Obama: ‘This was an act of terrorism’

News
This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.

http://ajax.aspnetcdn.com/ajax/jquery/jquery-1.8.3.min.js

President Barack Obama on Sunday forcefully declared the shooting in San Bernardino, California, a terrorist attack and said the United States will overcome such threats with a relentless, strong and smart campaign against ISIS that is consistent with the nation’s values.

“This was an act of terrorism designed to kill innocent people,” Obama said during a rare prime-time televised speech from the Oval Office.

Obama, speaking from a podium in front of his desk in the Oval Office, said the couple that had carried out the San Bernardino attack had “gone down the dark path of radicalization” and embraced a “perverted version of Islam” that calls for a war against America and the West.

The address was designed to reassure Americans about the rising threat from terrorism and essentially argued for staying the course. It was delivered amid concerns that Obama does not have a plan sufficient to address the crisis, following the mass shooting in which 14 people were killed by a self-radicalized Muslim couple.

“The threat from terrorism is real, but we will overcome it. We will destroy ISIL and any other organization that tries to harm us,” Obama said, using an alternative name for the extremist group that has carved out a self-declared caliphate in Syria and Iraq and now appears to be turning its sights on the West.

“We will prevail by being strong and smart, resilient and relentless,” Obama said, calling on Congress to take action to outlaw anyone on a terrorist “no fly list” from buying weapons and asking lawmakers to pass a final authorization for U.S. armed forces to wage war on the group.

In an appeal that will likely anger conservatives, Obama demanded greater gun control in his address, saying it was a key part of combating ISIS. He said it is currently too easy for people who want to harm Americans to buy guns.

“Congress should act to make sure no one on a no- fly list is able to buy a gun. What could possibly be the argument for allowing a terrorist suspect to buy a semiautomatic weapon? This is a matter of national security,” Obama said, and also argued it should be harder to buy powerful assault weapons like those used in the San Bernardino attacks.

“What we can do, and must do, is make it harder for them to kill,” Obama said.

Terrorism, national security and the place of Muslims in U.S. society have become a contentious 2016 campaign issue and are dominating the political conversation more than at any time since the September 11 attacks in 2001.

In a new CNN/ORC poll released on Sunday, 60% of Americans disapproved of Obama’s handling of terrorism — up nine points since May. Two thirds of those polled, meanwhile, said they disapproved of the president’s handling of ISIS.

The poll was conducted before the attacks in San Bernardino and also showed a shift in public opinion on how to tackle the group with a majority — 53% — for the first time saying the U.S. should send ground troops to fight ISIS. And 68% said the American response to the group’s rise had not been sufficiently aggressive.

Those figures reflect Obama’s struggle so far to convince critics he has a viable strategy for destroying ISIS in its self-declared caliphate in Iraq and Syria. Obama has also been accused of downplaying the threat from the group for political reasons.

He went into the speech under intense pressure to strike a rhetorical note equal to the moment, following a string of comments about ISIS that left him vulnerable to claims by opponents that he had not taken the group’s rise seriously.

Obama has variously referred to ISIS as a “JV” team, said it was “contained” and described its fighters as “killers with good social media” despite its widening footprint in the Middle East and apparent turn to attacking soft Western targets in recent weeks.

Republicans have redoubled attacks following the California killings to fire up a hawkish party base ahead of early nominating contests and to suggest that Obama’s policy isn’t working and that the president does not understand the threat.

Trademark and Copyright 2021 Cable News Network, Inc., a Time Warner Company. All rights reserved.

About FOX 2 News

FOX 2 and KPLR 11 in St. Louis cover the news in Missouri and Illinois. There are over 68 hours of live news and local programming on-air each week. Our website and live video streams operate 24/7. Download our apps for alerts and follow us on social media for updates in your feed.

President Harry Truman said: “It is amazing what you can accomplish if you do not care who gets the credit.” That spirit is alive and well at Fox 2. Our teamwork is on display each and every day.

Our news slogan is: “Coverage You Can Count On.” We quite frankly are too busy to worry about who gets the credit. Our main concern is serving the viewer.

We go where the stories take us. Whether it be Washington, D.C when a Belleville man opened fire during a congressional baseball game practice or to Puerto Rico where local Ameren crews restored power after more than 5 months in the dark.

Coverage You Can Count On means “Waking up your Day” with our top-rated morning show. From 4:00 am-10:00 am we are leading the way with breaking news. But our early morning crew also knows how to have some fun! Our strong commitment to the communities we serve is highlighted with our Friday neighborhood shows.

Our investigative unit consists of three reporters. Elliott Davis focuses on government waste, Chris Hayes is our investigative reporter, and Mike Colombo is our consumer reporter. They work in unison with the news department by sharing resources and ideas.

We continue to cover breaking news aggressively and relied on our seasoned journalists to make a difference with the stories we covered. The shooting of Arnold Police Officer Ryan O’Connor is just one example of that. Jasmine Huda was the only reporter who had exclusive access to the O’Connor family during his amazing rehabilitation in Colorado.

Last, but certainly not least, FOX 2 and KPLR 11 are committed to covering local politics. We host debates among candidates and have the most extensive presidential election coverage. Our commitment to politics isn’t just during an election year. We produce two political shows that air every weekend.

Popular

Latest News

More News