Washington, Dec 18 (IANS) US President Barack Obama on Thursday reassured Americans that there are no specific and credible terror threats against the country during holidays.
“As you ring in the New Year, you’ve got dedicated patriots working around the clock across the country to protect us all,” Obama told the nation in a televised address at the National Counterterrorism Centre after meeting with his national security team, Xinhua reported.
“Over the years, they have taken countless terrorists off the battlefield, they have disrupted plots, they have thwarted attacks, they have saved American lives,” Obama said.
His remarks came amid heightened fears of terrorist threats on US soil, prompted by the attack in San Bernardino, California earlier this month that killed 14 people and injured 21 others.
He is to meet with the families of the victims in California on Friday before heading to Hawaii for holiday.
On Thursday, the president also asked his countrymen to stay vigilant during the holiday season, acknowledging that the US is facing “a new phase of terrorism” in which lone actors who plot terrorist attacks are harder to detect.
“If you see something suspicious, say something to law enforcement,” Obama said.
A new Gallup poll found that the Americans’ confidence in the federal government’s ability to protect its citizens from future acts of terrorism has dropped to a record low.
Fifty-five percent of Americans now say they have a “great deal” or a “fair amount” of confidence in the US government to protect Americans from terrorism, 33 percent lower than the level of confidence shortly after the 9/11 terrorist attacks in 2001, according to the poll released last week.