President Obama traveled to the National Counterterrorism Center in McLean, Virginia today to thank the 16 intelligence departments and agencies for their work which – he says – has helped make progress in disrupting and defeating al Qaeda.
"I want every American to know about the difference you've made — especially in recent months and days. Because of you, and all the organizations you represent, we're making real progress in our core mission: to disrupt, dismantle, and defeat al Qaeda and other extremist networks around the world."
The President mentioned the coordination and the intelligence that they collected which has led to success in the US is the last several weeks, and mentioned specifically the arrests made in Denver, New York, Illinois and Texas to make America safer.
The President called once again for a redoubling of efforts against "resourceful," "determined" and "resilient" extremists who he says – are "still plotting" against the US and allies.
"We need you more than ever. Our troops and our intelligence officers in the field, our diplomats overseas, our law enforcement here at home, they all depend on you — your analysis, your insights, your ability to work together, across divisions and disciplines, turning information into intelligence and sharing it quickly, in real time, with those who need it."
The President did not mentioned Afghanistan – but said that the fight against al Qaeda and its extremist allies threaten the US from different corners of the globe.
"That's why we're applying focused and relentless pressure on al Qaeda — by sharing more intelligence, strengthening the capacity of our partners, disrupting terrorist financing, cutting off supply chains, and inflicting major losses on al Qaeda's leadership."
The President said the message should be clear –"We will target al Qaeda wherever they take root; we will not yield in our pursuit; and we are developing the capacity and the cooperation to deny a safe haven to any who threaten America and its allies."
The primary goal of the President's short speech and briefing at the so called counterterrorism "bat cave" today was to thank the NCTC for the their work.
"You're showing us what focused and integrated counterterrorism really looks like. And the record of your service is written in the attacks that never occur — because you thwarted them; and in the countless Americans who are alive today — because you saved them. For that, America is in your debt."
-Yunji de Nies and Sunlen Miller