President Obama said Wednesday there is "no specific and credible intelligence" to suggest that terrorists have any plans to strike the United States over the Thanksgiving holiday weekend.
Obama's remarks came after a meeting with his national security team in the White House Situation Room and were delivered shortly after noon in the Roosevelt Room to a limited group of reporters. His comments come as many politicians are calling on his administration to do more to degrade the capabilities of the Islamic State in the wake of this month's deadly attacks in Paris.
The participants of Wednesday's meeting, according to administration officials, included Attorney General Loretta Lynch; Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson; national security adviser Susan Rice; assistant to the president for homeland security and counterterrorism Lisa Monaco; FBI Director James Comey; White House Chief of Staff Denis McDonough; White House Counsel Neil Eggleston; deputy assistant to the president for homeland security Amy Pope; and White House senior director for counterterrorism Jen Easterly.
The president emphasized that as Americans entered the holiday weekend, they should go about their regular routines without fear.
"And given the shocking images, I know that Americans have been asking each other whether it's safe here -- whether it's safe to fly or gather," he said, referring to the Nov. 13 attacks in Paris that killed 130 people. "I know that families have discussed their fears about the threat of terrorism around the dinner table, many for the first time since September 11th. And it's understandable that people worry something similar could happen here. Watching the events in Paris made the threat feel closer to home."
Flanked by his top law enforcement and homeland security officials, Obama told reporters, "I want the American people to know that we are taking every possible step to keep our homeland safe."
"So as Americans travel this weekend to be with their loved ones, I want them to know that our counterterrorism, intelligence, homeland security, and law enforcement professionals at every level are working overtime. They are continually monitoring threats at home and abroad," the president said. "Their work has prevented attacks, their work has saved lives."
"In the event of a specific, credible threat, the public will be informed," he added.
On Tuesday, Obama met with French President François Hollande. Both leaders said during a White House news conference that same day that the international coalition had to devote more resources against the Islamic State.
Defeating the terrorists, Obama said, is "going to be a process that involves hard, methodical work. It’s not going to be something that happens just because suddenly we take a few more airstrikes.”
The United States is also trying to ease tensions between Russia and NATO allies after a Russian warplane was downed Tuesday along Turkey’s border with Syria.
Obama said he would “discourage any escalation” of the conflict between the two countries.