- Screenshot/White House
President Barack Obama said Monday that the US’s continued campaign against the Islamic State terror group is “instigating a lot of people” to “carry out attacks” on American citizens.
Obama delivered a statement following a series of weekend terror attacks in New York, New Jersey, and Minnesota that injured dozens of people but did not claim any lives. The attack in Minnesota had no apparent connection to the bombings on the East Coast, the president said.
“We will continue to lead the global coalition in the fight to destroy ISIL, which is instigating a lot of people over the internet to carry out attacks,” Obama said. “We are going to continue to go after them. We are going to take out their leaders. We’re going to take out their infrastructure.”
No terror group has taken responsibility for the New York and New Jersey bombings, but a man wanted in connection to the attacks was captured by authorities late Monday morning. ISIS claimed responsibility for the Minnesota attack, in which nine people were stabbed at a mall before the attacker was shot and killed by an off-duty police officer.
The president and his administration have often said in the aftermath of attacks that increasing pressure applied to the Islamic State overseas has resulted in the terror group executing more attacks on civilians.
Secretary of State John Kerry said in July after the Orlando nightclub massacre and the attack in Nice, France, that the attacks had proved ISIS was “on the run.”
In his statement, Obama also said it was “important to remember what terrorists and extremists are trying to do.”
“They want to hurt innocent people, but they also want to inspire fear in all of us,” the president said. “And disrupt the way we live. To undermine our values. And so even as we want to be vigilant and aggressive in preventing senseless acts of violence … we all have a role to play as citizens in making sure that we don’t succumb to that fear.”
Obama called the citizens of New York and New Jersey “no better example of that,” and mentioned conversations he had with New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, and New York Mayor Bill de Blasio. All three were quick to make that point, he said.
“Folks around here, you know, they don’t get scared,” he said. “They’re tough, they’re resilient, and they go about their business every single day. That kind of toughness and resoluteness and a recognition that neither individuals nor organizations like ISIL can ultimately undermine our way of life. That’s the kind of strength that makes me so proud to be an American, and that’s the kind of strength that’s going to be absolutely critical in not only the days to come, but in the years to come.”
Obama added that extremists “will never beat us” and that Americans “will never give in to fear.”