Obama Thanks Joint Terrorism Task Force for Saving “Countless” Lives

By Britt

Oct 20, 2009 5:49pm

ABC News' Sunlen Miller reports: President Obama visited the New York FBI-NYPD Joint Terrorism Task Force in New York City today to thank them for their efforts during "incredibly challenging times." The President did not mention the force’s recent arrest of alleged terrorist bomb plotter by name, but said their efforts have been effective now more than ever before, demonstrated by recent arrests saving "countless" lives. "I said this when I had a chance to speak to some of the NYPD leadership team last month over the phone, but I particularly want to express my appreciation and admiration for your terrific work, especially in the recent weeks. Working together, you've saved countless lives.  And your collaboration earned the respect and gratitude not just of New Yorkers but Americans everywhere." Praising the level of cooperation and integration the President praised the work of the task force showing how much stronger everyone can be when they are working together. Because of these efforts, the President, said they are making "real progress" on the mission of "disrupting and dismantling and ultimately defeating Al Qaida and its extremist allies." "Together your success in thwarting terrorist attacks," The President said, "the strong intelligence you've gathered, and the hard-nosed investigations you've pursued has proved to be a model for law enforcement officials across the country.  And for that, you should all be extremely proud." But, the work still continues – the president stressed. "We all know that we're facing a determined adversary. They are resourceful.  They are resilient.  They are still plotting, as we have become all too aware." The President said that no one can ever promise that there won't be another attack on America's soil, but he promised to do everything as President to keep America safe. "And that means I pledge to give all of you the tools and the support that you need to get the job done, both here at home and around the world.  And I pledge that I will stay as focused on this mission as you are." The President briefly mentioned the work done by so many on the task force on 9/11/01 – and said that their effort continues to this day "quietly, doggedly and courageously." "Most New Yorkers, much less most Americans probably don't know this office is here and they don't know what you do. Obviously, you're not doing it for the glamour or the glory or the pay. You do it to serve and protect your country." Earlier this month the President traveled to the National Counterterrorism Center in McLean Virginia to similarly thank their 16 intelligence departments and agencies, part of the ongoing effort – the administration says – to thank these agencies but also make clear that the mission is not accomplished. -Sunlen Miller

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