President Barack Obama on Tuesday thanked counterterrorism employees who work to prevent attacks on the United States and its allies, crediting them with "making real progress" in disrupting al-Qaida and other extremist networks.
"The record of your service is written in the attacks that never occur — because you thwarted them — and in the countless Americans who are alive today because you saved them," Obama told his audience at the National Counterterrorism Center outside Washington. "For that, America is in your debt."
Obama also warned, though, that the enemies of the United States are relentless, resourceful and "still plotting."
"No one can ever promise that there won't be another attack on American soil," Obama said. "But I can promise you this: I pledge to do everything in my power as president to keep America safe. And I pledge to give all of you the tools and support you need to get that job done here at home."
Obama's visit was meant to give a boost to analysts who work in obscurity at the center, a cross-agency body formed after the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks. The center has a dual mission of intelligence analysis and operational planning. Employees collect and share information to combat terrorism within the United States and abroad.
Obama said he uses the center's "product" every day to make national security decisions. He spoke after meeting privately with the center's leadership.