Obama says Al-Qaeda 'hammered' but terror threat real
CAMP PENDLETON, United States / California (AFP) - President Barack Obama insisted on Wednesday that Al-Qaeda's leaders were on the ropes, but admitted the threats that have closed US embassies across the Middle East must be taken seriously.
His remarks to around 3,000 Marines at Camp Pendleton military base in California came after around 20 US missions were shut in response to intelligence reports that an attack on US interests could be imminent.
"Because of you, Al-Qaeda's top ranks have been hammered," the US president told the troops. "The core of Al-Qaeda in Afghanistan and Pakistan is on the way to defeat. That happened because of you." But, turning to the current threat, Mr Obama said information about a possible act of terror would have to be scrutinised and dealt with.
"The end of the war in Afghanistan doesn't mean the end of threats to our nation. We've been reminded of this again in recent days. So I want to take a special time out to salute all our brave diplomats and tireless intelligence and military personnel who have been working around the clock to safeguard our embassies and our consulates and our fellow Americans serving overseas."