Obama says there is no specific, credible threat of terrorist attack in U.S.

President Obama said Wednesday that there was “no specific and credible intelligence” indicating a terrorist plot on U.S. soil and urged Americans to go about their holiday routines but remain “vigilant” in the wake of the attacks in Paris earlier this month.

In a brief statement to reporters after a briefing with his national security advisors, the president said it was “understandable” that many Americans were newly concerned about the threat of attack, saying the events in Paris have made people “worry something similar could happen here.”

But, he said, counterterrorism, intelligence, Homeland Security and law enforcement officials at every level “are working overtime” to keep Americans safe.

“They’re vigilant, relentless and effective,” he said in a statement from the Roosevelt Room, where he was flanked by the attorney general, FBI director, secretary of Homeland Security and national security advisor.


“In the event of a specific, credible threat, the public will be informed,” he continued. “We do think it’s useful for people to, as they’re going about their business, to be vigilant. ... But otherwise Americans should go about their usual Thanksgiving weekend activities.”

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The Nov. 13 attacks in Paris that killed at least 130 people raised security concerns at home and abroad and sparked a renewed debate about the effectiveness of the U.S.-led strategy targeting the Islamic State militants in Syria and Iraq.

Obama has spent much of his time since the Paris attacks traveling for a series of international summits, which has limited the White House’s ability to fully engage in that debate.

The president’s comments followed an extended statement Tuesday after a meeting with French President Francois Hollande in which Obama defended his strategy. He again insisted the U.S. was going after Islamic State “wherever it hides.”

“We’re stepping up the pressure on ISIL where it lives,” he said, using the White House’s preferred term for the jihadi group. “We will not let up, adjusting our tactics where necessary, until they are beaten.”

On the eve of Thanksgiving and on one of the year’s busiest travel days, Obama noted that many Americans were expressing concerns about terrorism around the dinner table in a way not seen since the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001.

“While the threat of terrorism is a troubling reality of our age, 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,” he said.


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