UK & World News
Obama: 'Al Qaeda Ranks Have Been Hammered'
Al Qaeda's leaders are on the ropes but new threats from the terror organisation must be taken seriously, Barack Obama has said.
The remarks to about 3,000 Marines at Camp Pendleton military base in California came after around 20 US missions were shut in response to intelligence reports of an attack on US interests.
"Because of you, al Qaeda's top ranks have been hammered," the US President told the troops.
"The core of al Qaeda in Afghanistan and Pakistan is on the way to defeat. That happened because of you."
Turning to the current threat, Mr Obama said information about a possible act of terror would have to be scrutinised and dealt with.
"The end of the war in Afghanistan doesn't mean the end of threats to our nation. We've been reminded of this again in recent days," he said.
"So I want to take a special time out to salute all our brave diplomats and tireless intelligence and military personnel who have been working around the clock to safeguard our embassies and our consulates and our fellow Americans serving overseas."
Following the embassy closures, Yemen said it had foiled an al Qaeda plot to storm a Western-run oil terminal and seize a provincial capital.
The United States has pulled diplomatic staff out of Yemen.
Mr Obama said "extremists" would not halt US policy overseas.
"Here's what those who would cowardly attack our civilians don't get: The United States is never going to retreat from the world," he said.
"We don't get terrorised. We're going to keep standing up for our interests."