President Bush called the airline terror plot disrupted by British and Pakistani authorities a reminder that the United States is at war with what he called "Islamic fascists."
Mr. Bush's comments came hours after security officials placed new restrictions on carry-on items for U.S. flights Thursday.
Homeland Security Director Michael Chertoff said the alleged plot involved many coordinated suicide bombings. Intelligence officials say the terrorists were days away from testing their plan, and a few days more from carrying it out. They said the plot targeted flights destined for New York, Washington, D.C., and Los Angeles.
Chertoff and FBI Director Robert Mueller said while the reported plan bears similarities to al-Qaida attacks, no direct link has yet been established to the terrorist group.
Earlier, U.S. officials issued a code-red alert for commercial traffic from Britain, focused on flights by United Airlines, American Airlines and Continental Airlines. Alerts on other flights to or from the United States were increased to code orange, indicating a high risk of attack.