Addressing the Business Council this morning, the President spoke first on the new developments regarding the recent incident in Times Square. Between yesterday and this morning, the President has talked with Duane Jackson and Lance Orton, who were the vendors who first reported the suspicious vehicle, as well as Officers Wayne Rhatigan and Pam Duffy who were on the scene to thank them for their vigilance:
Before I begin, I hope you don’t mind -- I indicated to Jim Owen that I want to give the American people a brief update on the investigation into the attempted terrorist attack in Times Square. A suspect is now in custody and is being questioned. The American people can be assured that the FBI and their partners in this process have all the tools and experience they need to learn everything we can. That includes what, if any, connection this individual has to terrorist groups. And it includes collecting critical intelligence as we work to disrupt any future attacks. Justice will be done, and we will continue to do everything in our power to protect the American people.
Attorney General Eric Holder and other members of my national security team are going to be providing more details, but let me say this. This incident is another sobering reminder of the times in which we live. Around the world and here at home, there are those who would attack our citizens and who would slaughter innocent men, women and children in pursuit of their murderous agenda. They will stop at nothing to kill and disrupt our way of life. But once again, an attempted attack has been failed.
It has failed because ordinary citizens were vigilant and reported suspicious activity to the authorities. It failed because these authorities -- local, state and federal -- acted quickly and did what they’re trained to do. I’ve had the opportunity to personally thank some of the citizens and law enforcement officers whose quick thinking may have saved hundreds of lives. And this suspect has been apprehended because of close and effective coordination at every level, including our Joint Terrorism Task Force and U.S. Customs and Border Protection.
Finally, New Yorkers have reminded us once again of how to live with their heads held high. We know that the aim of those who try to carry out these attacks is to force us to live in fear, and thereby amplifying the effects of their attacks -- even those that fail. But as Americans, and as a nation, we will not be terrorized. We will not cower in fear. We will not be intimidated. We will be vigilant. We will work together. And we will protect and defend the country we love to ensure a safe and prosperous future for our people. That’s what I intend to do as President and that’s what we will do as a nation.