President Bush says almost five years after the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks, America is safer, but not yet safe. He spoke after a series of meetings with his top advisors in the war on terror.
They conferred outside Washington just days after Britain foiled a plot to blow up U.S.-bound airliners over the Atlantic.
President Bush said it shows what happens when American and British security officials work together to take on the terrorist threat.
"And because of the good work in Great Britain and because of the help of people here at NCTC, we disrupted a terror plot, a plot where people were willing to kill innocent life to achieve political objectives," said Mr. Bush.
Speaking after a morning of meetings at the National Counterterrorism Center, the president said the plot is indicative of an ongoing problem that will last for years to come. He said the U.S. government is at war against extremists bound by ideology who are willing to use terror to achieve their objectives.
"Our most solemn duty in the federal government is to protect the American people," added Mr. Bush. "And I will assure the American people we are doing everything in our power to protect you. And we have got some good assets. And the best asset we have got is the people - people represented right here in this building."
In his brief remarks, the president focused on the role played by all those in the government involved in counter-terrorism. He said the terrorists only need to be right once, while those working in counterterrorism need to be right 100 percent of the time.
"[I am] Proud to report that there are a lot of good folks who are working hard to see to it that we are right 100 percent of the time," he noted. "And I want to thank all the people in this building and around our government who spend an incredible amount of time, and energy, and effort to do a very difficult job, and that is to protect the American people."
Among those joining President Bush at the National Counterterrorism Center were the Secretaries of State, Defense, Justice and Homeland Security, as well as heads of the various U.S. government intelligence agencies.
The Center was established in response to the September 11 attacks in which terrorists flew hijacked planes into the World Trade Center in New York and the Pentagon. Its mission is to compile and coordinate information obtained by all the agencies dealing with the terrorist threat.