Obama: Security Professionals Working to Keep U.S. Safe
By Terri Moon Cronk DoD News, Defense Media Activity
WASHINGTON, November 25, 2015 – As Americans begin Thanksgiving travel, President Barack Obama wants them to know U.S. counterterrorism, intelligence, homeland security and law enforcement professionals at every level continually monitor threats at home and abroad for their safety.
Top U.S. officials are taking every step possible and working overtime to continually monitor threats at home, abroad and evaluate U.S. security posture, he said. The president made his televised remarks this morning from the White House after meeting with his national security team.
"They are constantly working to protect all of us," he said of national security professionals. "Their work has prevented attacks [and] their efforts have saved lives."
'No Credible Threat Exists'
Obama said "no specific and credible intelligence [exists] indicating a plot on the homeland, and that is based on the latest information I just received in the situation room." He added that the public would be informed if a "specific, credible threat" should arise.
Calling the Nov. 13 Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant's terrorist attacks on Paris "horrific and heinous," Obama said those events, which killed 130 people from 20 nations and wounded more than 350 others, " touched a deep chord" for Americans.
"It's understandable that people worry that something similar could happen here," he said.
"As we go into Thanksgiving weekend, I want the American people to know that we are taking every possible step to keep our homeland safe," Obama said.
"If you see something suspicious, say something. That's always helpful," he said. "But otherwise, Americans should go about their usual Thanksgiving weekend activities; spending time with family and friends, and celebrating our blessings."
Obama added, "I know families have discussed the threat of terrorism around the dinner table -- many for the first time since Sept. 11."
Homeland Strengthened Since 9/11
Since 9/11, "We have taken extraordinary measures to strengthen our homeland security, in everything from aviation security to border security to information sharing," the president said.
"Anytime there is an event," he added, "we learn something from it. And we continue to refine it."
The president said the U.S.-led 60-plus nation anti-ISIL coalition continues to go after the terrorist group "where it hides."
With more than 8,000 coalition airstrikes in the past year on ISIL strongholds and equipment, combined with partners on the ground, "[We] have taken out key leaders and have taken back territory from ISIL in both Iraq and Syria," Obama said.
Coalition forces also continue to choke off ISIL financing, supply lines and counter their recruitment and communications, he said.
U.S., France United to Battle ISIL
Obama and French President Francois Hollande met at the White House yesterday, where the two leaders agreed to increase pressure on ISIL.
"We will not let up -- adjusting our tactics where necessary until they are beaten. That's our first goal," Obama said. "Second, we'll continue to do everything possible to prevent attacks at home and abroad, and to prevent foreign terrorist fighters from entering the United States or other nations."
While the threat of terrorism is a troubling reality today, "We are both equipped to prevent attacks and we are resilient in the face of those who would try to do us harm. And that's something we can all be thankful for," Obama said.
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