Bush: Take Threat from bin Laden Seriously

January 26, 2006: In a briefing at the National Security Agency Wednesday, President Bush stated that he takes the threats made by Osama bin Laden of another attack seriously, and urged Americans to do so as well. In an audiotape released by Osama bin Laden last week, he warned of impending attacks that were being planned within the United States. Speaking of the message, President Bush said that “the terrorists will do everything they can to strike us. I am going to continue to do everything I can within my legal authority to stop them.”Stated President Bush: “I understand there are some in America who say, ‘Well this can’t be true, there aren’t still people willing to attack.’ All I would ask them to do is listen to the words of Osama bin Laden and take him seriously. When he says he’s going to hurt the American people again or try to, he means it. I take it seriously and the people of NSA take it seriously and most of the American people take it seriously as well.”

The president’s remarks were overshadowed by criticism of the “warrantless monitoring” of international telephone calls and e-mail messages of people in the United States suspected of aiding al Qaeda. According to critics of the program that is conducted by the NSA, such monitoring violates the U.S. Constitution and the 1978 Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA), which makes it illegal to spy on U.S. citizens in the United States without the approval of a special secret court.

Related: Washington Post Article