRESS BRIEFING BY JAKE SIEWERT The James S. Brady Briefing Room 1:27 P.M. EDT Q Jake, is the United States ruling out retaliation if the perpetrators of the U.S.S. Cole act can be found? MR. SIEWERT: No. The President said if we determine who is responsible, they will be held accountable. Q Can you define "held accountable"? MR. SIEWERT: No. Q And are you it a terrorism act? MR. SIEWERT: That's something that we're still in the process. We're operating under the assumption that this was a terrorist act. But there are investigators in the region who are looking exactly at that issue and trying to determine who's responsible. .... Q Jake, there's a group that supposedly is claiming some credit for the Cole? MR. SIEWERT: We've seen those reports. We'll make our own determination. Q Are they even credible? Is it even possible, this group? MR. SIEWERT: I'm not going to speculate on who's responsible and who's claiming credit until we make our own determination. END 1:47 P.M. EDT