Obama: No ‘specific and credible’ holiday threat

23 Dec 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

Obama says no specific, credible terror threat over holidays.

McLEAN, Va. (AP) — President Barack Obama said Thursday that U.S. intelligence and counterterrorism officials have received no specific, credible information suggesting a potential terrorist attack against the United States. He said Americans must be vigilant this holiday season. “We cannot give in to fear or change how we live our lives,” Obama said in brief remarks to employees at the National Counterterrorism Center. “We will not be terrorized. We’ve prevailed over much greater threats than this; we will prevail again.” Obama spoke after a briefing by his national security team on the current threat level, the effort to combat extremist groups and propaganda abroad, and steps to tighten scrutiny of people entering the U.S. on visas. But as he prepares to travel to San Bernardino on Friday to meet with the families of the 14 people killed in the terrorist attack there Dec. 2, Obama also acknowledged that the plans of would-be terrorists are growing more difficult to track, citing the prevalence of such lone-wolf plots. The San Bernardino attackers had planned their attack for some time, investigators have said, and though they pledged allegiance to the Islamic State extremist group, no evidence has emerged linking them to the militants. “We are in a new phase of terrorism including lone actors and small groups of terrorists like those in San Bernardino,” Obama said.

Such plots “are harder to detect, and that makes it harder to prevent.” But just as the threat evolves,” Obama said, “so do we,” indicating the national security advisors at his side and the flags of 11 federal departments behind him. He said the U.S. was focused on three areas: going after terrorist overseas; working to prevent terrorists from enter the country; and strengthening ties between law enforcement and local communities and the technology sector to prevent attacks at home. Joining him, from left are,, Vice President Joe Biden, Secretary of State John Kerry, Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson, and FBI Director James Comey.

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