December 28th, 2009
03:38 PM ET
9 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. Larry

    Wake up Obama!

    We're doing everything we can to combat terrorism- Oh yeah, two absolutely senseless wars. And now we're finding out that Al Qaeda is in Yemen too?

    Wake up Obama. The rest of us have known that for years. Why don't you look at Syria and Jordan while you're at it. Why don't we sent 100,000 troops into each of those countries and see where else Al-Quaeda pops up.

    Why don't we just beef up our own homeland security and let other nations take care of themselves.

    December 28, 2009 04:00 pm at 4:00 pm |
  2. shmeckell

    WOW!!! Was that Bush or Obama speaking? It is a little different when you are the one responsible and not just the one criticizing from the Senate. Good words now go and back them up.

    December 28, 2009 04:00 pm at 4:00 pm |
  3. vwrtb

    I know! Let's wire tap each other and invade a country that's not responsible! That while make those nasty terrorist stop... What... We already tried that?

    December 28, 2009 04:06 pm at 4:06 pm |
  4. NVa Native

    Of course Bush was wrong when he delared his "war on terror", and when he declared that the US didn't need the rest of the world to work with us. All war is a form of terrorism.
    We need to do better police work and develop better cooporation with our allies. Which Obama understands.

    December 28, 2009 04:08 pm at 4:08 pm |
  5. CNN in the censoring buisness..shameful! He LIVES so ALL man can know peace and love!

    Sometimes...one's imagination gets the best of them...and just when the populace seems agitated enough to demand their country be restored...along comes a in the States crisis.....one , incidentially, that was not 'saved' by the Government but by God....it makes one 'imagine' there may be a 'red phone ' to terrorits.....just sayin'

    One the 'reality side'....Thanks to quick thnking, even if hysterical or paniced, passengers another one bit the dust! This man's father surely was praying he would come to his senses....Thank God.

    December 28, 2009 04:11 pm at 4:11 pm |
  6. CNN in the censoring buisness..shameful! He LIVES so ALL man can know peace and love!

    Sometimes...one's imagination gets the best of them...and just when the populace seems agitated enough to demand their country be restored...along comes a in the States crisis.....one , incidentially, that was not 'saved' by the Government but by God....it makes one 'imagine' there may be a 'red phone ' to terrorits.....just sayin'

    One the 'reality side'....Thanks to quick thnking, even if hysterical or paniced, because of passengers action another one bit the dust! This man's father surely was praying he would come to his senses....Thank God.

    December 28, 2009 04:13 pm at 4:13 pm |
  7. Jane/Seattle

    The U.S. needs to STAND DOWN and fix it's own severe domestic problems. America needs to STOP Bankrupting it's citizens to service Capitalist agendas. Doing everything to protect us means NOT doing Everything to Injure Others in the World! Period!

    December 28, 2009 04:22 pm at 4:22 pm |
  8. gary in OK

    Until all U.S. airliners have body searchs of all passengers, elimination of all carry-on baggage (to include briefcases, i-pods, cell phones, electronic children toys, etc.) risk will be high. Passengers could either abide by these rules or find other means of transportation.

    Create thousands of new jobs by the addition of a minimum of two air marshalls on every flight and the cost paid by the airlines.

    None of the above will happen as the airline lobbys will tell the government that they will not comply. The government evidently has no power to tell any large corporation how to run their business no matter what law would be written.

    Bottom line is fly at your own risk as there is no government protection in the friendly skies.

    December 28, 2009 04:22 pm at 4:22 pm |
  9. mjm

    "If the US spent all the money it has on war in Iraq and Afghanistan and spent it on humanitarian causes around the world, there would be no terrorism, no hatred (probably numbering in the billions of people) of the USA, just a huge amount of very thankful people."

    The US gave Afghanastan millions in aid prior to 911. We give billions of aid to nations all over the world. Very few countries do more than the US.

