Obama to Nation: Terrorist Threat to U.S. Is 'Evolving' but Beat - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Obama to Nation: Terrorist Threat to U.S. Is 'Evolving' but Beatable

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In his third address to the nation from the Oval Office, President Barack Obama reassured Americans that the United States is equipped to meet the dangerous and "evolving" threat of terrorism.

As U.S. and other Western responses have gained ground against organized, wide-scale terrorist attacks, ISIS and other groups are undertaking "growing efforts by terrorists to poison the minds" of home-grown attackers like the couple who killed 14 people last week in San Bernardino, California, the president said.

President Obama speaks live from the Oval Office of the White House on ISIS terrorism abroad and on U.S. soil.

A senior administration official said that after the Paris terrorist attack last month, followed by numerous thwarted ISIS plots and then the San Bernardino shootings, Obama decided he needed to address "the significant concerns and very real and legitimate fears in the United States and around the world."

The president has rarely used the Oval Office — the most symbolic representation of his authority — to speak to the nation.

He announced the end of U.S. combat operations in Iraq from there in August 2010, and two months before that, he laid out his plans to secure American energy after the BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.

The choice of the Oval Office for Sunday night's address reflected "the seriousness with which we are taking the issue," the official said. At the same time, the address was meant to "step back and provide context for people," not to announce new policies or strategies, the official said.

Obama referred to history in reinforcing the message Sunday night:

"Let's not forget that freedom is more powerful than fear, that we have always met challenges — whether war or depression, natural disasters or terrorist attacks — by coming together around our common ideals as one nation, as one people," he said. "So long as we stay true to that tradition, I have no doubt America will prevail."

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