U.S. President Barack Obama says al-Qaida is actively planning to attack the United States again.
In a speech in Washington Thursday, Mr Obama said these are "extraordinary times" for the country, fighting two wars and facing a range of challenges. He said his single most important responsibility as president is to keep the American people safe.
The president said the U.S. must use all its elements of power to defeat the threat posed by al-Qaida terrorists, and he added that steps have already been taken to ensure the country is secure.
Addressing an audience of senior Cabinet officials and members of Congress, Mr. Obama said these steps include providing the necessary resources to fight the extremists in Afghanistan and Pakistan who attacked the U.S. on September 11, 2001, and investing in military and intelligence capabilities. He also said his administration has "re-energized" a global effort to curb proliferation of nuclear weapons - in the president's words, "to deny the world's most dangerous people access to the world's deadliest weapons."
Mr. Obama said all "loose" nuclear materials in the world should be secure within four years.
He said the United States is better protecting its borders and increasing its preparedness for any future attacks or natural disasters. The United States is building new partnerships around the world, the president said, "to disrupt, dismantle, and defeat al-Qaida and its affiliates."
Mr. Obama said the United States has renewed American diplomacy, so that the U.S. once again has the "strength and standing to truly lead the world."