In a pre-Thanksgiving statement, President Barack Obama assured Americans that the US has no “specific and credible intelligence indicating a plot on the homeland.”
Obama spoke Wednesday from the White House after a meeting with his national-security team.
He emphasised that Americans should go about their usual activities during the holiday weekend, adding that if there was a credible threat of an attack, Americans would be notified.
“Right now, we know of no specific and credible intelligence indicating a plot on the homeland,” Obama said. “That is based on the latest information I just received in the Situation Room. It’s similar to the briefing that I received on Saturday before I left on my trip last week.”
Obama also noted that law enforcement, counterterrorism, and Homeland Security officials are working “overtime” this week to monitor potential threats, noting that the US is “equipped to prevent attacks.”
Obama’s brief statement comes nearly two weeks after terrorists associated with ISIS (also known as the Islamic State, ISIL, and Daesh) took hostages, detonated suicide vests, and shot victims in attacks across Paris, leaving 130 people dead and hundreds more injured.
“It’s understandable that people worry something similar could happen here,” Obama 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.”
Despite Obama’s message, the State Department earlier this week issued a worldwide travel alert because of “increased terrorist threats.” The threats are linked to terrorist groups including ISIS, Al Qaeda, Boko Haram, and others. It expires on February 24, 2016.
“Authorities believe the likelihood of terror attacks will continue as members of ISIL/Daesh return from Syria and Iraq,” the alert noted. “Additionally, there is a continuing threat from unaffiliated persons planning attacks inspired by major terrorist organisations but conducted on an individual basis.”
The alert warned Americans to “exercise vigilance when in public places or using transportation” and be particularly cautious “during the holiday season and at holiday festivals or events.”
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