WASHINGTON - US President Barack Obama was not surprised that al-Qaida bomb makers were still determined to attack civilians, he said in a television interview that aired on Thursday, days after reports of a foiled airplane suicide bomber plot in the Middle East.
Obama told ABC News in an interview taped on Wednesday that he was briefed on the would-be suicide mission in April, adding that officials stayed on top of the situation and that lives and airplanes were never at risk.
"I don't think it should be any surprise. I've been very clear that - even with the death of (Osama) bin Laden, even as weakened as Al Qaeda is - if you have a bunch of extremists who are adamant about trying to kill civilians than we are going to have to maintain constant vigilance and create a whole series of layers of protection and barriers," he said in an interview.
"We were on top of this the entire time. At no point were American lives in danger or American aircraft in danger," he added.