WASHINGTON — Nine years after the Sept. 11 attacks, US President Barack Obama said the US has forced Osama bin Laden "deep underground" but Americans will face an expanded terror threat for years to come from other Al-Qaida extremists "willing to die to kill other people."
The government is no less determined to kill or capture the Sept. 11 architect, he said. But Americans must remember the fight is with Al-Qaida terrorists, not the much wider world of people of Muslim faith.
On the eve of the anniversary of the 2001 attacks, a day magnified by heightened tensions over a planned mosque near Ground Zero and a Florida pastor's threat to burn Qurans, Obama sought on Friday to reinforce the country's founding belief of religious tolerance.
Saturday, he said, should be a day not only to mourn but to show that "we are not at war against Islam. We're at war against terrorist organizations that have distorted Islam or falsely used the banner of Islam to engage in their destructive acts."