U.S. President Barack Obama makes a statement
U.S. President Barack Obama makes a statementReuters

President Barack Obama said he will explain to Americans and congressional leaders this week his strategy to deal with and ultimately defeat the Islamic State terrorists, who he said could eventually become a threat to the United States.

Obama will make a speech on Wednesday to “describe what our game plan's going to be,” and meet congressional leaders on Tuesday to seek their support for his strategy to halt the vicious Islamist group, reported Voice of America (VOA).

The president, who campaigned on getting U.S. troops out of Iraq, has struggled to articulate how he wants to address the Islamic State group, telling reporters last month that “we don't have a strategy yet” to tackle the group.

“I just want the American people to understand the nature of the threat and how we're going to deal with it and to have confidence that we'll be able to deal with it,” Obama said in an interview with NBC's Meet the Press that aired on Sunday. The interview was conducted in Washington on Saturday.

"I'm preparing the country to make sure that we deal with a threat from ISIL," Obama said, using an alternative name for the jihadist group.

“The next phase is now to start going on some offense,” he said.

The Wednesday speech will come a day ahead of the anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks, when al-Qaida terrorists flew hijacked planes into the World Trade Center in New York and the Pentagon, killing almost 3,000 people.

“I want everybody to understand that we have not seen any immediate intelligence about threats to the homeland” from the Islamic State group, Obama said.

But the group has attracted foreign fighters from Western nations who could travel to the United States “unimpeded,” Obama said. “Over time, that can be a serious threat to the homeland,” he said.

In an interview earlier this year, Obama had put the group in a category of foreign militant movements that were a minor threat, comparing it to a “JV”, or junior varsity, team. But he told NBC the group had grown. “They're not a JV team,” he said.