"The core al-Qaeda is on its heels, has been decimated. But al-Qaeda and other extremists have metastasized into regional groups that can pose significant dangers," Obama told reporters at a White House news conference. (Agencies)
"Although they are less likely to be able to carry out spectacular homeland attacks, like 9/11, they have the capacity to go after our embassies. They have the capacity, potentially, to go after our businesses.
"They have the capacity to be destabilizing and disruptive in countries where the security apparatus is weak," he said when asked about the recent closer of American embassies and consulates due to specific threat in the Middle East.
"That's exactly what we are seeing right now. So it's entirely consistent to say that this tightly organized and relatively centralized al-Qaeda that attacked us on 9/11 has been broken apart and is very weak and does not have a lot of operational capacity and to say we still have these regional organizations, like AQAP, that can pose a threat, that can drive potentially a truck bomb into an embassy wall and can kill some people," he said.
"It means that we've got to continue to be vigilant and go after known terrorists who are potentially carrying out plots are going to strengthen their capacity over time, because they're always testing the boundaries of, well, maybe we can try this, maybe we can do that," he said, adding that this is an ongoing process.
"We are not going to completely eliminate terrorism. What we can do is to weaken it and to strengthen our partnerships in such a way that it does not pose the kind of horrible threat that we saw on 9/11," Obama said, as he refused to answer questions related to the recent drone strikes in Yemen.
Obama said his administration is going to do everything it can to get those who carried out the attacks at the US Consulate in Benghazi last year.
"The core al-Qaeda is on its heels, has been decimated. But al-Qaeda and other extremists have metastasized into regional groups that can pose significant dangers," Obama told reporters at a White House news conference.