President Barack Obama said on Monday that he'd launched a full investigation into security lapses behind the attempted bombing of a Delta flight on Christmas.
The president said the government was doing everything it could to keep air travel safe in the U.S., and pledged to pursue terrorist groups who are organizing attacks.
"A full investigation has been launched into this attempted act of terrorism and we will find all who were involved and hold them responsible," Obama said in his first public remarks since the Friday incident, when a Nigerian man, Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, attempted to blow up a Delta flight en route to Detroit from Amsterdam.
The man was able to sneak powder explosives through airport security despite being on a terrorist watch list, leading Republicans in Congress to question the administration's handling of airline security.
In response, the president said Monday that he had ordered a "thorough review" of security procedures and watch lists in the wake of the attempted attack.
Obama said he had ordered enhanced security and screening at airports as well as an increased deployment in U.S. air marshals to secure flights.
"The American people should be assured that we are doing everything in our power to keep your families safe and secure during this busy holiday season," he said.
As Republicans have also accused the Obama administration of "stonewalling" congressional inquiries of the event, the president said he'd spoken with Attorney General Eric Holder, Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano, and Deputy National Security Adviser John Brennen to keep the public and lawmakers apprised of the government's investigation into the incident.
But Obama also sounded a hawkish note on Monday, pledging to track down groups responsible for organizing attacks against the U.S.
"We do not yet have all the answers about this latest attempt, but those who would slaughter innocent men, women and children must know that the United States will do more than simply strengthen our defenses," he said. "We will continue to use every element of our national power to disrupt, to dismantle and defeat the violent extremists who threaten us, whether they are from Afghanistan or Pakistan, Yemen or Somalia, or anywhere where they are plotting attacks against the U.S. homeland."