WASHINGTON, Aug. 9 (UPI) -- President Obama said Friday there was no conflict between his assertion in May "core al-Qaida" has been decimated and the current security alert.
The United States and other Western countries have closed embassies throughout the Middle East and North Africa due to reports of terror plots.
"What I said [in a May speech] is that core al-Qaida is on its heels and has been decimated," Obama told reporters at the White House, "but what I also said was that al-Qaida has metastasized" into smaller groups.
"They [still] have the capacity to go after our interests," Obama said.
By "core al-Qaida," Obama said, he was referring to the tightly organized group that organized the Sept. 11, 2001, terror attacks.