- The Washington Times - Tuesday, August 15, 2006

1:23 p.m.

President Bush cautioned today that the foiled plot in Britain to blow up jetliners over the Atlantic is evidence that the United States could be fighting terrorists for years to come.

“America is safer than it has been, yet it is not yet safe,” Mr. Bush told reporters in an operations center at the National Counterterrorism Center in McLean.

The president thanked the people who are involved in counterterrorism and credited their help in last week’s arrests of more than two dozen people in England and Pakistan in what officials say was a plot to blow up as many as 10 passenger planes between Britain and the United States.

He said their work takes “an incredible amount of time, energy and effort.”

Mr. Bush said the plot is indicative of the challenges America faces from terrorists now and for years to come.

“I will assure the American people that we are doing everything in our power to protect you,” he said.

The president spoke as police in London announced another arrest in the purported London plot.

Mr. Bush also attended a National Security Council and Homeland Security Council briefing and a meeting with the counterterrorism team at the center.

The nation’s safety looms large as an issue in the midterm elections less than three months before the Nov. 7 contest. With control of Congress at stake, both Republicans and Democrats are maneuvering for political advantage.

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