U.S. President Barack Obama says the United States is making real progress in the fight against terrorism.
Speaking Tuesday at the National Counterterrorism Center just outside Washington, President Obama thanked the center's staff for working to protect the United States.
Mr. Obama said the counterterrorism center is helping the U.S. work to achieve its mission of disrupting, dismantling, and defeating al-Qaida and other extremist networks around the world.
The president said al-Qaida is the principal threat to the American people and the threat that led to the counterterrorism center's creation. He said defending the U.S. and its allies from future attacks must be the focus of the center's efforts.
Mr. Obama also praised the center's staff members for their success in the last several weeks. He said their work gathering and sharing intelligence helped lead to the recent arrests of terrorism suspects in (the U.S. states of) Colorado, New York, Illinois and Texas.