    December 28, 2009 04:23 pm at 4:23 pm |
  10. Dr. Joseph Braswell

    Listen America we are the most hated people on the face of the earth... and we sit here and speak bad of our president... Bush did what he did and Obama will do what he must do to protect our way of living. So let's stand firm in fighting terrorism and not each other. Together we stand strong. Do your thing Mr. President. And yes I'm a republican and proud of it. But most of all I'm an American.
    " God bless the USA"

    December 28, 2009 04:24 pm at 4:24 pm |
  11. Ohio Don

    Thank goodness we have a President now who thinks rather than shoots from the hip - ol "Bring on George" - the entire country is so much better off today. No more totally ignoring warnings like Bush did before 9/11 that resulted in a real disaster. I am so much more confident in our President who is taking real steps to keep the US safe from isolated attacks, and who is also now engaging the world in efforts to truly attach extremism.

    December 28, 2009 04:25 pm at 4:25 pm |
  12. ugogrl

    I know our President is doing everything he can to protect the American people.

    December 28, 2009 04:26 pm at 4:26 pm |
  13. Donald in CA

    The only thing that would make the right wing happier then a terrorist attack on America on Obama's watch would be a stock market crash.
    Maybe if both happened they would think they hit the lottery. Its not hard to figure out who the real haters of this country are.

    December 28, 2009 04:26 pm at 4:26 pm |
  14. Kimberly from Houston, Texas

    Thank you President Obama!

    A thoughtful and well informed address.
    No sound bites like..."You're either with us or against us" or "Bring it on"...

    You have my full support. God Bless us all!

    December 28, 2009 04:26 pm at 4:26 pm |
  15. Fitz in Texas

    Obama cuts funding for the military and yet he says.... "U.S. will do more than strengthen our defenses".....guess Obama is going to play that "pretty please" card again. That sure will scare the enemy into leaving us alone.

    December 28, 2009 04:26 pm at 4:26 pm |
  16. Ohio Don

    Of course... that was "ol, Bring 'em on George" and "...now engaging the world in efforts to truly attack extremism.:

    December 28, 2009 04:27 pm at 4:27 pm |
  17. Jean 2

    Communication always seem to be one of the problems.

    Remember some one put the security manuel on the internet and our media outlets dig for every detail of how things are done to broadcast to the entire world. They do not seem to realize that those seeking to do harm can read, use computers, and listens to the media.

    Citizens of the USA we need to wake up!!

    December 28, 2009 04:32 pm at 4:32 pm |
  18. Mike in MN

    The terrorists hate us just as much or more with Obama as president. I thought he was going to change all of that. Still waiting for the hype of Obama to become a reality. Praise should come after real accomplishments, not before. Guess that went out the window a long time ago with self applaudig liberals. Explains the Obama pease prize.

    December 28, 2009 04:32 pm at 4:32 pm |
  19. Kevin in Ohio

    It is time to stop the insanity of Political Correctness. Anyone with an Islamic name or Islamic appearance needs to be completely searched before getting on a plane, or not let on a plane at all. Sorry if I offend you, bleeding heart liberals, but innocent American lives are not worth the lunacy of PC.

    December 28, 2009 04:33 pm at 4:33 pm |
  20. Rickster

    lol....poor Barry....he is in so far over his head and hasn't a clue what to say or do.

    December 28, 2009 04:34 pm at 4:34 pm |
  21. Mike in MN

    It's about time he said something. I was beginning to wonder if Obama even new or cared.

    December 28, 2009 04:34 pm at 4:34 pm |
  22. Rob in Detroit Mi.

    Obama will keep us safe,everyone should stay calm,i for one will not live in fear.

    P.S.

    Leiberman needs to keep quiet.

    December 28, 2009 04:36 pm at 4:36 pm |
  23. Dan

    Finally, a realization of Obama he has to be George W. the II.
    It is not what "you are," it is what history "forces you to be!"

    December 28, 2009 04:38 pm at 4:38 pm |
  24. Enough

    Blah, Blah, blah and more empty words from the empty suit. This guy should have NEVER been allowed on that plane, a warning from this guys own father wasn't enough??

    December 28, 2009 04:40 pm at 4:40 pm |
  25. Greg

    This president is starting to sound more and more like Bush every day.

    December 28, 2009 04:43 pm at 4:43 pm |
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