Counterterrorism Experts Stand Vigilant Watch by Jim Garamone


Americans cannot give in to fear from terrorism, President Barack Obama said today in a televised address from the National Counterterrorism Center in McLean, Virginia.

The president also said that counterterrorism professionals are working around the clock to deter threats directed at the United States.

Obama spoke following a meeting at the center hosted by Director of National Intelligence Jim Clapper. Vice President Joe Biden, Attorney General Loretta Lynch and Secretary of Homeland Security Jeh Johnson were among the participants.

Contrary to Obama and his administration. ISIS is building up its forces in a number of counties in the Middle East and northern Africa.
Contrary to Obama and his administration. ISIS is building up its forces in a number of counties in the Middle East and northern Africa.

“At this moment, our intelligence and counterterrorism professionals do not have any specific and credible information about an attack on the homeland,” the president said.

However, the president said the nation is now experiencing “a new phase of terrorism, including lone actors and small groups of terrorists like those in San Bernardino.”

Obama said lone actors and small groups of terrorists “are harder to detect, and that makes them harder to prevent.”

He added, “But just as the threat evolves, so do we. We are constantly adapting, constantly improving, and upping our game, getting better.”


‘Much Better’ Prevention

The president said he regularly meets with intelligence professionals “for an in-depth review of our efforts to prevent terror attacks against our citizens around the world and here at home.”

Obama added, “We examine any known and emerging threats, we review our security posture and we make sure we are taking every measure to protect our people.”

Obama said he knows “that a lot of Americans were anxious and that’s understandable,” in the aftermath of the terror attacks in Paris and San Bernardino, California.

However, U.S. officials have taken extraordinary steps to strengthen national security since the 9/11 attacks, the president said.

“We’ve gotten much better at preventing large complex attacks like 9-11,” Obama said. “Moreover, we have the best intelligence, counterterrorism, homeland security and law enforcement professionals in the world. Across our government these professionals … are relentless, 24-hours-a-day, 365-days–a-year.”

At the McLean center, people from across the government pore over the latest information — analyzing it, integrating it, connecting the dots, the president said.

The greatest U.S. strength in the fight against terrorism “is our own strength and resilience,” Obama said. “When Americans stand together, nothing can beat us. Most of all we cannot give in to fear or change how we live our lives, because that is what terrorists want.”

(Follow Jim Garamone on Twitter: @garamoneDoDNews)

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