December 28th, 2009
03:38 PM ET
11 months ago

Obama: U.S. will 'do more than strengthen our defenses'

President Barack Obama warned Monday that the United States would respond aggressively to terrorism such as last week's botched attempt to blow up a U.S. airliner.
President Barack Obama warned Monday that the United States would respond aggressively to terrorism such as last week's botched attempt to blow up a U.S. airliner.

(CNN) – President Barack Obama warned Monday that the United States would respond aggressively to terrorism such as last week's botched attempt to blow up a U.S. airliner.

"Those who would slaughter innocent men, women and children must know theUnited States will do more than simply strengthen our defenses," Obama told reporters in a break from his Christmas vacation in Hawaii.

The incident on Christmas Day aboard a Northwest Airlines flight making its final approach to the Detroit, Michigan, metropolitan airport was a reminder to the nation of the dangers posed by terrorists, Obama said in his brief remarks.

A 23-year-old Nigerian allegedly attempted to detonate explosives hidden in his underwear, setting off a fire at his seat on the flight from Amsterdam, The Netherlands.

Obama said courageous actions by other passengers and crew members helped avert a disaster, and he outlined steps including reviews of passenger screening procedures and terrorism watch lists for air travel as a response.

"We are doing everything in our power to keep you and your families safe and secure during this busy holiday season," Obama said in a bid to reassure U.S. air travelers shaken by the incident.


Filed under: President Obama
soundoff (85 Responses)
  1. Donkey Party

    Mr. President, please recall all troops to home soil. The greatest terrorist threat is already here in America. They are called the Right-wing. The GOP / Conservatives are responsible for more American deaths than any foreign terrorist group could hope to achieve in a thousand lifetimes.

    December 28, 2009 05:21 pm at 5:21 pm |
  2. Glennis

    I'm not an Obama fan, but I like what he says, and I think he means it. I hope he means it. For those who so far haven't, it's time to come to the realization that there are groups out there who want nothing more than to inflict grievous harm, and even destruction to our country and to our people and interests worldwide and will not stop pursuing such a course. You cannot reason with the unreasonable. Being nice to people who hate you will not automatically bring peace and light to the world.

    December 28, 2009 05:25 pm at 5:25 pm |
  3. Brandon

    Doing more would be to mandate that all airports in the US and those servicing the US use the 3D scanners. If an international airport servicing the US doesn't want to use the scanners, then guess what....they're no longer allowed to send planes here.

    And if you don't like your privates showing on a screen for 5 seconds, then don't fly, but we have to keep explosives off our planes and if that means someone looking at my privates for 5 seconds, then so be it. No body is forcing you to fly, so you either do what's required to keep us all safe or get in your car and start driving.

    In addition to the 3D scanners, maybe everyone should be in flip-flops as well. I'd much rather change into flip-flops once I get to the airport, than have the guy next to me set his shoes on fire and blow us all up.

    December 28, 2009 05:26 pm at 5:26 pm |
  4. Donkey Party

    With all the shady interaction the C-Street Republicans have with developing nations in Africa, an investigation should be opened to follow the GOP money trail through Africa and the Middle East to see if they funded this attack. It makes perfectly logical sense since the Right has expressed they will do anything to see this President fail.

    December 28, 2009 05:26 pm at 5:26 pm |
  5. Hammerer

    What will it take for the American public to get enough of this bunch in Washington? The system worked great, wait the system failed miserably, no wait our government is doing the best they can, wait our government will keep pressure on terroist, wait can't call them trrorist, we will not rest until all involved are caught and on and on.
    The truth is that this bunch is only interested in moving America left and taking over the government and could care less about security. Might offend some Islamic people!

    December 28, 2009 05:33 pm at 5:33 pm |
  6. US gets to set the rules on screening

    Several peopke on this thread have said the same thing -- any airline flying in the US or flying from abroad to the US must follow our contry's standard of screening, not theirs. And foreigh countries' airlines should be made to purchse the sophisticated infrared body screens and the the explosives/chemicals sensor screens - or they should NOT be allowed to fly in US airspace – no exceptions. The US MUST set the standard for anyone wishing to travel here by plane or boat. And as far as searching through 500,000 names on a list, 500,000 records is a minisscule datanase and our security systems should be able to handle that in a nanosecond looking for matches.

    December 28, 2009 05:36 pm at 5:36 pm |
  7. Kendall

    Generation Xers and Yers we really need to step up: We are the future. The older supposedly more mature people can't see that a great thing happen because of American people willing to fight and not be a victim. Yes people saved the lives of other on the plane and we're the ones who will have to deal with these terrorist in the future. When the day comes that American gangs are labeled as terrorist it's young professionals that will carry out the sentences not the Boomers It's time to get real America is Changing

    December 28, 2009 05:36 pm at 5:36 pm |
  8. Indy

    President Obama is doing this the right way. He did not get on a camera right away like the terroists want, he did not make a threat and scare the public like has been done in the past. He did not challenge with a bring it on attitude, he did not find a camera to threaten other nations with war like the terroists wanted. He acted like a responsible President should and kept control of the situation from where he should have and spoke at the appropiate time in public. The terroists crave attention right after an attempt and he did not bow down to that. He kept everyones safety in mind over political gain from getting on camera right away and did exactly what he should have done exactly when it should be done.Now if we can just keep the Republicans from wanting to spend more money on more wars and let Obama do what he was elected to do.

    December 28, 2009 05:37 pm at 5:37 pm |
  9. Hammerer

    Now you have an answer as to what Obama would do with that 3AM call ,that was discussed during the campaign, he would call for an investigation and hold meetings with his advisors!

    December 28, 2009 05:38 pm at 5:38 pm |
  10. Ted

    what amazes me is that Bush put together the dept of homeland security, centralized intelligence gathering and analysis, and for a price tag in the billions and we still have these things going on. This clown was on a watchlist. Fine but do something proactive with the watchlists. Stop the peopl eon the watch lists from traveling to the US. If they are already here, then put them in a super max prison to rot. Let's stop the foolishness and get tough with these people.

    December 28, 2009 05:39 pm at 5:39 pm |
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