U.S. targets terrorists "wherever they take root": Obama

October 6, 2009 10:37 pm 

WASHINGTON, Oct. 7 — The U.S. anti-terror efforts are not restricted in Afghanistan and Pakistan, and terrorists will be targeted "wherever they take root," U.S. President Barack Obama said Tuesday.

"The United States and our partners have sent an unmistakable message: We will target al-Qaida wherever they take root," he said during a tour of the National Counterterrorism Center in McLean, Virginia, near Washington D.C..

"It should now be clear," he added.

The president noted that terror threats to the United States not only come from Afghanistan and Pakistan, but from places around the world, including East Africa, Southeast Asia, Europe and the Persian Gulf.

He said the United States is determined to fight terrorism "relentlessly."

"We will not yield in our pursuit; and we are developing the capacity and the cooperation to deny a safe haven to any who threaten America and its allies."

"We're applying focused and relentless pressure on al-Qaida — by sharing more intelligence, strengthening the capacity of our partners, disrupting terrorist financing, cutting off supply chains, and inflicting major losses on al-Qaida's leadership," said the president.

While acknowledging that "real progress" has been made in U.S. anti-terror efforts, he said destroying al-Qaida networks and safe heavens are not the only goal.

"It must be about the future that we want to build as well. And that's why we're putting forward a positive vision of American leadership around the world — one where we lead by example, and engage nations and peoples on the basis of mutual interest and mutual respect," Obama said.

Founded in 2004, the National Counterterrorism Center is a U.S. government agency under the Director of National Intelligence, responsible for providing counterterrorism advice for the U.S. government. (PNA/Xinhua) ALM/ebp

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