By Sam Youngman - 05/03/10 12:32 AM EDT
VENICE, La. -- President Barack Obama said Sunday that his
administration and law enforcement officials are investigating who is
responsible for a bombing attempt in New York City's Times Square
on Saturday night.
Obama, visiting here to inspect the oil spill efforts, said that he will "do what's necessary to protect the American people."
Obama was briefed on the attempted bombing twice during his short trip to Louisiana by his counterterrorism lead John Brennan.
New York City police shut down the busy Times square after a SUV was
discovered containing some explosives and accelerants like propane. A T-shirt vendor called authorities after seeing smoke coming from the vehicle.
The city's bomb squad was able to defuse the car bomb, and focus has now shifted toward investigating suspects in the attempted bombing.
Obama said he would continue to monitor the situation closely and vowed to safeguard the security of the American people.
"We're going to do what's necessary to protect the American people, to determine who is behind this potentially deadly act and to see that justice is done," Obama said.
The Pakistani Taliban have claimed responsibility for the attack, but officials weren't ready to accept the video claim.
"I'm not going to get into assumptions about who might be involved or what their motives might be," press secretary Robert Gibbs said on Air Force One as Obama flew to New Orleans.
The president commended the New
York City police, the FBI and other agencies, "which responded swiftly
and aggressively to a dangerous situation."
"And I also want to commend the vigilant citizens who noticed this suspicious activity and reported it to the authorities," Obama said.