USA — Obama: Failed Attack Underscores Need for Vigilance

WASHINGTON, May 4, 2010 — Pres­i­dent Barack Oba­ma today called the failed week­end ter­ror attack in New York’s Times Square a sober­ing reminder of the need to remain vig­i­lant against ter­ror­ists com­mit­ted to destroy­ing America’s way of life.

“Around the world and here at home, there are those who would attack our cit­i­zens and who would slaugh­ter inno­cent men, women and chil­dren in pur­suit of their mur­der­ous agen­da,” Oba­ma said at the start of his address to the Busi­ness Coun­cil here.

Ter­ror­ists “will stop at noth­ing to kill and dis­rupt our way of life,” the pres­i­dent said.

Oba­ma praised cit­i­zens’ vig­i­lance in report­ing sus­pi­cious activ­i­ty to author­i­ties, and quick-respond­ing state and fed­er­al offi­cials who helped avert a poten­tial dis­as­ter.

As the FBI ques­tions sus­pect Faisal Shahzad and author­i­ties con­tin­ue to inves­ti­gate the case, the pres­i­dent offered assur­ance that they have the tools and expe­ri­ence need­ed to deter­mine if Shahzad has accom­plices or ties to any ter­ror­ist group.

Jus­tice will be served, Oba­ma said, and crit­i­cal intel­li­gence that’s gath­ered through the inves­ti­ga­tion will help pre­vent future attacks.

Mean­while, Oba­ma vowed to do what’s need­ed to pro­tect the Unit­ed States from ter­ror­ism.

“As Amer­i­cans and as a nation, we will not be ter­ror­ized,” he said. “We will not cow­er in fear, [and] we will not be intim­i­dat­ed.

“We will be vig­i­lant, we will work togeth­er, and we will pro­tect and defend the coun­try we love to ensure a safe and pros­per­ous future for our peo­ple,” the pres­i­dent con­tin­ued. “That’s what I intend to do as the pres­i­dent, and that is what we will do as a nation.”

Pak­istani-born Shahzad, a nat­u­ral­ized U.S. cit­i­zen, was arrest­ed at John F. Kennedy Inter­na­tion­al Air­port last night as his flight was about to take off for Dubai. He is expect­ed to be for­mal­ly charged today.

U.S. Depart­ment of Defense
Office of the Assis­tant Sec­re­tary of Defense (Pub­lic Affairs)