Former President Bill Clinton was locked away in a resort in Australia’s tropical northeast today awaiting a chance to return home .
Clinton had been taking a short break in Port Douglas, Queensland, after speaking engagements in Sydney and Melbourne.
Clinton arrived in the resort town early yesterday morning and spent the day snorkelling on a nearby reef and mixing with locals.
But he was kept out of sight today as the hotel turned media away and federal and state police joined Clinton’s minders in throwing a security cordon around him.
Clinton had been scheduled to travel to Taiwan but postponed his trip.
‘‘He’ll obviously want to return to the US as soon as possible,’’ Queensland Premier Peter Beattie said. The former president is now based in New York.
Clinton, who led the United States through the 1995 Oklahoma City bombing, urged Americans to rally behind President Bush in the aftermath of today’s attacks.
‘‘We should not be second-guessing. We should be supporting him,’’ Clinton said.
‘‘The main thing is, we must send a clear and unambiguous message to the world that the people of America are completely 100% united and we’re going to follow our leaders and support whatever action Bush takes,’’ he added.